Interactive entertainment developer Zynga is celebrating Women’s History Month by recognizing the achievements of 22 of its female employees who are helping to #BreakTheBias, the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day.
Throughout March, Zynga will use its social channels to shine a spotlight on its female executives for their roles in promoting a more inclusive workplace at the company’s family of studios around the world.
In a statement released to mark the event, the company offered quotes on how to promote women in gaming from 13 of those employees, starting with Phuong Phillips, its Chief Legal Officer: “We have a huge opportunity to make gaming more diverse and inclusive by reflecting the ever-increasing number of women playing games in the industry. At Zynga, we are taking action – from mentorship programs to networking workshops – to ensure that women have the skills, opportunities and support to advance their careers. With these efforts, and other measures that the industry is making, I am excited about the future of gaming.”
Amy Rawlings, Chief Accounting Officer, added: “To change the narrative about gaming being a male-dominated industry, we need more female characters in games and more women to play a bigger role in making and supporting games.”
Rebecca Lau, Vice President of Investor Relations and Corporate Finance, said: “It is incredibly important to have women working on games to ensure that women are equally accessible and empowered as other characters in the game. Women make up a significant portion of gaming communities and should have a chance to identify with characters in games in a way that can also be empowering in real life.”
Kate Huber, Vice President of People Operations: “Recognizing the diverse makeup of players, especially in mobile gaming, makes the industry much more accessible. You can see yourself making games for people like you.”
Claudia Sanchez Wilson, Vice President of Legal: “We change the narrative by being the change – by showing up every day to claim our space and share our voice in this industry, in our company, on our teams and in our roles.”
Gemma Doyle, Vice President of Player Success: “It is not just about owning your seat at the table, it is about being vocal on the others who should be seated at that table with you.”
Nicole Hartvig-David, Vice President of Marketing: “I lead a team where women make up half of the group, so I know how critical female leadership is to help attract female talent and to act as role models and mentors to others. We need to ensure that women are well represented as the face of gaming.”
Janice Lansing, Vice President of Business Operations: “Women are critical to the development of games. So, it is important to provide internal support, mentorship and an inclusive environment where they can thrive.”
Nubia Palacios Mora, Vice President of Art: “Be seen and do not hold back. Our opinions, our thoughts and our experiences should be an active part of the decision-making process.”
Gabrielle Heyman, Head of Global Brand Partnerships: “Changing the narrative about gaming is all about representation. The more women make, appear and play in games, the more women will participate across the board in any position.”
An Vu, Chief Marketing Officer, Small Giant Games: “Until there are more inclusive games for women to work on and contribute to in an authentic and meaningful way, we cannot expect to change the narrative overnight. Inclusive games are designed consciously; it is never an accident.”
Bhavna Talwar, Senior Director of HR, Zynga: “We have only just scratched the surface of how powerful a medium gaming can be, whether that is to encourage more women to play or to work in the industry.”
Jennie Lees, Director of Engineering, NaturalMotion: “By showing up, making a great game and mentoring other women, I serve as an example that women can be successful at all levels and that the sky is the limit when it comes to our impact.”
Nine other female employees selected for their efforts in promoting diversity at the company by Women at Zynga (WAZ), the company’s female-focused employee resource group, were featured in the group’s video to highlight International Women’s Day.
Zynga said it has led and partnered with many organizations to provide coaching, leadership and mentorship opportunities to help female employees succeed and become leaders in their careers and communities.
As part of the celebration, Zynga is paying tribute to women in its mobile game FarmVille 2: Tropic Escape. From March 5 through March 9, the game’s female characters – including Kate, Maya and Ting – will be sharing personal stories about what International Women’s Day means to them, with a reward shared at the end of the quest.