Pokimane: Women have ‘leg-up’ on Twitch because they stand out so much

That advantage is coupled with a "glass ceiling," however.

Pokimane talks on her Twitch stream.
Screengrab via Pokimane on Twitch

Women have an “easier” time breaking into Twitch streaming in the early days, Pokimane suggests, due to the fact they stand out among the hordes of hopefuls on the platform across all its many categories.

“When you have 100 viewers or less, there’s so many channels that when you’re a girl you stand out,” she said, “because there’s just less girls than guys on Twitch.”

Pokimane’s comments come amid an ongoing debate on the platform spearheaded by several major Twitch streamers, including xQc and Mizkif. They claim girls have a much easier time breaking into streaming at lower levels, but will eventually hit a “glass ceiling” simply due to gender bias online.

The Moroccan-Canadian star agrees; women have the power to find early success thanks to the fact they stand out, she says. “When you’re scrolling, if you see ten guys and one girl, you’re more likely to click on the girl. They stand out more.”

However, “unless you ride the wave of a popular game,” the next hurdle is so much harder. “At the end of the day, Twitch continues to be a male-dominated field, and when it comes to content, it tends to be easier to watch people you relate to,” Pokimane said on ‘glass ceiling’ claims. “Until there’s more of an even demographic on Twitch, you’re going to have these issues.

“What I want to see though, is not comparing everyone. We don’t want to pit ourselves against each other. Let’s validate all our experiences, make it easy for everyone.”

The one issue that can arise from that initial 100, 200, 300 viewer explosion, Pokimane continues, is that these start-up female streamers can, totally by accident, collect a horde of “parasocial viewers.” These diehard loyalists aren’t the fault of any women starting out though, she adds⁠—it’s on the eager fans.

“If you only have 10 viewers, you’re giving a lot of attention to those 10 people, right?” she explained. “When guys are watching a girl and she gets more popular, some will get bitter they aren’t getting the same attention from their ‘queen’ now.”

Pokimane has, unfortunately, experienced that time and time over in her career, from her early days to today. “That’s just how it is in streaming,” she concedes.

The 25-year-old is one of the success stories of women on Twitch. She is Twitch’s second most-watched female star behind Amouranth and is the only woman in the platform’s top 20 most-followed streamers. She recently penned a new exclusive deal with the Amazon website, extending her stay in purple.

Pokimane was going to quit streaming this year until the website had an “influx of diversity via female fans, streamers, people of color, and other minorities.”