Women’s History Month Spotlight — Nubia Mora
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 sat down with Nubia Mora, Vice President of Art at Zynga in Chicago, Illinois. Read on below to hear more about why Nubia believes support networks are so important in one’s career.
How can we change the narrative around gaming/tech being perceived as a male-dominated industry?
First, lead by example. Zynga has been such an active community builder. I absolutely love working alongside other talented women. The encouragement and level of support aids us in building a stronger foundation for our teams. We are actively lifting up others and creating more space at the table.
Second, don’t hold back and be seen. Our opinions, our thoughts, and our experiences should be an active part of the decision-making process. Our presence is important and we have to believe in that, so “’Shine bright like a diamond.”
Women, and other subgroups of people bring so much value to our games and our culture within the industry. Every year, I am seeing the tides change for the better — more and more women are leaning in and changing that narrative. Tag teaming with our male colleagues, we are creating a healthier environment for everyone. I am looking forward to the future with optimism.
Why is it important to have women working on games in addition to appearing in them (i.e., avatars)?
Women bring a different perspective and have a better understanding of what appeals to other women! As a team, we’re able to craft a game that has more depth and would better appeal to our female audience. Aside from that, we have so much talent, knowledge, drive, and passion — there’s no game or team that wouldn’t benefit from that!
What positive changes have you seen at Zynga, or within your career, that help promote equity?
Our team make-up is a direct result of the changes I’ve seen. When I first started my career, there was a 4-to-1 men to women ratio, typically. Now, just taking a look at my own team, we have an even split of art directors. Beyond that, I have seen an uptick of women entering management roles within our art teams and it’s been an exciting change to see!
How do you see your role at Zynga helping to “break the bias” within our industry?
With great power comes great responsibility — this is the first thing that comes to mind. I have to lead by example. Being a woman, leading Art for ZS1, allows me to bring more to the table than ever before. I have had an amazing group of male mentors and managers that have supported me and that believed in me — it made the biggest difference in “breaking the bias.” Now, I aim to do the same with my future teams, as well!
What actions are you taking? For example, can you tell us how you’re mentoring colleagues to promote inclusion?
Part of my role at Zynga is to bring up future art leadership and create communities that act as support networks for our artists. Raising awareness, visibility and creating paths for folks has been the most rewarding part of my career. In this process, I have guided many women to new levels and have built teams with our power in mind.
What is something someone else has done that you really saw make an impact, either at Zynga or another point in your career?
In my experience, Zynga’s cultural mindset has been to set diversity as a goal. This plan has taken everyone’s effort to bring together; it’s reformed our culture into being a supportive and empowering network. Our culture has become more open to human issues; sharing our own experiences. Our Zynga Employee Resource Groups (ZERGs) have been a huge part of this success.
What are your favorite games?
Empires & Puzzles, Candy Crush Friends, Overwatch, Beat Saber, Mass Effect, Civilization
What do you like to do in your free time?
I love staying active — working out, running, biking, walking…. I like indoor activities, including drawing, taking care of my pets and plants, and home remodeling projects!