Women are taking the reins developing, designing and marketing video games. In this article, Lisa Wackenhuth Svanström, a 3D Artist at Star Stable Entertainment, a multiplayer game full of horses, magic and adventure, offers career advice to young women who may want a career in the video game industry.
(BPT) - Careers in the video game industry are highly desirable, and for good reason. Working for a video game company can be rewarding, and equally important, turns a favorite pastime into an exciting career. However, for tween and teen girl gamers, the prospect of one day working in the video game industry may seem daunting. While 46% of the U.S. gamer population is female, women account for only 22% of video game developers.
Women are taking the reins developing, designing and marketing video games. Lisa Wackenhuth Svanström, a 3D Artist at Star Stable Entertainment, a multiplayer game full of horses, magic and adventure, offers career advice to young women who may want a career in the video game industry:
1. What inspired you to build a career in the video game industry?
I am a life-long gamer, artist and digital creator and now, my official title at Star Stable is 3D Artist. Working for a company like this allows me to unite my interests and skills to create magic for girl
2. What are the types of jobs for women in the development studio?
To build a game, artists (3D, 2D, VFX and animators), designers and programmers need to work closely together from start to finish. Artists work on the overall creative vision. Designers work with the mechanics and features. Then, programmers use their coding knowledge to bring it all to life. We work with producers to make sure that all tasks associated with the development process are completed on time and tracking with the overall vision of the project. As the industry continues to grow and evolve, developers focused on mobile and virtual/mixed reality are in high demand, as are tech animators, who use a combination of creative and animation skills to solve issues related to art production.
3. What other types of jobs do women have in the industry outside the development studio?
I have built my career in game art, but it takes dozens of people with specific skillsets for a video game company to succeed. Community managers interact with players daily to ensure they are having a positive experience with the game and make sure fan feedback is implemented. We also have women running the business at the executive level and as product managers and business developers. There are multiple opportunities, inside and out of the development studio, so you must embrace your skills and interests to find which career path you would enjoy most.
4. What are the most important skills needed to succeed?
I recommend that budding video game developers find a network, get to know different game engines, become familiar with 2D and 3D software, and try new games all the time. Then, become a specialist in the aspect that interests you the most. Developing specific skills is important but developing into a well-rounded person with a broad view of the world is equally important. It is also good to dive into sports, learn the arts, take a computer class or explore theater. Never stop learning and challenging yourself.
5. What advice do you have for young girls who want a career in video games?
It’s also important to find a company that embraces women in all roles and embodies a culture of inclusivity and accessibility — the Star Stable team is more than 50% women. Finally, give back. If every woman who is part of the 22% proactively mentors other young women, imagine the next generation who will one day grow up to become our colleagues!
To say ClassPass founder Payal Kadakia keeps busy is an understatement. The fitness platform she founded operates at 15,000 partner sites across 80 cities worldwide and is continuing to expand. Kadakia works 10-hour days and then dances for another three; plus, she finds time to fit in workouts daily. Kadakia offers the following time-tested tips on how to own your everyday through preparation, planning and purpose.
(BPT) - To say ClassPass founder Payal Kadakia keeps busy is an understatement. The fitness platform she founded operates at 15,000 partner sites across 80 cities worldwide and is continuing to expand. Kadakia also founded Sa Dance Company, a bicoastal Indian dance troupe that performs at major venues across Los Angeles and New York.
Kadakia works 10-hour days and then dances for another three; plus, she finds time to fit in workouts daily. Kadakia offers the following time-tested tips on how to own your everyday through preparation, planning and purpose.
1) Preparation: Kadakia always keeps a suitcase packed with spares of essentials — chargers and adapters, toiletries, a favorite scarf that doubles as a cozy blanket, and almonds, her go-to snack for all her favorite adventures. Kadakia loves almonds because they have the protein and fiber she needs to stay full and nourished, whether she’s in the boardroom, in the air or about to perform on stage.
2) Planning: Kadakia meticulously plans out her schedule to make sure every moment is spent with intent. Time is her most precious resource, so detailed planning enables her to make every minute count. “I spend Sundays planning my week, and I begin each morning sipping antioxidant-rich green tea while reviewing my calendar, goals and actions for the day,” says Kadakia. “An integral part of my planning includes the careful scheduling of meals, workouts and snacks. Not only do I want every minute to count, but I also want every nutrient to count. I always carry almonds in my purse and my gym bag so I’m never caught hungry or tempted by poor food choices.” Kadakia takes a similar approach to planning her workouts. She doesn’t just schedule an exercise class — she also books second- and third-choice classes in case her first choice falls through.
3) Purpose: “Everyone has a purpose, whether they know it or not,” said Kadakia. “You owe it to yourself to identify it and pursue it with zeal. My personal purpose is to help people live their lives fully. It’s no coincidence that this is ClassPass’ mission, too. It has guided me through tough decisions — like quitting my safe day job years ago to create ClassPass and abandoning products that were working well but not well enough — and it has always guided me to fill my days with meaning.”
Armed with preparation, planning and purpose, anyone can own their everyday. It’s yours to seize.
Many new parents spend hours preparing for the arrival of a new baby – reading books, seeking professional advice and consulting friends and family. However, in focusing on birth, they may not get to prepare for other big milestones, like the transition back to work. Whether you are preparing for maternity leave, about to return to work after a baby or have already made the transition, consider these important workplace qualities.
Top Tips to Transition Back to Work After Baby
(Family Features) Many new parents spend hours preparing for the arrival of a new baby – reading books, seeking professional advice and consulting friends and family. However, in focusing on birth, they may not get to prepare for other big milestones, like the transition back to work.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more women are returning to work than ever before – more than 70% of women with children under 18 are in the labor force. However, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest new mothers may not be getting the support they need from health care providers, family members and employers to meet their breastfeeding goals.
“Parenthood is complicated on its own,” said Melissa Gonzales, executive vice president of the Americas for Medela LLC. “Adding in a full workload is something that many new mothers take on within weeks after birth. With nearly two-thirds of moms going back to work after baby, there is a clear need to better the return-to-work transition for mothers in workplaces across America. There are easy ways for employers to simplify that process so parents don’t have to choose between returning to work and continuing to provide breast milk to their babies.”
Whether you are preparing for maternity leave, about to return to work after a baby or have already made the transition, the experts at Medela recommend considering these important workplace qualities:
Time and space. Employers are required to provide reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for one year after the child’s birth. Employers are also required to provide a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public which may be used by an employee to express breast milk. If you are planning to pump, check to see if your office has a private space to do so, and ensure there are accommodations to allow you to properly clean and sanitize your breast pump.
Travel considerations. If you are required to travel for work, look into your company’s existing policy on breast milk shipping and storage. With more women in the workforce, some companies include breast milk shipping as a benefit for women who have recently given birth who may need to travel.
Supportive resources. Some companies provide educational resources about continuing to breastfeed while working full-time. Ask if your employer provides resources to help you navigate the demands of breastfeeding, or if it provides access to virtual on-demand support such as a lactation consultant. See if your employer can connect you to another mom or parent who can help you or offer advice as you make the transition.
Other accommodations. As breast milk feeding becomes increasingly commonplace, companies are implementing policies to better accommodate working parents. Examples include extended parental leave, flexible hours, on-site child care and access to programs such as March of Dimes’ Healthy Babies Healthy Business program and New Moms’ Healthy Returns, a resource for employers created by Medela and Mamava.
3 Tips for Breastfeeding at Work
Returning to work after the birth of a baby demands organization and prioritization. This is especially true for parents who want to continue breastfeeding. Consider these tips when planning the transition:
Know your legal rights.Educate yourself on your federally protected rights so you can take a stand if your rights aren’t respected. Employers in the U.S. are required to provide breastfeeding moms with a private place and reasonable break time to pump.
Bring a backup. Consider keeping a spare breast pump kit in your car or at your office, just in case you find yourself without the parts you need to pump, like storage bags. You may even consider an extra breast pump to eliminate the hassle of carrying one back and forth.
Reduce unnecessary stressors. Stress can affect your milk supply and make pumping more difficult. It can be a challenge to manage all the stressors, but finding a space at work that feels calm and peaceful can make a difference. Make signs so you’re not interrupted, and schedule time on your calendar so colleagues know you’re not available.
Learn more at NewMomsHealthyReturns.com.SOURCE:
As women continue to fight for equal pay in the workplace and equal rights overall, the topic of women's athletics has moved to the forefront of many discussions of gender equality. Although there has been great progress in recent years with the visibility of women's athletics, there is still much more that we could be doing to encourage these endeavors. Here are three ways that we could do more.
Turn on cable television or streamed content at any time of the day, and you are likely to find a wide range of sporting events to watch. However, you are often out of luck if you are looking to watch women in competition. Unless it is a major championship, women's athletics are largely ignored by the mainstream. While the media support has increased tenfold over the last decade, it is still far behind the coverage offered to men's events. If women's sporting events are ever to come into their own, this is a situation that must change.
With the success of the U.S. women's soccer team winning its fourth World Cup and its second consecutive one, the issue of how much female athletes are paid was thrust into the limelight. After years of indifference, people are taking notice of the pay inequality. Because a women's athletic competition generally doesn't bring in the money that its male equivalent does, it is easy for people to think that female athletes do not deserve the same compensation. The WNBA is another example in which the pay for professional women pales in comparison to that of their male counterparts. In order to fully support women in sports, fans need to attend games, buy merchandise and engage with other supporters and the media in an effort to show their financial support for the athletes and the leagues.
Encourage Participation at a Young Age
The support for women's athletics starts at a young age. Athletic young girls grow into empowered females who are more likely to support women's sports. By encouraging participation in sports at an early age, we can build the fan base needed to propel women's athletics onto the main stage. Young female athletes also grow up to be encouraging mentors for the next generation of players. This is a cycle that must be supported in order for it to flourish and grow.
Now is the time to make a stand about the importance of women's athletics in today's modern society. With solid financial support, active participation and equal media access, women's athletics will become even more visible and meaningful.
Just when you were getting the hang of having a baby at home, it’s time to go back to work. Beyond the expected changes such as picking work tasks back up and catching up on things you’ve missed, your priorities have most likely shifted now that you’re a parent. To help make the transition back to work as seamless as possible, consider these tips.
Transitioning Back to Work After Baby
(Family Features) Just when you were getting the hang of having a baby at home, it’s time to go back to work. Beyond the expected changes such as picking work tasks back up and catching up on things you’ve missed, your priorities have most likely shifted now that you’re a parent.
It’s normal for parents to feel anxious about transitioning back to work after having a baby, but they don’t have to do it alone. Most new parents have built-in support systems of friends and family, but if their child will be attending daycare, that structure can provide additional help through the transition.
To help make the transition back to work as seamless as possible, consider these tips from infant teachers at KinderCare, which has been caring for children for almost 50 years.
Going back to work after having a baby is a huge step to take, but it’s not impossible. For more tips to make the transition easier, visit KinderCare.com.SOURCE:
Despite societal stereotypes that suggest female relationships encourage anxiety, pressure and judgment, it has been found that women can have a positive impact on other women as an engine for ambition. These tips can help support women aspiring to have “it all” be the best versions of themselves.
How women can inspire other women
(Family Features) Having “it all” is a concept women have discussed and aspired to attain for nearly 40 years. Still, the conversation continues because no one has determined what having it all actually means.
A first-of-its-kind social experiment dug deeper into the choices women make in life and uncovered that female relationships often play a significant role. In collaboration with Dr. Emily Balcetis, Associate Professor of Psychology at New York University, Lean Cuisine asked women to define their “ideal life,” as part of the ItAll social experiment.
The experience explored how women answered questions alone versus in the presence of other women in their lives. The results showed that women help each other set a higher bar for themselves. In fact, 89 percent of women set more ambitious goals in the presence of other women.
Despite societal stereotypes that suggest female relationships encourage anxiety, pressure and judgment, this experiment determined that women have a positive impact on other women as an engine for ambition.
“We rarely talk about the positive power of female relationships that we saw firsthand in the ItAll experiment,” Balcetis said. “Women can encourage each other to shoot for more where it matters most, rather than working to accomplish something less fulfilling only because society says they should. Women have a truly unique way of inspiring each other to reach their own greatest potential.”
Balcetis offers these tips, which were observed during the ItAll social experiment, to support women aspiring to be the best versions of themselves:
Be a Role Model
For example, the ItAll experiment first surveyed female participants individually then allowed them to express their aspirations in the presence of familiar, influential women in their lives. Life choices became less conservative when others were involved. For example, participants declared a desire for higher salaries, chose to work more hours, wanted to spend more time with friends and be more involved with children.
Start a Conversation
Learn more about the social experiment and discover ideas to spur ambition for your own life at youtube.com/leancuisine.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (women talking)SOURCE:
Although women are making strides in the corporate world, there is still work that can be done to level the landscape. If you’re looking for ways to promote change in your workplace, explore these five steps that can help build a work environment where everyone can advance and succeed.
5 Ways to Promote Gender Equality in the Workplace
(Family Features) Although women are making strides in the corporate world, there is still work that can be done to level the landscape.
Research from Catalyst, a global nonprofit focused on empowering and accelerating women in business, shows the needle is moving, albeit slowly. In nearly 10 years, the number of women in senior roles in the United States increased just 1 percent. At Standard & Poor's 500 index companies, overall women’s representation is far behind: 5.2 percent CEOs, 11 percent top earners and 26.5 percent senior-level officials and managers. Less than 5 percent of senior level positions are held by women of color. Men still lead more than 95 percent of the most powerful companies in the United States.
If you’re looking for ways to promote change in your workplace, explore these five steps that can help build a work environment where everyone can advance and succeed:
Engage in programs that celebrate women of color. Tap into resources that honor women in leadership and foster growth for aspiring women leaders from racially and ethically diverse backgrounds, such as those available through Catalyst. The nonprofit offers a host of ongoing workshops, programs, trainings and consulting services designed to promote inclusive workplaces, along with events around the world. For example, the “Catalyst Skyline Takeover,” which is a visual realization of the international business community’s commitment to greater diversity, inclusion and gender equality in workplaces around the world, features dozens of global companies “lighting up” their buildings with the female symbol.
Assess and formalize pay scales. As numerous studies indicate, wage disparity is one of the most obvious signs of inequality in the workplace. A fair pay scale outlines specific responsibilities and corresponding compensation rates, and can be applied to roles across the board regardless of race, gender or other potential discriminatory factors.
Ensure growth opportunities exist. Leveling the pay scale is an important step, but ensuring equal access to the positions at the higher end of that scale is an essential supporting move. Simply saying you’ll pay a woman the same as a man in the same job falls short if all candidates, regardless of gender, race or ethnicity are not given the same chance to compete for more senior positions.
Implement mentorship programs. Positive role models can give future leaders the vision to dream big and the guidance to make those dreams a reality. Putting aspiring women leaders in close contact with other women who have attained success in their field helps set a course toward achievement. It also helps men to advance and develop unbiased leadership. Since the majority of business leaders are currently men, change for women can only be accelerated if all those in leadership positions work together.
Support parental involvement. Historically, the issue of parenting and the workforce has been dominated by discussions around maternity leave policies, but more recently that dialogue has evolved. Men, too, desire more time with their families, and through equal parental leave policies, workplaces can allow women and men within all types of family structures to thrive in their careers and at home.
Find more resources and recommendations for promoting workplace equality at catalyst.org.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (woman in conference room)SOURCE:
For hundreds of years, women have been a key pillar of the agriculture industry. While not always thought of in a traditional “farmer” role, women make an impact in the industry and in helping feed the rapidly growing global population. These “farm moms” play vital and integral roles on the farm, with their families and in their communities. These tips can help women looking for simple ways to get involved in their communities.
How Rural Women Can Make an Impact
(Family Features) For hundreds of years, women have been a key pillar of the agriculture industry, accounting for one-third of the country’s farmers according to the 2012 Census of Agriculture.
While not always thought of in a traditional “farmer” role, women make an impact in the industry and in helping feed the rapidly growing global population. These “farm moms” play vital and integral roles on the farm, with their families and in their communities.
Susan Brocksmith – named the 2017 America’s Farmers Mom of the Year, sponsored by Monsanto – has been involved in supporting Helping His Hands and both the North Knox and South Knox County FFA chapters for many years, and while she finds the experience incredibly rewarding, she also recognizes juggling these responsibilities on top of work and family can be difficult. She offers these tips to other women who are looking for simple ways to get involved in their communities:
“I am humbled and blessed to be named the 2017 America’s Farmers Mom of Year,” Brocksmith said. “I was raised on a family farm and was able to raise my daughters on our family farm. I have strived to instill the core values of faith, family and agriculture into my daughters, as well as my college students. Thanks to the support I received from family, friends and the community, I was able to receive this award. This outpouring of support proves anything is possible. Thank you Monsanto for providing this outreach opportunity.”
Brocksmith’s America’s Farmers Mom of the Year award, which honors the significant contributions women make on their farms and in their families, communities and beyond, gifted $4,000 to be divided among the three organizations she is involved with Helping His Hands is a disaster relief organization and local food pantry. Both North Knox FFA and South Knox FFA are long-standing chapters that make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.
“Farm moms like Susan are not only respected leaders in the agriculture industry, but also a critical part of the ecosystem that supports rural communities across America,” said Jessica Lane Rommel, Monsanto business communications manager. “We’re excited to celebrate Susan and all of the women who play such a vital role in rural communities.”
Since the program began in 2010, America’s Farmers Mom of the Year program has recognized 40 individuals for their roles in American farms, families, rural communities and the agriculture industry. To learn more about the program, visit AmericasFarmers.com.SOURCE:
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