Members-Only Salon Events

Salon – Women in Gaming

Google

Monday, July 10, 2017
Google San Francisco

One Market Plaza, 1 Market Street
San Francisco, CA 94111

Become a See Jane Member to Attend

Research asserts that women now account for more than half of the gaming audience yet there is not a diverse presence to be found in today’s games. This panel will discuss how to break through the stereotypical male centric games to include females in roles with a positive impact.

Photo Gallery

PANELIST BIOS

Geena Davis

FOUNDER | Opening Remarks

One of Hollywood’s most respected actors, Geena Davis is recognized for her tireless advocacy of gender equality in media nearly as much as for her acting accomplishments. She is the Founder and Chair of the non-profit Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, which is successfully influencing film and television content creators to dramatically increase the percentages of female characters — and reduce gender stereotyping — in media targeting children 11 and under.

In 2015, Davis launched the Bentonville Film Festival (BFF), an unprecedented initiative in support of women and diversity in the entertainment industry and serves as it’s Co-Founder and Chair. BFF provides a platform to significantly boost the commercial value of content produced and starring minorities and women. This initiative is the only film festival to provide guaranteed theatrical, television, digital and home entertainment distribution for the winners.

In 2012, Davis was appointed Special Envoy for Women and Girls in ICT for the UN’s International Telecommunication Union (ITU). She is an official partner of UN Women, working toward their goal of promoting gender equality and empowering women worldwide. Davis is also the Chair of the California Commission on the Status of Women.

As an actor, Davis has appeared in several roles that have become cultural landmarks. Earning the 2006 Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series Drama, Davis broke ground in her portrayal of the first female President of the United States in ABC’s hit show “Commander in Chief.”

In 1989, Davis received the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Lawrence Kasdan’s The Accidental Tourist. She was again nominated for an Academy Award and Golden Globe for her performance as Thelma in Ridley Scott’s Thelma and Louise. Davis went on to receive a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress for her work in A League of Their Own. Other credits include iconic films such as Tootsie, The Fly, Beetlejuice The Long Kiss Goodnight, and Stuart Little.

Few have achieved such remarkable success in as many different fields as Davis has: she is not only an award winning actor, but a world-class athlete (at one time the nation’s 13th-ranked archer, and a semi-finalist in the Olympic Trials), and a member of the genius society Mensa. Davis holds honorary degrees from Boston University, Bates College and New England College.

Madeline Di Nonno

CEO | Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media – Opening Remarks

Madeline Di Nonno is the Chief Executive Officer of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media. Di Nonno leads the Institute’s strategic direction, research, education, advocacy, financial and operational activities. Di Nonno brings thirty years of successful international executive and strategic advisor leadership experience in entertainment, non-profit, digital and consumer packaged goods industries.

Previously, Di Nonno served as President and CEO of On The Scene Productions, a leader in digital content creation and distribution. Di Nonno lead the company’s new business development and digital content platforms for the entertainment, healthcare, and consumer products clients such as Nike, Gatorade, Iconix, and PepsiCo.

Prior to On The Scene, Di Nonno served in executive marketing positions for Anchor Bay Entertainment/Starz Media and Echo Bridge Home Entertainment where she led global brand marketing, branded franchise development, acquisitions, digital media initiatives for home entertainment and limited theatrical releases in North America, United Kingdom and Australia. 

As Executive Vice President and GM for Nielsen EDI, a leading research provider of Theatrical distribution measurement and information, Di Nonno drove innovations in digitizing product offering, new business and product development and studio theatrical distribution and exhibition client management. Previously, Di Nonno served as Senior Vice President, Marketing Alliances and Digital media at the Hallmark Channel, and launched the cable channel and established marketing, digital media, e-commerce, and corporate alliance functions.  Di Nonno developed revenue-generating, integrated marketing programs with companies such as Johnson & Johnson, Fuji, Mail Boxes Etc., Universal Pictures, Target, Sony Pictures, Chrysler, and Baskin Robbins.  Di Nonno pioneered the Channel’s digital media initiatives.

Di Nonno served eight years at Universal Studios Home Video as Vice President, Strategic Marketing where she established the company’s first Digital Platforms and marketing campaigns. Di Nonno supervised marketing campaigns for all theatrical, direct-to-video and library releases and spearheaded Universal’s launch into DVD and interactive.

Di Nonno began her career at ABC Television Network in corporate publicity working on the marketing communications campaigns for mini-series, sports and daytime, including “The Winds of War,” “The Thorn Birds” and the 1984 Olympics.

Di Nonno is a requested keynote speaker at global industry conferences, corporations, academic institutions, film festivals and organizations such as AdWeek, Cannes Lion, CinemaCon, CTAM, Digital Hollywood, CES, The White House, The Department of State, UNESCO, the United Nations. Di Nonno has been featured in media outlets such as The New York Times, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Forbes, Huffington Post, Kidscreen, Fast Company, and Wired Magazine.

Education: Di Nonno holds a bachelor’s degree from Boston University.

Board Affiliations: Di Nonno serves as the Chair of the Board of Directors for the Television Academy Foundation; Board of Directors: Population Media Center, and Promundo U.S.; Advisory Board for PBS Kid’s Ready Jet Go, GameChanger Films; Strategic Advisor, YouTube Red. Di Nonno served as President of the Glass Lions Jury for the Cannes Lions 2016.

Anita Sarkeesian

FOUNDER | Media Critic, Blogger & Public Speaker, Feminist Frequency – Moderator

Anita Sarkeesian is an award-winning media critic and the creator and executive director of Feminist Frequency, an educational nonprofit that explores the representations of women in pop culture narratives. Her work focuses on deconstructing the stereotypes and tropes associated with women in popular culture as well as highlighting issues surrounding the targeted harassment of women in online and gaming spaces.

She has been a panelist at the United Nations and been a guest speaker at various fan, media and technology conferences including XOXO, The Media Evolution Conference, Women in the World and GeekGirlCon. Anita has been interviewed and featured in publications such as Wired, The Guardian, Rolling Stone, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and The Colbert Report.

Anita was named one of TIME’s 100 most influential people in the world in 2015 and was the recipient of the 2014 Game Developers Choice Ambassador Award. In 2016 Anita was awarded an honorary PhD from The New School in New York City.

Lisa Chen

SOFTWARE ENGINEER | Google Daydream (VR)

Lisa Chen began her career as a software engineer at Amazon Game Studios in Orange County. After a year and a half, she came to Google, working for Niantic Labs on titles like Ingress and Pokemon Go.  When Niantic left Google to become an independent entity, Lisa transferred to the VR (Daydream) team, where she now works on the Lullaby rendering platform and first party VR apps at Google.  Outside of work, Lisa is still an avid gamer, as well as a traveler and food enthusiast!

Aleissia Laidacker

DIRECTOR | Interaction Director, Magic Leap

Aleissia is a game programmer & designer who has been working as a developer for 16 years and developing games at Ubisoft for 10 of them. She was Lead AI on multiple Assassin’s Creed games. Her passion for design has pushed her teams to think about why we are developing our games rather than just how we develop them. She empowers her teams to think outside of the box through game jams and experimentation. Recently she has made the jump from video games to Mixed Reality. Joining Magic Leap as Interaction Director for their new San Francisco office. Where her team focuses on finding new and innovative ways to create rich immersive experiences focused on player interaction and narrative.

Jane Ng

DEVELOPER | Lead Artist, Camp Santo

Jane is currently the lead artist at Campo Santo, where she worked on their awarding winning debut game Firewatch. She has over 14 years experience creating environment art for video games. Previously Jane was a Lead Artist at Double Fine Productions, Senior Artist at Maxis and Lead World Artist at EA Redwood Shores. Jane has been a speaker at GDC and serves on the art jury of the Independent Games Festival. This year Jane is also a curating jurist for the annual AIAS Into the Pixel art exhibition, which celebrates the art of video games from around the world.

Carolyn Petit

CRITIC | Managing Editor, Feminist Frequency

Carolyn spent four years as an editor at a major gaming site, where her experiences as a visible transgender woman made her deeply interested in the ways in which art and entertainment impact our larger culture. She now examines games and other media through a critical feminist lens as the managing editor of Feminist Frequency.

Simply Undrea

STREAMER | Diversity Advocate, AnyKey

Simply Undrea has been a gamer all of her life, starting out at a young age exploring the vast world of Nintendo with Mario and Duck Hunt. As an adult, she decided to shift that love for gaming to a live, unedited format. In late 2015 she took the plunge and began streaming full-time on the popular Twitch.tv website. Undrea’s niche is family-friendly blind play throughs. She uses the platform to express her enthusiasm for a wide range of games from AAA to indie. And as a streamer of color, she is dedicated to cultivating a welcoming Twitch community of individuals that are loving, supportive & inclusive. In addition to her commitment to charities – 1UpOnCancer and Extra Life – Undrea is also very passionate about bringing more diversity into the gaming industry as an AnyKey.org affiliate.

IF SHE CAN SEE IT, SHE CAN BE IT
You have the power to change the
face of children's programming.

With your help, if she can see it, she can be it.

Your donation will further our research efforts and
fund continuing curriculum development for young children.

How would you like to support the Institute?

Starts at $250 for Individuals
and $5,000 for Corporations

Do you have questions about donating to the institute?
Please contact Elizabeth Kilpatrick via email or call 714-475-3885.