Today I’m sitting by my kitchen table located in Uppsala, working remotely for King’s Stockholm office, and finishing the last administration tasks for a little project that grew – International Women’s Day at King 2021. The local Stockholm chapter of our company-wide network Women@King has already worked up a good pace of events throughout the year. Usually, it’s Lunch&Learn events, where we maybe watch a TED talk together and eat, afterwork hangouts somewhere where they serve a decent chocolate cake, or just casual “you can sit with us”-meetups in the canteen. But the main event every year is always International Women’s Day when we really try to put the spotlight on things that are important to us, with external speakers, friendly office takeovers with purple balloons everywhere, and having a big breakfast together. Well, that was the old normal at least.
We really didn’t want to lose momentum now we’re working from home. It took a while for sure to get into new routines but when the IWD was drawing near, we were certain we wanted to do a little something for all women and allies at King Stockholm. At least something small, but what was really possible during the circumstances that we had? After we started to source for inspiration and volunteers, great ideas started to pop-up everywhere. People from all sorts of teams and roles offered to arrange events, speak or help out with practical matters. And as the project manager of this “little thing”, I can proudly disclose to you that in the end credits (project manager advice: always present end credits!) there are no less than 28 people, each of them providing something that IWD2021 wouldn’t have been the same without. Isn’t that what’s so magical with working with volunteers, everyone had the choice to do nothing but they did something, which makes all the difference.
I mean, just look what we made all together:
- Monday March 8 we held a panel talk with three internal speakers that bravely shared their own experience of the topic – Being Burned Out, how to detect symptoms, make it stop in time and help colleagues that might be suffering or in the risk zone
- On the Tuesday we had a Zoom Lunch&Learn where we listened to a chapter from Melinda Gates book The moment of lift, how empowering women changes the world, followed by discussion in breakout rooms. Highly appreciated and spawned a lot of inspiration.
- Wednesday to Friday we had daily talks from women in the company on topics as vast as art development in Crash Bandicoot: On the Run!, how to play RPGs as a game master and AI and machine learning.
- A Friday Feminist Quiz with some super fancy prizes from local creators where at least I learnt a lot from trying to answer the questions
- A Slack channel created for hangouts and spin-off discussions from the above mentioned events
- The epic goodie bag that we sent out (see image) including some sweet chocolate pralines from a local supplier, a set of unique stickers drawn for the occasion by our own artists, some reading tips and, of course, a voucher for fika. We’re the Stockholm office after all and we firmly believe in fika-breaks, we’ve all deserved one haven’t we? 😊
Besides all this, we had the wonderful opportunity to join in on some events produced by the global Activision-Blizzard-King women’s network, including a very inspiring presentation by Brenda Romero and Tracy Fullerton, both gaming industry leaders and pioneers. The concern-wide network is really a great thing, for all our events we forwarded the invites to each other, so even if we originally targeted our colleagues in Stockholm for the events, it was great to see some fellow women from the Barcelona and Berlin King offices and Activision and Blizzard colleagues joining in from all over the world as well.
We also made a few guest appearances by showing up and talking at HelloWorld’s events for young girls wanting to try out programming. I really believe that educating girls in technology and computer science is super important both for democratic reasons and in order to maintain quality in what we do. Hoping to see many of the girls again in the future!
Looking back and summarizing all this, I realize how much these networks and events mean to me, and probably many more. International Women's Day is OUR day and the women at King have truly grasped the opportunity to celebrate challenge and co-op. We do it just we way we like, for ourselves and for all other women out there that don't get the help, highlights, and honor that they deserve. This day, women have the world's attention, let us show you what we're able to do all year round. Especially see those that need it even more than we in our network do, we’re privileged after all. I know that it’s not possible for all women to have a huge glitter party on International Women’s Day or any day of the year. I hope this day can be both about celebration but also change and courage.
Gabriella, Sr QA Analyst in Candy Crush Soda Saga, King Stockholm
Goodie bag contents
Image by Johanna Fransson
Me hosting the panel talk for people from all over Activision-Blizzard-King
I fought the snow and went out to use my fika voucher
What a fika voucher can do
Yes, we can! Print screen from Jenny Hannulas talk
The moderator(me!) and the three panelists in the panel talk