FIRST THOUGHT: Finding the How
What if instead of thinking about what we want to do with our lives, we think about how we want to be? For instance, I want to feel engaged and patient and energetic after a long day. Maybe you’d be fine with a 60-hour workweek if your best friend worked alongside you, or if the office had breakfast tacos every morning. These aren’t little things. These are the things that make a job fulfilling.
Here’s a quick test to discover the how: Think back to a job, class or experience that you still smile about. What about it made you want to participate? What about it has stuck with you?
WOMEN IN NUMBERS: 35 Percent
One of the key qualities that make a work environment more enjoyable is commonality. For example, gabbing with Jennifer the morning after The Bachelor can make your damn day. If your interests are a little more off the beaten path, that can be challenging. But the key is to open up about what you love, because what you love often is not as uncommon as you think. 35 percent of female gamers (of which there are many) say action/adventure is their favorite genre. Who knows, maybe Jennifer’s a secret Halo player?
WOMAN TO WATCH: Laura Miele, Chief Studios Officer for Electronic Arts
Of course, one of the biggest companies for games of all kinds is Electronic Arts (EA), which is home of hit games like Madden, Battlefield and Anthem. Laura Miele is the Chief Studios Officer for EA, following two decades of being with the company.
Back in 2013, Advertising Age named Laura a Woman to Watch for her unique mix of being a powerful forecaster and ultimate creative. Analytics is one of her strengths, something that’s useful in games. It helped turn a game that was deemed “too scary” to play alone into a scary game to play with friends. Who would’ve guessed?
Laura has teenage twins at home, so there’s no doubt that she’s probably the coolest mom around. She’s responsible for about 6,000 people across the world as one of only a couple senior-level women at the biz. If you’ve noticed a more female-forward approach in EA games, it’s because Laura’s certainly facilitated such a different perspective.
This CSO leads gender diversity in the gaming industry by advocating for what players have wanted for a long time: more women characters. There have been petitions to include more female characters, particularly one to include female players in the FIFA soccer games, which makes sense because, hello, women are good (better, some would say) at the game.
Laura isn’t just trying to push a woman’s agenda; she’s speaking up for a huge portion of society that plays these kinds of games. She says that she, too, is a gamer. The concept of playing with people across the globe, Laura says, intrigued her. Her career began when online gameplay was just finding its footing.
Now, after much time and effort, Laura’s in a place to make a real impact on female representation in this industry. Diverse characters make for a better experience, but Laura knows she can’t change a whole industry by herself. Through mentorship, education and scholarships, Laura and EA hope to recruit more women to join and stay in this evolving sector. N00bs of all backgrounds are welcome.
QUITE THE QUOTE
As Laura Miele said:
"Love what you do and strive to be the best at it. You don't have to have all the answers - jump in and you'll learn along the way."