Zynga partners with Girls Who Code to support women in tech – and shares their top tips for battling imposter syndrome

In support of International Women’s Day 2021, Zynga has pledged $100,000 from its Social Impact Fund to enable Girls Who Code to support girls’ education.

Girls Who Code is an international non-profit organisation, with the goal of closing the gender gap in technology. To date, Girls Who Code has reached 300,000 girls in the US, Canada, UK, and India – and 50 per cent of the girls served are Black, Latina, or from low-income backgrounds.

At its current pace, Girls Who Code is on track to close the gender gap in new entry-level Computer Science and related jobs by 2030. The organisation is planning to use Zynga’s support to expand its free Clubs and alumni programming, help young women unlock opportunities in the technical workforce and connect young women to role models and mentors to support them on their journey in tech.

“Zynga is honored to team up with Girls Who Code to help forge a more inclusive industry in tech and games by expanding opportunities for girls and women across the globe” said Phuong Phillips, Chief Legal Officer at Zynga. “Through their virtual workshops, school clubs, mentorship programs, networking and more, we are hoping to build the next generation of women in STEAM to help them to prepare and thrive in the tech workforce. With an incredible group of women at Zynga already doing so much to support our studios and employees around the world, it’s important that we take positive steps to help strengthen the future of our industry for years to come.”

“We know that passionate, diverse, ambitious young women are the key to transforming our workplace and our world,” said Dr. Tarika Barrett, incoming CEO at Girls Who Code. “We’re excited to partner with Zynga this International Women’s Day to send a loud signal to young women everywhere that they belong in technology and that they have support in their journey from school into the workforce. Zynga and Girls Who Code share a vision of a more fair and equitable workforce, where women of all backgrounds rise to the top.”

Also in celebration of International Women’s Day, Zynga’s Chief Legal Officer Phuong Phillips has shared her top tips to battling self-doubt and imposter syndrome in the industry.

To combat self-doubt, she’s developed the following top 10 tips:

  1. Always be a good listener & have an open mind: By paying attention in meetings, especially to a diverse set of opinions, you gain useful information that you can tie back to your objectives. Creative solutions always stem from new voices.
  2. Raise your voice: Summon the courage to be vocal and share your opinions, even if it goes against the grain of what others are saying. Ultimately, if it benefits the company, don’t hold back.
  3. Speak up, but not too often: Be mindful of how often you speak. It’s better to provide valuable information rather than contributing to background noise.
  4. Get a swimming buddy: Before going into a group meeting, identify a key ally who will support your views that tie back to the company’s goals.
  5. Have multiple mentors, especially during a pandemic: No one is going to be the perfect person whom you’ll want to emulate, so aim for a few. Now, more than ever, it’s easier to connect with multiple mentors virtually.
  6. Don’t compare yourself to others: There will always be someone who will be doing something better than you can – if you compare yourself,52 you’re bound to lose. Instead, define yourself by what you set out to achieve.
  7. Don’t hit the pinnacle of your career: There’s so much more to learn that you’ll never be at the top. Strive to do more and learn more.
  8. Don’t dwell on an issue: Allow yourself to go through a problem for a specific period of time, then move on.
  9. You don’t have to be liked at work, just be kind: It shows that you’re listening, showing kindness and working towards a shared company goal, which will ultimately help you gain the respect of your colleagues.
  10. Check in with your co-workers: Don’t suffer in silence. Join women support groups at your work or connect individually with colleagues. And when you do, be transparent and vulnerable with your team – this creates a trusting and powerful relationship.

About Chris Wallace

Chris is a freelancer writer and was MCV/DEVELOP's staff writer from November 2019 until May 2022. He joined the team after graduating from Cardiff University with a Master's degree in Magazine Journalism. He can be found on Twitter at @wallacec42, where he mostly explores his obsession with the Life is Strange series, for which he refuses to apologise.

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