Women’s History Month Spotlight — Bhavna Talwar
For Women’s History Month in March, Zynga is celebrating female employees who are helping forge a more gender equal world. In keeping with the theme for International Women’s Day, “Will You Help #BreakTheBias,” the women — from diverse positions around the world — are sharing ways in which they’re combating bias, stereotypes and discrimination in gaming.
Today, we hear from Bhavna Talwar, Senior Director of Human Resources at Zynga in Bangalore, India, as she discusses how bringing more women into games benefits everyone.
How can we change the narrative around gaming/tech being perceived as a male-dominated industry?
We need to demonstrate why bringing more women into the workforce is good for business. In the industries where we have seen this, improvement in representation has happened faster and stayed longer. In gaming, we can show how more women in the workforce and leadership can serve a wider group of players, ultimately improving business performance.
Why is it important to have women working on games in addition to appearing in them (i.e., avatars)?
Gaming delivers different things to different people — competition, relaxation, learning and connection. We’ve only just scratched the surface of what games as a medium can do. A lot more is possible when creativity comes from all kinds of diverse thinking. Fostering the participation of women and other gender identities can help us crack open new possibilities.
What positive changes have you seen at Zynga, or within your career, that help promote equity?
At Zynga, I’m proud to see that leaders, both women and men, are committed to supporting the rise of women into leadership roles.
How do you see your role at Zynga helping to “break the bias” within our industry?
Working in HR, there are so many tools and events in my everyday working life that offer opportunities to help break the bias, including hiring, promotions, showcasing talent, rewards and recognition. Within the system, these are spaces for us to bring in and encourage women to step into key jobs, be celebrated for their successes and be supported every step of the way.
What is something someone else has done that you really saw make an impact, either at Zynga or another point in your career?
I am very proud of the work that our employee resource group, Women at Zynga (WAZ), did to bring awareness of gaming careers to young girls and women in India through a partnership with GirlsGame2. It was a bootstrapped effort, a labor of love from WAZ India that I hope will light the path for more such initiatives in the future.