VMC had the pleasure of attending the 17th Annual Women in Gaming luncheon held during GDC 2017. Sponsored by Team Xbox, the theme for the event was “Be You.” Emceed by Erin “Aureylian” Wayne (Lead Community Manager at Twitch, single mom, and gamer,) attendees enjoyed a range of engaging tech leaders sharing their career experiences in our industry:
- Mariebeth Aquino, Founder at 360opportunity
- Dr. Kelli Dunlap, Psychologist & Game Designer
- Maureen Fan, CEO & Co-Founder of Baobab Studios
- Elizabeth Maler, CEO of Accidental Queens
- Jenny Xu, MIT Student, owner of JCSoft Inc
The crowd response revealed how many of the stories were very relatable to the attendees, including tales of imposter syndrome, sexist culture, and feeling outnumbered or out of place. Amid all of the nods and claps, it was encouraging that these stories were being told at a Women in Gaming event – and the 17th annual occurrence. It was great to see Jenny Xu giving a shout out to Kate Edwards, Executive Director of the IGDA, for encouraging her in game design. It’s inspiring to see innovative leaders supporting other leaders.
What’s interesting about hearing such stories is that the data clearly underscores the value of women in senior management roles in the tech industry. In a study by Dezsö and Ross of 1,500 U.S. ﬁrms in the S&P, female representation in top management improved ﬁnancial performance for organizations where innovation is a key piece of the business strategy. Gallup has found that companies with more diverse teams (including more women) have a 22% lower turnover rate. Moreover, organizations with more inclusive cultures also have an easier time with recruiting.
At VMC, this data hits close to home. In July 2016, we welcomed Juliana Su as VMC President. Ms. Su has a proven record of leadership and innovation with companies in the connected and digital space, including 13 years as COO and Global Vice President at Openet. This expertise made her the clear choice for leading our strategic expansion into IoT, streaming media, and other new areas.
It was a pleasure to see these successful women urging attendees to be themselves and be authentic. That’s not always easy in our industry, but it’s an essential aspect of how people can add value to the projects they work on. Oscar Wilde said, “Be yourself, everyone else is taken.” That still rings true in the game industry, because true diversity happens when everyone brings their true self to their work.