Meet Ambre Lizurey
Director of operation at EA Motive and advocate for more women in the games industry
Meet Ambre Lizurey, Director of operation at EA Motive and advocate for more women in the games industry
We sat down and spoke with Ambre Lizurey, Director of Operation at EA Motive, about her experience in the games industry, her role as Studio Director of Operations, and how Motive is working on getting more people from diverse backgrounds to consider a career in the games industry.
The past year has been exciting for Motive, a AAA video game studio based out of Montreal, Quebec and part of the Electronic Arts’ family. It announced that the team is currently working on a Dead Space™ remake and in October 2020, it released the critically acclaimed title, Star Wars™: Squadrons.
Hello Ambre, can you tell us about your path to where you are now?
Bonjour! Well, I was born… kidding 😉
At 17, I left my family in France to move to Montreal to study business administration & cognitive ergonomics. While working on my master’s thesis, I started working at Ubisoft as a data analyst. I then got an opportunity to work on the Assassin’s Creed (AC) production team. I dropped out of my master’s degree and focused on my career to ultimately stay on AC for nine years.
In 2019, I made the jump to join EA to be the Director of Operations for Motive Studio.
What sparked your interest in working in the games industry?
It was a mix of luck & curiosity.
I’ve always been interested in the entertainment industry but was more looking at a career in cinema or TV when I was young. So when looking at my options after university, I thought I would start in video games and switch later. But since the first moment I started working in video games, I fell in love with the creative mindset & the passion that characterize this industry.
If you were to ask my family when I was a kid, everyone would have bet my brother would actually end up in video games. They couldn’t be more wrong 😉
As a woman in a leadership position, what have you observed are crucial but usually overlooked hindrances for women to land leadership roles?
Too often, we tend to overlook people who don’t advocate for themselves. And you can find many studies showing that women tend not to apply for a role when they don’t have at least 90% of the competencies. So you need to look for these types of candidates rather than waiting for them to apply.
Another hindrance could be that women are usually taught to not be vocal. So when you are looking for someone to promote, do not only look at the people who are the most visible.
In general, what are the actions that can be taken to improve representation in the games industry?
One of the problems we see is the lack of diverse talent graduating from video game-related fields. And if the pool we start with is not diverse, then it will be difficult to increase the industry numbers. We therefore need to find ways to spark interest in young underrepresented talents.
We also need to advocate for our underrepresented talents, who may not do it by themselves. Let’s all understand our position as allies and support each other.
Finally, we need to all work on our unconscious biases to make sure the work environment we all create is an open & safe one.
What advice do you have for women who want to enter the games industry?
Don’t be scared to do it. I feel that we often put too much emphasis on the negative and we can scare people off. Yes, we still have work to do to make our industry a more diverse and inclusive one, but that’s the case for many industries. There are a lot of initiatives put in place and many support groups that exist to help you throughout your career, depending on your reality/context.
Having worked at a few studios, I have to say that I am impressed with the support & the initiatives EA put in place to not only make sure people feel safe enough to be themselves, but also to train everyone to be part of the change.
Ambre Lizurey will be participating in a live chat organized on EA Motive’s virtual booth, on November 9th from 9:45 to 10:30 am, alongside Patrick Klaus, studio GM and Martine Poisson, HR Director at EA.