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We recently hosted the first of five workshops in our Women in Gaming series in Amsterdam and I thought I’d share some of the takeaways. This particular session was focused on career navigation, mentorship and networking. But first, a big thank you to Fiona Sperry who was our guest speaker. Fiona currently manages Three Fields Entertainment and her background includes amazing experiences as both an entrepreneur and a corporate leader.

The lunch started with our preliminary interview, we walked through her career and talked about some of the moments that she felt offered meaningful insights. A few in particular resonated with me, including: 1) When making a risky decision, play out the worst case scenario. It helps get your head around the risk making it easier to dive in. 2) Leverage mentors to help you think through material decisions and challenges. Then, my favorite: 3) Be accountable, not apologetic. I tend to apologize too much, and sometimes it’s just not necessary!

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During the second half of the workshop, the participants were equally insightful as they went table by table and shared their own stories and discoveries from their careers. A few great pieces of advice included seeking mentors outside your company or industry, as it can be helpful in offering a fresh interpretation on a situation often putting a problem in perspective (even pointing out when you’re making too big of a deal about something!). Also, there are often wonderful mentors right under your nose — look around you and start asking for insight from people in your own sphere.  Lastly, social media can be a great platform for networking and mentorship. You don’t always have to be at a company office or take people to lunch to get great mentoring.

John Riccitiello, Unity CEO, also weighed in noting to “Ask and Thank”. He recommended following up after getting advice to let the mentor know how the situation played out. It’s a great way to touch base, and offers a great topic for the next mentoring meeting.

We closed out the session by encouraging everyone to network with each other and lots of business cards were exchanged (not to mention the LinkedIn connections).  It really was such a pleasure meeting the ladies who attended and I hope to stay in touch.

Our next workshop is taking place June 20th in San Francisco. U.C. Berkeley Professor Dana Carney will host an engaging discussion on the topic of influencing skills through body language and other non-verbal communication. She’s sure to pepper the session with lots of witty comments and engaging stories. It’s another opportunity to network and meet more amazing professionals, while learning some new skills to put to work toward your own career development and advancement.

The event is open to the public but our limited seating is going fast; be sure to sign up soon. Hope to see you there!

Comments are closed.

  1. So since equality in opportunity has been achieved, it’s time to engineer people to do everything in equal capacity?

    Enough of this foolish ‘Full Stack Developer’ business. Yes it can work but it is not the most efficient. When you have specialists that can functionally interact, you are far more efficient than mediocre, ‘do-it-all’ team members.

    There is no one preventing a person from pursuing a career of their choice but their self. You can argue for other factors such as disabilities or environment but then we can all proclaim we are being prevented from being billionaires and having harems.

    It is baffling how people can be so silly when they have it easy. The Indian ten times more qualified and dedicated than you yet can earns a fraction of what you can does not have the time to focus on this foolishness. And the same goes for many others from less fortunate areas.

    But yeah, the goal here is to make more zombies to do your bidding so the rest of us can deal with shrinking salaries and more costs. Oh and a flood of people who are in over their heads to make our lives worse.

    1. Robert Cummings

      June 11, 2016 at 8:18 pm

      Well sure, you can feel that way, but as our business expands, I want to be able to see through and past a soul who has been oppressed and help her surprise me. Some people are calm souls. Some people are creative souls. It turns out women haven’t had much of a shot in a “mans world” and I believe that all it takes is to give them a chance. It doesn’t mean instant employees (I don’t hire to meet quotas, ever). But it does mean I may be surprised and frankly I like surprises.

      I don’t see what relevance your post has if I’m honest. It just seems angry. I don’t believe anger has any place in this discussion.

  2. Robert Cummings

    June 8, 2016 at 4:20 am

    Hi!

    Great initiative. But I feel you’ve missed something important.

    “But what stood out for me the most was that only 30 per cent of her audience were male. How can we affect change in the world when only half of it is invited or feel welcome to participate in the conversation?”
    http://www.unwomen.org/en/news/stories/2014/9/emma-watson-gender-equality-is-your-issue-too

    I hope it’s something you can bear in mind for future events. If change must happen – and it must, you cannot do it alone.

    1. Very impressed with her; you could always tell that she was indeed bright, but she has really risen far beyond expectations and taken on such a high degree of responsibility at such a young age. It’s great to see a child star not crash and burn and instead navigate the rapids of such fame like a breeze.

      What a great speech! Thanks for sharing this! I believe deeply that what she speaks of is the only path to equality for either and both genders. Unity, since you wish to take up social issues, why are you approaching it in such a binary fashion? The path to equality is working together, contrary to popular thought there are indeed many social issues that plague the male sex just the same as the female. Let’s work together to get shit done for everyone!

      1. Robert Cummings

        June 8, 2016 at 3:04 pm

        I don’t believe Unity are approaching it in binary fashion deliberately. My comment was really to encourage men to voice their need to participate. To want to be included. To want to support logical equality. We are all human, it is the only thing that makes sense.

        That said, us men are often thick as bricks emotionally, so I would like to challenge my fellows to drag ourselves out of the stone age ;) This begins by taking a (in my view) brave step to include ourselves in things like this.

        The link I posted echoed the real problem: you’re not going to create equality if the room is mostly full of a single gender. You’re just going to still battle alone.

        1. I agree completely with Robert! The issue of inequality is there, it exists and it needs to be discussed exactly like that, with equality. I read an excellent article on equality once that looked back on programs with culture change goals and that expressed exactly that, that the most effective programs to bring about awareness of the issues of gender inequality for example included equally people of both genders. Because inequality isn’t something that happens consciously, it comes most times from cultural and behavioral nuances most times we aren’t aware of.

          So I feel the challenge of such events today is exactly that, to make sure that such a message is heard by both genders equally, with no bias. As a man in the industry save for some frankly “cavemen” individuals I have seen, most already see men and women as equals, or rather simply doesn’t even use genders to impact their personal evaluation on an individual. Women are as able as men in any market, and some of my personal heroes in the gaming industry are women. Much like games were one of the first mediums to have women as protagonists and not just damsels in distress.

          So in my eyes a lot was achieved already, and I find all those amazing for us as a maturing industry. But I feel for the next step to have change internalized for real is to make sure equality comes even in attendees of such an event as well. We are naturally getting closer and closer yearly in my eyes to the brink of a world which judges on merit and not gender, and for that to happen, to make equality so natural it doesn’t have to be expressed in a list of corporate values for it to be felt, this is the natural step!