How does the magic at SteelSeries happen? We'll lift the curtain a bit while celebrating Women's History Month - and today, the Day itself - by hearing directly from some of our amazing colleagues.
As we continue to highlight awesome achievements from women in gaming (and not only) throughout the month, today, we look within. On this International Women's Day, we're celebrating our very own Steelheads. We've asked them some questions to get to know them a little bit, learn what drives them, and also what can we all do better for them. Later this month, we will publish a second part, which introduces more of our awesome employees. This time, we'll focus a bit more on gaming.
Meet the women:
Brianna Achs, Digital Planning & Analytics Coordinator, Global Social Media: "I make sure our social team gets content out when we need to and see if people vibe with it - plus tweeting and making TikToks. I've been playing in the same D&D campaign for over 3 years."
Gabriella Quirini, Software Engineer: "I've worked at SteelSeries for two and a half years. My favorite part of working here is getting to work with people who share my hobbies and interests. It's always easy to strike up conversation about video or tabletop gaming, fantasy books, or the latest Twitch drama."
Katie Whiting, Retail Marketing Director: "I love baking and riding my bike. Not at the same though, because that would be delicious."
Kathryn Martinez, Chief Marketing Officer: "I lead global marketers around the world in developing campaigns that build the SteelSeries brand and allow us to connect with the global gaming community. I was lifelong runner from the age of 11, completing 9 marathons until a knee injury sidelined me 10 years ago. I love beautiful places like the beaches of Kauai, the redwood forests of northern California, and most any place in Colorado. Cities are lost on me. Give me natural beauty anytime."
Maura Finn, Financial Business Partner for America's and Direct: "I am responsible for all Budgeting, Forecasting and Margin Analysis. My fun fact is I am a Huck-Finn. My mom's maiden name is Huck, and my last name is Finn. A really embarassing but hopefully relatable hobby is that I am way into pop-culture and celebrity gossip. You will probably see me scrolling through celeb gossip sites while eating lunch at my desk."
Melissa Tomlinson, VP and Head of Sales and Marketing, Head of Customer Experience: "Other titles I am proud to claim: Mom, Wife, and GrandMaster in spider solitaire!"
Who is the biggest female influence/role model in your life?
Brianna: "My older sister, she has the kindest heart and a level head."
Katie: "Sara Blakely, entrepreneur, founder of Spanx. Her story about how she created a product, then how to make it, how to get it into stores, and then growing the brand is fascinating and inspiring!"
Kathryn: "U.S. Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Throughout her life she fought for women's rights, was a brilliant litigator and judge, had a peaceful kind demeanor and worked long and hard to get ahead in what was very much considered a 'man's world.' She was an absolute trailblazer, defying Harvard Law administrators who said she was taking a spot that should go to a man. She graduated first in her class at Columbia law school and became a staunch advocate for gender equality and women's rights."
Maura: "All working mothers. As a non-mom I am constantly impressed by my mom counterparts who are holding it down at home and in their professional life."
What change would you like to see in work culture or the gaming industry? What can be done better?
Melissa: "I think we still need more women! We're over 50% of the population but we're under-represented in gaming. I yearn for the day when I can go to an industry event and the line for the women's bathroom is as long as the line for the mens. Okay, maybe not quite as long! But the point being, there still aren't enough of us. I am really proud of Steelseries and the fact that we have women in every department, but we can do better. Within the industry, I'd love to see more female esports pros, game designers, engineers, software developers and most importantly, CEOs!"
Gabriella: "I would love to see women in the gaming space - especially creators - held up and respected the same way men are. I feel like women are often held to different standards and forced to overcome more roadblocks to be accepted by other gamers."
Kathryn: "I'd like to see more kindness and vulnerability in the gaming industry. The industry has a persona that is rough and tough and, at times, cynical. It's also been associated historically with misogyny and lack of inclusion for a wide range of groups. The tough exterior of the gaming industry also downplays mental health issues such as depression. Truth is, life is hard. At times, everyone is afraid or depressed. As a female leader at SteelSeries, I am honored to use our brand for good - to be kind without expecting anything in return, to stand up for social justice causes and to model a brand character that is kind and strong. Many people confuse kindness with weakness. The opposite is true. Kindness is powerful and contagious. I am glad to live out my motto of 'Be good. Do good.' at SteelSeries and in every other area of my life."
What empowers you?
Gabriella: "I've always found power in feeling physically fit and active. I was a state champ in doubles tennis then transitioned to rock climbing and competed for years in that as well. Now I have found powerlifting to be an excellent way to challenge myself while getting super strong."
Maura: "At SteelSeries, I feel empowered by my teammates. I am lucky to be on teams that have an all-hands-on-deck mentality. We are all there for each other and will do whatever needed to make sure we pass the goal line together. Having that type of support empowers me to take on bigger projects, seek new ways of looking at our business."
What is your favorite SteelSeries gear?
Brianna: "Love the Ghost keyboard, it looks very clean with an all-white set-up."
Gabriella: The Prime Mini mice! They are soo comfortable and fit my hand perfectly.
Katie: "RGB IS LIFE. I LOVE my Apex keyboard and the way the keys sound and feel. Its my new favorite thing to show off to friends who 'ooo' and 'aaah' at the rainbow glowing on my desk. Changing out the keycaps was also a very relaxing and satisfying activity."
Maura: "The new espresso machine in the Chicago Office. I also love our gaming headsets."
Melissa: "Ohhh, I'm not allowed to talk about my absolute favorite gear because it hasn't launched yet! But I can say that right now I'm typing this on an Apex Pro. I use a Rival 3 mouse unless I'm traveling, then I switch to a Prime Mini."
Share a few words of empowerment:
Brianna: "It doesn't matter as much as you think it does."
Gabriella: "Some of my best decisions in life have been the result of overcoming fears. I think society tells us we're not capable in many ways, and believing that - not trying things because you're scared - is a huge detriment to yourself."
Katie: "Letting go is not giving up."
Kathryn: "Ladies, there's never been a better time for us to shine. Seek to be your very best self, support each other, and ask for help and mentoring from other women you admire - not just for their work achievements but also for their values. And don't let anyone tell you that you can't be both successful in business and as a mom. You can!"
Maura: "There is no room or space you don't belong in. Walk into every room you want and take up as much space as you need."
Melissa: "I saw this when I was at Disneyland a couple of days ago and it gave me all the feels. It's a tribute to Stan Lee, but it applies to everyone: 'That person who helps others simply because it should or must be done, and because it is the right thing to do, is indeed without a doubt a real superhero.'"
Join SteelSeries as we celebrate Women's History Month throughout March! Be a part of the SteelSeries community on: