International Women’s Day 2022

08 March 2022 / / Corporate News

Today, the 8th of March, is International Women’s Day. It’s a day to commemorate women’s achievements and here at Starbreeze we’d like to do our part by highlighting some of the incredibly badass women working with us and to be inspired by their skills and achievements.

We asked our coworkers to take some time out of their busy schedules to answer some questions, and we hope you’ll take a moment to get to know these ladies and learn more about their impact on PAYDAY and its success many years after the initial release. They’ll also share some of their perspectives and advice on how to succeed in our industry!

 

Isabelle Karikoski, Senior Environment Artist

Q: How long have you been working for Starbreeze?
A: Seven years.

Q: What is your proudest achievement during your time here?
A: In 2017 we released a crossover heist with the Tarantino movie ‘Reservoir Dogs’ and during production I spent my time meticulously going through production screenshots and the movie frame by frame to reproduce the iconic green warehouse room as accurately as I could in the PAYDAY 2 engine. As the heist was released, I was sent a video of a person reviewing the heist and he called out how impressed he was with how faithfully the movie setting of the warehouse had been reproduced. It’s not often PAYDAY 2 players mention the art and I felt so immensely proud in that moment.

Q: Is there anyone that inspires you in your career?
A: Is it too cheesy to say the people around me? I’m rarely inspired by a singular person, but rather the work environment I find myself in.

Q: What advice would you give to other women interested in pursuing a career within the gaming industry?
A: If I can leave one advice for someone from my career, I would say to always speak up. In meetings, dare to say at least one thing that’s on your mind.

 

Erica Danielsson, Accountant

Q: How long have you been working for Starbreeze?
A: Almost 2 years.

Q: What is your proudest achievement during your career?
A: Being nominated for the Ontario Volunteer Service Awards. For me it’s not just about work, but about helping the people around me. While living in Canada I spent 5 years volunteering at the Heart and Stroke foundation, filling key roles that helped the foundation achieve new record levels for the area. This experience is something I bring with me to Starbreeze, where we continue to build a strong community that supports one another.

Q: Is there anyone that inspires you in your career?
A: Diana Robins, my former mentor who was the first one to truly get me into accounting. She is a strong independent consultant with a strong drive to help the companies she works for. She took the time to see my potential and pushed me to try my limits and find that I can do more than I previously dared trying. She and many more strong women have helped my professional development and I now strive to share it with those around me so I can help them grow too.

Q: What advice would you give to other women interested in pursuing a career within the gaming industry?
A: When it feels tough, remember to rest then get up again and face the new challenges. Hold your chin high and believe in yourself. You know just how amazing you are, so walk out there and show the world what you can do!

 

Sofie Björkman, HR Partner

Q: How long have you been working for Starbreeze?
A: 4 years.

Q: What is your proudest achievement during your time here?
A: The proudest achievement at Starbreeze for me is that I’ve been able to meet not only great colleagues but also people that have become friends. Old colleagues still reach out for Christmas and check in on how me and the team are doing, that makes me proud to have been part of building that culture.

Q: Is there anyone that inspires you in your career?
A: My HR team!

Q: What advice would you give to other women interested in pursuing a career within the gaming industry?
A: Go for it! Can’t wait to be your new colleague 🙂

 

Billiane Moreira, UI/UX Designer

Q: How long have you been working for Starbreeze?
A: Almost 6 months.

Q: What is your proudest achievement during your time here?
A: That I could contribute to improve the player experience in the user interface of PAYDAY 2, and that we received good reviews about these changes. For me it’s a great achievement if the player appreciates it!

Q: Is there anyone that inspires you in your career?
A: Yes, I follow up and try to extract each knowledge of Don Norman that I read in his books and social network.

Q: What advice would you give to other women interested in pursuing a career within the gaming industry?
A: Try! More than once, twice, even if you think you’re not ready. There are great companies that will see your ability and dedication more than experience or graduation. If that’s what you like to do, build a good portfolio with your own projects and show your line of reasoning and what you’re capable of as a professional!

 

Marielle Karlsson, Concept Artist

Q: How long have you been working for Starbreeze?
A: Since August 2021.

Q: What is your proudest achievement during your time here?
A: I am very proud to be able to help and create all the great brands inside the game. When I got in contact with Starbreeze I had a strong passion for my profession but I had not explored gaming and what I could contribute with in the industry. My former work impressed the hiring managers at Starbreeze to believe in me, and now I learn more about the industry while doing what I love the most. And my experience from big companies, my passion for my profession has given me the opportunity to explore gaming. 

Q: What advice would you give to other women interested in pursuing a career within the gaming industry?
A: Dare to apply even though you never think you will get the job. You may be the one that the company is looking for. It’s not about who you are, but what you can do.

 

Diana Donado, Animation Director

Q: How long have you been working for Starbreeze?
A: Almost 2 years

Q: What is your proudest achievement during your time here, or in your career in general?
A: Looking at my career, sometimes I still don’t believe that I have accomplished so much. Since I started in the industry I have built and managed teams, departments and even a studio. I’ve crossed  paths with amazing professionals, who have taught me so much and helped me grow both individually and as a leader. I’ve worked on games that have allowed me, for instance, direct Mocap sessions at Warner studios in Los Angeles (Me! Warner! Los Angeles!).
But the biggest reward for me as a manager is when the people you manage tell you that you’re not their manager, that you are their leader. I think it says it all!

Q: Is there anyone that inspires you in your career?
A: Bonnie Ross who is the Corporate Vice President at Xbox Game Studios, and the head of 343 Industries.

Q: What advice would you give to other women interested in pursuing a career within the gaming industry?
A: Generally I don’t consider myself as someone who gives advice on career, but I still always try to encourage and empower more women to join the industry. I believe that the industry becomes richer with more diversity, and that also shines through in the player experience.  

 

Marika Kleivard, Group Accounting Manager

Q: How long have you been working for Starbreeze?
A: 1,5 years.

Q: What is your proudest achievement during your time here?
A: During the pandemic, with a rather new team, we managed to put together an awesome finance team that is high performing, inspiring and brings a lot of joy to work!

Q: Is there anyone that inspires you in your career?
A: I’m always inspired by my fantastic mother!

Q: What advice would you give to other women interested in pursuing a career within the gaming industry?
A: Just do it! The gaming industry is rather new to me, but I think it is an inspiring and exciting industry and I’m really looking forward to the journey ahead!

 

Åsa Långdahl, Senior accountant

Q: How long have you been working for Starbreeze?
A: 1 year.

Q: What is your proudest achievement during your time here?
A: Thanks to Starbreeze, I have gotten the opportunity to work more broadly in accounting, with more responsibility and overview in the process, being able to use and share my knowledge and experience within the accounting area, which makes me both proud and grateful

Q: Is there anyone that inspires you in your career?
A: My manager Marika and my team colleagues Hanne and Erica

Q: What advice would you give to other women interested in pursuing a career within the gaming industry?
A: Come and join us and become one more amazing colleague and part of the wonderful Starbreeze crew

 

Daria, 3D Character Artist

Q: How long have you been working for Starbreeze?
A: 4 months.

Q: What is your proudest achievement during your career?
A: I’ve been working as a character artist for almost 9 years in outsource and now I’m here – at Starbreeze, making a game with the team of greatest professionals. Working in outsource is fun for sure, I’ve met a lot of talented people and worked on the biggest AAA titles, but working in a core team is a different experience and I wanted to achieve that for a long time.

Q: Is there anyone that inspires you in your career?
A: Every person can be an inspiration, especially in the video game industry. Everyone is the greatest at something. I’m very inspired by people who constantly learn new things even if they are already the best at what they are doing, and share their knowledge. For me the perfect example of such a person is Laura Gallagher, founder of Outgang. Her videos and work give me a lot of inspiration.

Q: What advice would you give to other women interested in pursuing a career within the gaming industry?
A: Learn new things, try new techniques, be consistent and revisit your knowledge every once in a while – being flexible is very important. Be brave! And don’t forget to have some rest from time to time 🙂

About The Author

Elisabeth Elvestad

Community Manager and Mental Health First Aider.