Here at PocketGamer.biz we celebrate diversity of all kinds. Speaking to various inspiring women at our Pocket Gamer Connects events around the world, and being aware that there is still a real need to shout about the subject, we decided to focus on females for December. In this series of features we will interview various women working in gaming, as well as sharing other stories around the subject.
PocketGamer.biz: Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your current role?
I have been working in the games industry since 2013, and it’s been a fun and enriching journey that brought me to Xsolla in January of this year. I currently work at Xsolla Berlin as a Sr. Business Development Manager taking care of our existing European and potential partners.
What first attracted you to the gaming industry?
It was a complete accident that my first job turned out to be in games. Yet as it happened, I immediately realized how lucky I was and promised I would try to stick around no matter what. I loved how enthusiastic people were about what they did, how willing they were to share their knowledge, and the relaxed and fun atmosphere I felt at every event.
What effect do you think the culture within which you grew up has had an influence on your career path?
I grew up in the Netherlands from the age of 11. The girls there could be whoever they wanted to be, and their voices were often the loudest, both figuratively and literally. I never became fearless, but absorbing some of that attitude has helped me to assume my position in BD and get people to notice me.
What challenges have you had to face during your career - thinking specifically about being a female in the industry?
Of course, I’d say it is a challenge to be taken seriously when you are a young woman, just starting in games/business development and lacking experience. However, it was an even more significant challenge to convince myself I was as professional as my male colleagues.
What advice would you give to companies looking to improve equality within the workplace?
Trust your female employees to do their job well without micromanaging them. The results will surprise you - and they will surprise themselves - since nothing is more empowering than knowing your team believes in you.
And what advice would you give to other women joining the industry?
Do not be afraid to be yourself and share your opinion; sometimes, it might be exactly what your male colleagues need to hear. Stop seeing being female as a disadvantage and competing with men. We can achieve so much more by being creative and efficient! And never forget to acknowledge your achievements, which do not only apply to women.
Who inspires you the most (not necessarily from within games)?
All the female entrepreneurs in our industry! Looking at their numbers growing in recent years makes me proud and confident I could get there someday.
Since you entered the games industry, what is the biggest change you’ve seen and is this for better or worse?
These discussions are significant and will eventually bring positive change. They increase attention on equality and boundaries in our industry. And as a result, a massive shift in people's perception of what is expected and appropriate. However, I also see a lot of extremes caused by this shift, making men and women feel less comfortable around each other.
If you could change one thing about the industry, what would it be and why?
Elaborating on my previous point, our society and industry are going through a process of maturing to establish true equality. Just like a teenager with a lot of youthful maximalism, we will make mistakes, but I’d like us all to focus more on the big goal of coexisting with mutual respect and less on small opportunities to get offended.
If you could only keep 3 games on your phone for the rest of time, which would you choose?
Plants vs Zombies