To celebrate International Women’s Day, today we’d like to address the awesome women around us that #BreakTheBias everyday by working in an environment that is typically male-dominated. Just like Avy, the female main character of Disciples: Liberation, does not need to hold out for a hero, the women of Kalypso don’t either. Not only do we have fabulous female colleagues in all fields, but Kalypso also shines with female business leadership – Dr. Anika Thun is our Managing Director with sole power of representation alongside Managing Partner Simon Hellwig. Yet, a woman as the main character in a video game, leading a company or working in the games and tech industry is still far too often an uncommon sight.
Today is a day to celebrate and cherish all women and to raise the topic of gender equality and equal pay. But also, to discuss a topic we (the authors of this article) know from first-hand experience: Women in games! Cheers to all of you who choose to be your own hero, equipped with PCs, mice, keyboards, controllers and, most importantly, your minds. We want to encourage women everywhere to keep taking their destiny into their own hands and to pursue their own paths! We are here, we are raising our voices and you can too!
For an extra portion of inspiration today and to shine light on different inspirational women whose paths you can also follow, we asked our colleagues all over Kalypso to tell us about their female heroes:
Dr. Anika Thun, Managing Director:
My heroine is Steve Shirley.
She came to England by Children’s Transport in 1939 and started her own software company there in 1962. In the mid-1980s her company had about 1000 employees.
This is especially remarkable because at that time it was virtually impossible to run a business as a woman. So, without further ado, she pretended to be a man and signed Steve (for Stephanie) and fought her way through countless challenges. But not only did she build and run a business on her own (in a field that was largely reserved for men too), she also hired only women!
Kayleigh Gilkerson, Marketing and PR Manager:
My female hero is my 8-year-old daughter! She always approaches life with such positivity and is unapologetically herself each and every day. She has also shown an incredible amount of resilience for such a young person during the last two years of the pandemic. She inspires me to be a better person so that one day I too can be an inspiration to her.
Timo Thomas, Head of Product Management:
Lieutenant 1st Class Ellen Louise Ripley.
Considered by many to be the first female action hero of modern cinema, and to me personally one of the best fictional characters ever written, male or female.
Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley is both strong and vulnerable, non-stereotypical and unwilling to accept her fate or looking to be protected by male characters – she is the voice of reason among a group of seemingly incompetent men fighting for their self-interest. She is a compassionate mother, ferocious fighter and non-bullshit talker conveying the message: “If you want to get things done, get a woman for the job”.
She is truly the last girl standing, paving the way for characters such as Sarah Conner, Lara Croft, Black Widow and many more.
It also helps a little that Alien and Aliens are among my favorite movies of all time and I’m wearing those badass “Alien Stomper” boots right now.
Tamara Eustachi, QA & Submission Manager:
I have to say Lana Wachowski.
Her story has encouraged me to also go my way. I like her movies and Matrix in particular has had a huge impact on my life.
Of course, there are many other strong women to look up to. Marie Curie, Michelle Obama, or simply the women who do their daily work in the police, hospital or fire department.
I’d actually like to name all of them.
Jared Nieuwenhuis, Marketing Director North America:
One of my female heroes is Sandra Day O’Connor, the first lady Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court.
Born to a family with no running water or electricity, O’Connor graduated from Stanford Law School at a time when most women would be unable to attend. She struggled to find work due to her gender, best exemplified when her classmate and friend William Rehnquist (later Chief Justice of SCOTUS) got to be a Supreme Court clerk whilst she had to work for no pay and share an office with a secretary. Working her way up, she entered the Supreme Court in 1981 and retired in 2006.
Dr. Bettina Albert, Head of Customer Communication:
There are so many great women I admire, it’s hard to pick a single one. For today, I will go with Margaret Atwood, a Canadian Writer. Not only because she shares her first name with my grandmother, who is one of the strongest ladies I know; not only because she’s a talented, world-famous writer whose imagination and skill with words serve as a model to many; not only because she is a great thinker and raises so many social issues in her novels, carefully crafted into fictional worlds (I love Oryx and Crake, Lady Oracle and the Handmaid’s Tale) and not only because she takes a stand and is active and caring. But because of the sum of those and because of her going HER way.
Moritz Klein, Producer:
Angela Merkel, our “Mutter Deutschlands”. She has led nations steadily for 18 years through several crises. She is internationally respected and was the guarantor of stability in Europe. Always objective and not doing dirty business like other politicians. A Badass woman.
From Video Games I choose Tzarina Katarin Bokha, the Ice Queen of Kislev from the Warhammer Fantasy Universe. Kislev has a pretty shitty job: located between the chaos wasteland and the empire of the humans, they form a protective shield that must stop the ongoing chaos invasions. Katarin is leading the guys, she’s pretty powerful and I’m having a lot of fun with her campaign right now.
Nadine Wolf, Junior Social Media Managerin:
My female hero would have to be Emma Watson. Since a young age, she has been committed to equal rights and female empowerment. She is not only a UN Ambassador and an activist but also just an incredibly kind and intelligent woman who’s not afraid to stand up for herself and all the women around the world.
Andrew Johnson, Managing Director Kalypso Media UK Ltd & Vice President USA Kalypso Media US Inc:
My favourite female hero is… Catherine Monique Suzanne Destivelle. She is a French rock climber and mountaineer. In 1992 she became the first woman to complete a solo ascent of the Eiger’s north face. She completed the climb in winter in 17 hours.
She gave a motivational speech that I went to, and it was fantastic.
Merve Sabah, Junior Marketing Manager:
My female hero at the moment is Aloy. She always wants to help and does everything to save the world, nature and everyone who lives on the planet. She’s not afraid of anything. There’s even a real-life statue of her in Florence, Italy to commemorate heroic women.
Felix Troeger, Support Manager:
My choice goes to Joan Baez, who has been working hard to make the world a better place since the early 1950s.
Kristin Bammann, Marketing and PR Intern:
My female hero is Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She is the second ever female Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court and a feminist icon. During her time as a member of the Supreme Court, she has tirelessly advocated the equality of the sexes and fought for women’s right. In fact, she did not only give a voice to women but also to men who faced sex-based discrimination. In one of her first cases Moritz v. Commissioner, she represented a man who was on trial because he deducted 600$ caregiver expenses from his taxes (he did so because he was taking care of his ill mother) – this was something that only women or formerly married men were allowed to do. She also passionately fought for the rights of minorities like the LQBTQIA+ community, people of color and people with disabilities. A quote from her that I really like: «When I’m sometimes asked when will there be enough [women on the Supreme Court] and I say ‘When there are nine’ people are shocked. But there’d been nine men, and nobody’s ever raised a question about that.»
This final quote would be a great final sentence of this blogpost; however we don’t want to conclude this without reminding you again: this diverse list of our female heroes shows that there is not one single hero or way to be one. May all of you be inspired to go your own way – and be your own hero!