International Women’s Day: HyperX Celebrates Female Employees [Part 1]

Monday, March 16th, 2020 8:28 am

In this two-part series, HyperX and SuperParent get to know some of the awesome women at HyperX.

In honor of International Women’s Day (March 8), Kingston, the parent company of HyperX, held its first International Women’s Day summit. HyperX is a manufacturer of headsets, keyboards, and more accessories for gamers and beyond.

To keep this celebration going, SuperParent had a chance to chat with female employees at HyperX to learn about the mentors they had as kids, how being a parent has helped shape their opinion of games and technology, and what advice they’d give to young girls who want to enter the fields of gaming and technology.

This is part one of a two-part series. Check back with SuperParent in the coming days as we feature even more awesome employees at HyperX.

Carolina Maldonado, VP Sales & Marketing, Latin America

SuperParent: How did becoming a parent change your outlook on games and technology?

Carolina: I have teenage kids and being part of the industry allowed me to see the positive side of gaming. Today I can connect with my kids and their friends by talking about something they are passionate about. I tell them things from the business or marketing side that they may not know, or different things HyperX is doing around the world and I actually gather a lot of info useful for work, learning their needs, likes and dislikes.

There is nothing like removing the generational gap and really connecting. The growth and importance of the gaming industry is outpacing many other segments opening up job opportunities in sales, marketing, and all other professional jobs in the segment. It will also be a bonus for them in the future to understand gaming if seeking these opportunities as young professionals.

SP: What would you say to young girls and women who want to get into the tech and gaming industry?

Carolina: Please do it! We need more women in this industry. Women bring a different perspective and contribution to any business. Do not be afraid of being the only one or the first one, be proud of it and embrace the opportunity of being a role model for the next generations.

Ann Tani, Social Media Creative Specialist, US

SuperParent: How did you get into this industry?

Ann: I‘ve had a love for video games and art since I was a kid and my goal growing up and entering the workforce has always been to find a career I love doing that doesn’t feel like work. I was very fortunate to network with people in the esports industry from going to local LAN tournaments, so when an opportunity rose up to do graphic design for a gaming arena, I took my shot. From there I knew that being in the gaming industry was something I wanted to keep pursuing.

SP: Did you have any female mentors growing up?

Ann: In a way my mother was a mentor. Especially being in this industry that is still considered male dominant, there weren’t many women to look up to. When I was miserable at my first job out of college, my mother was there to tell me if it’s not what I want to do and not going to help me learn and grow, it’s okay to take a break. My mother has definitely been a big supporter throughout my life, teaching me a lot about following my dream and believing in myself.

SP: What would you say to young girls and women who want to get into the tech and gaming industry?

Ann: Don’t be afraid to speak your mind and don’t let people walk over you for being a woman. I’ve had occasions, being in a male dominant industry, where I’m not taken seriously and it’s incredibly frustrating knowing I have the same, if not more, experience than others around me. Just know that you have the experience, the knowledge, the passion to do whatever you set your heart out to do! Also trying to get into the industry can seem difficult being an introvert myself, but going to events, like tournaments and conventions, helped me a lot with interacting with others that had the same passion that I did for the things I valued.

Chloe Lara, Channel & Digital Marketing Manager, EMEA

SuperParent: How did you get into this industry?

Chloe: I was placed at Electronic Arts UK for my industry placement year at university when I was 21. I was the UK PR intern for a year, which opened up the world of Gaming to me. I have worked within the Gaming industry for 8 years now in a variety of marketing roles, PR, Digital, Channel & Retail.

SP: Did you have any female mentors growing up?

Chloe: My first boss at Electronic Arts guided me a lot within the industry, helping with career progression and skills within the role. She was always very knowledgeable in the industry which helped me a lot.

SP: What would you say to young girls and women who want to get into the tech and gaming industry?

Chloe: Don’t be discouraged to join the industry. Being such a male orientated industry, it can sometimes be overwhelming when on occasions you are the only female in a meeting. I would just advise to go for it as it really is a fun and exciting industry to be part of.

Jessany Van’t Hoff, Strategic Alliances Manager, EMEA

SuperParent: How did you get into this industry?

Jessany: Funny story: because I was told I couldn’t! I had always loved gaming – I was 8 when I got my first console. My dad taught me how to build computers and it sparked my interest in hardware. When I was 17 I was thinking of applying for a Saturday sales job at a Computer Reseller. I mentioned this to somebody who already worked there, who dismissively looked me up and down and replied: “You?? Pssh. You’d never get it”. That reaction fueled not only disbelief and anger, but a very prompt and super motivated application letter. Two weeks later I had the job and two years after that I became that person’s boss. At the time I didn’t know that it would shape my future: I stayed in hardware for almost a decade before transitioning into gaming and still love it to this day.

SP: Did you have any female mentors growing up?

Jessany: When I started in tech there weren’t a lot of women around, but I had some great male mentors who helped me navigate the industry. Thankfully with the growth of tech, gaming and esports we are now surrounded by many inspiring women (especially at HyperX) and there are some great organizations out there to support (young) women (e.g. 1000 Dreams Fund & Women In Gaming).

SP: What would you say to young girls and women who want to get into the tech and gaming industry?

Jessany: Go for it! It’s such a fun and fast-paced environment and even greater if you can make your hobby your career (although you don’t have to be a gamer to enjoy it). You will also find that generally women in tech/gaming tend to stick together and are incredibly supportive. And lastly: gaming is an inclusive world and there’s a space for you to play!

Lilyann Torres, Social Media Coordinator, US

SuperParent: How did you get into this industry?

Lilyann: When I was 5, I would play video games with my grandma every single day. From Pokemon to Final Fantasy Tactics, she’d sit beside me and we’d play together solving puzzles, battling gym leaders, and visiting worlds we’d never seen before. It’s from spending nights playing video games with my grandma that I knew I wanted to be in the video game industry. After graduating high school, I led the University of California, Irvine (UCI) gaming community for 4 years and aided in the beginnings of UCI Esports. From there, I interned at HyperX in 2017 and am now the social media coordinator.

SP: Did you have any female mentors growing up?

Lilyann: My grandma was the biggest female mentor in my life. While she didn’t understand the gaming industry, she understood my passion for video games and love for the community. She always encouraged me to see if there’s something behind the clouds and chase the spark inside me to follow my dreams.

SP: What would you say to young girls and women who want to get into the tech and gaming industry?

Lilyann: Whatever your passion may be, it is possible to fully chase your dreams and grasp it. Know what you want and always take small steps that help you get one step closer to the career or goal. There are many people who are rooting for you and always there to give you a helping hand.

Disclosure: HyperX is a sponsor of SuperParent.

Brandy Berthelson

Brandy Berthelson has been writing about video games and technology since 2006, with her work appearing on sites including AOL Games, Digital Spy, and Adweek. When she’s not gaming, Brandy enjoys crafting, baking, and traveling with her husband.

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