Bungie is committed to uplifting the voices of its employees who identify as women, to build an equitable work environment where women can thrive, and to advocate for women in the broader game industry. To help achieve these aims, Bungie recently launched a new inclusion club: Women@Bungie.
The members of Women@Bungie come from across the studio and represent a wide variety of professional and life experiences and includes allies. Members rally around their shared mission, which is to “provide a safe, empowering space to share our common experiences as women, a place to build a network, and give and receive practical and emotional support. We can also be a force for education and change within the company by supporting diversity and inclusion efforts to improve the experience of women as part of the larger company efforts.”
“I want Bungie to be a place where great talent – no matter who they are, where they are from, or how they identify – can not only come and do their best work, they can thrive,” said Bungie CEO Pete Parsons. Over the past year, one of the many ways Bungie has put that belief into action is through the creation of new inclusion clubs, affinity organizations of Bungie employees who work to represent underrepresented groups within the studio and the gaming industry at large. Inclusion clubs at Bungie are meant to celebrate and uplift those groups; and recent clubs such as Black@Bungie and Trans@Bungie are working hard to do just that. Women@Bungie is one of Bungie’s newest inclusion clubs.
Recently members of the Women@Bungie inclusion club have been putting its mission statement into practice through the creation of an exclusive collectible International Women’s Day pin, which went on sale in March (and is available now on the Bungie Store) to celebrate Women’s History Month. All profits generated from the sale of the pin in March – totaling more than $125,000 – are being donated to AnitaB.org, the Global Organization for Women Technologists, which provides women in tech with year-round opportunities to connect with and inspire one another, develop professional skills, find mentors, and gain recognition.
“It’s very important to me that the work that I do supports a mission that I believe in,” said Amber Alexander, one of Women@Bungie’s co-leads and a senior producer on Destiny 2. “As a woman who is also an Army veteran, I’ve spent all of my career in male-dominated industries. It means a lot to me that Bungie fully supports and values the Women@Bungie inclusion club. There are tough discussions happening, processes being improved, and projects being created because this club exists and because the members have the freedom to pursue initiatives that we feel are important.”
In addition to the donation to AnitaB.org, Alexander said the Women@Bungie inclusion club has numerous projects and priorities for 2021 and beyond, including holding an annual women’s career panel, welcoming new hires through “virtual tea,” building an internal mentoring program, and most recently creating topical presentations such as the recent “Designing for Inclusion,” which was presented to Bungie’s game designers.
“It is the comradery of the inclusion club that makes it such a rewarding experience,” said Angel Li, a senior user researcher at Bungie and a co-lead of Women@Bungie. “It really makes you feel like you are not alone in standing up for change. Every member is volunteering to devote time out of their work to drive or participate in initiatives that either empower women or make Bungie a more equitable workplace for women, and that kind of passion builds an unspoken trust between us. You can share anything and know that the group is there to support you. Every time I come out of a members meeting, I feel refreshed and energized.”
Though the Women@Bungie inclusion club seeks to improve the lives and opportunities of women within the studio, that core mission applies to women everywhere. Lizz Quinlan, who works at Bungie as a product manager for Destiny Player Support, said that the larger gaming community can play a role in helping to uplift women in gaming and beyond. “Players can ensure their friend groups, clans, and pick-up fireteams are welcoming to women and girls playing Destiny (or any game!) by speaking up and stopping any sexist language or harassment that is still unfortunately prevalent in some areas of the wider gaming community.”
While encouraging change for women in today’s workforce is a top priority, Quinlan also says that it’s important to encourage the next generation of women in the gaming and technology industry. “Women and girls that have a passion for gaming should explore taking that passion into the gaming industry. It takes many people from many disciplines and skillsets to make games and we all benefit when our games are made by diverse, inclusive, and supportive development teams.”