International Women's Day Feature Image
International Women's Day Feature Image

International Women's Day

Women’s History Month is a celebration of the efforts, achievements, and contributions of women to history, culture and society. To me, International Women’s Day is an opportunity to celebrate the voices of those who have not always been represented in our industry and to highlight their accomplishments. Women’s History Month is an opportunity to take a moment and look back on how far we have come, while also setting new goals for our future. 

I have seen a lot of amazing changes in our industry over the past decade, but we still have a long way to go. I hope someday to see more women leading the games industry, and to see our industry grow into a more inclusive space. Michelle Obama once said, “No country can ever truly flourish if it stifles the potential of its women, and deprives itself of the contributions of half its citizens” and I wholeheartedly believe that this sentiment can apply to the games industry as well.

I am committed to pushing for a more equitable industry, making space for all genders, all ages, all backgrounds to flourish.During my time at Treyarch I have been able to get to know my fellow women colleagues, and I am always amazed by their talent, passion and desire to not only make amazing games, but to push the boundaries on representation in our industry and studio. Today, I am excited to celebrate my friends and colleagues, and amplify their experiences and perspectives on what Women's History Month and International Women’s Day means to them.

-Miranda Due (Pawnee/Cherokee), Associate Producer

Stephanie Alvarado

Hi there! I’m Stephanie Alvarado and I’m the Associate Producer for the UI/UX team here at Treyarch.  I’ve been at Treyarch for nearly 4 years and have worked on Black Ops 4, Black Ops Cold War and Vanguard.

For me, International Women’s Day is a day to reflect.  It’s a reminder that I’m here because my life has been shaped by strong women that have always encouraged me to do better. It’s a reminder that historically, life for women hasn’t been easy and still isn’t. It’s a reminder to include those that identify as a woman and welcome them. It's a reminder to help support each other. I have hope that our culture can evolve to support fairness and equality for all.

Being a woman in games is difficult to say the least, but it has its rewarding moments when something positive occurs. The camaraderie that women have is amazing and I absolutely enjoy seeing women get recognized for their hard work. Even though we have come a long way in tech, especially video games, I know we still have a long road ahead of us. I would love to see more women as studio heads and hold leadership roles across the industry. I want to see more women-led indie game studios gain support overall as well. 

Avani Jain

Hi there! My name is Avani Jain and I’m an Associate Producer at Treyarch. I work on Multiplayer Maps development and have been at the studio for about two and a half years.

Being a woman in the gaming industry has its own set of challenges, which is why this year’s International Women’s Day theme resonates with me so deeply: “Break the Bias”. Every day minorities are faced with conscious and subconscious biases. We experience this in our everyday life, home, and workplace. But if you don’t believe me, let’s talk numbers. According to the GDC State of Industry 2022 report: “There was little change over the past year, with the number of women in the industry (20%) losing a percentage point and the number of men (73%) staying the same. There was a slight increase in the number of respondents who self- identified as non-binary (4%)” -- as we continue to notice women making great strides in the industry -- we still have so much farther to go, and I am dedicated in contributing to drive that change at Treyarch.

The reason for being transparent is to educate others on the realities of the industry and motivate others to create a difference. I will always be an ally and empower those around me, but it takes a collective and consistent effort from everyone to instill change.

For this year's International Women’s Day, I’m proud to be someone that is potentially paving the path for others and dismantling stereotypes and biases in the process. Together we can all break the bias.

Erika Narimatsu

Hi! I’m Erika Narimatsu and I am a level designer on the Zombies team. I’ve been with Treyarch for 17 years now, and with Activision for almost 20 years. My first title with Treyarch was Call of Duty 2: Big Red One as an environmental artist, and my latest is Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War in my current position.

In my tweens, I used to read Nintendo Power cover-to-cover, in complete awe at how the men interviewed in them were able to create something fun and played by people all around the world, and how they had joy in the work they did. I clearly remember that making games wasn’t something a young girl like me should be interested in.

I want to help change that narrative. Dreams shouldn’t be dismissed because of gender. It’s important to highlight the contributions women are making today, so future generations of young girls can see us and realize their dreams are achievable. Women’s History Month makes that possible.

I’ve been one of the very few women at the company and sometimes it fell upon me to call out things that were objectionable. I was the lone voice, even when others agreed with me. With visibility on gender inequality issues, I can see the change that is happening now, and there are more voices committed to a future where young girls are free to chase their dreams.

Ewa T.

I'm Ewa and I'm a UI Designer at Treyarch. I started at SHG as an Associate UI Artist by making nearly every emblem with the in-game editor for Call of Duty: WWII. Then I transitioned to Treyarch and have been with the studio for nearly 4 years. I worked on Black Ops 4, Cold War, Warzone, and Vanguard. I have been ranking up and expanding my skills from day 1 and I don't plan on stopping anytime soon.

International Women's Day (IWD) is a day to celebrate the accomplishments of powerful women throughout history. IWD also brings awareness to gender biases and inequalities that women experience today - a reminder that changes need to be made for equality and fairness. It's a time to reflect and think about all the women that inspire me and help me evolve personally and professionally. IWD also helps me realize that we are not alone, we have allies, and we are stronger together.

Being a woman in games has been more difficult than it should be but I have faith that we're heading in a positive direction for women across the industry. Changes take time and I remain optimistic for what the future holds. I love video games, I love what I do, and I put my heart and soul into my work every day.

Rose Villasenor

Hello I am Rose Villasenor, and I am the Senior Director of Operations managing Treyarch IT and OPS teams. I have been working here for 22 years! I am thankful to work with an amazing group of people who excel at what they do.

For me, Women’s History Month is an important time to reflect on what women have accomplished in the past and to appreciate what that has provided us. It’s important for all of us to be seen and heard and hopefully that is something that we’re all practicing on a daily basis. This is a month to elevate those daily efforts and acknowledge the big things, to stop and appreciate the value of women in the world and especially the women in our own world. It’s a time to support and encourage women. It’s a time for women to be motivated to further advance our access and opportunities.

I am grateful for the opportunity to work in games. My time at Treyarch has been both fun and fulfilling. Over the years, I have seen the number of women at Treyarch grow and I am hopeful that this will continue to increase, and I will see more women in leadership roles.

Myrnelly Arnold

I’m Nelly Arnold. I’m the Associate Office Manager for Operation and I’ve been working at Treyarch for 2 ½ years. 

Women’s History Month is very important to me because I feel like time should be taken to celebrate and appreciate all the accomplishments and history making events that women have succeeded in.  Women in the past have fought so hard to not only gain the same respect as men but make it possible for future generations of women to achieve greater things as well. I feel in order to push forward and make changes in society and history, you must look to the past and look at what was accomplished and sacrificed.

Being a woman in the gaming industry isn’t easy, you must make sure you are on your A game and that you are heard. However, I feel like no matter what the job positions, an accomplishment for one is one for all women. The women in gaming, especially here at Treyarch are some of the most amazing and talented women that I’ve met. Working with them has helped me both personally and professionally. The changes that I hope for the future is for women to show not only that they can dominate, be respected but also lead a game dev to success. And not just as a sprinkle of that, a heavy pour of all kinds of women (POC, LGBTQIA+, etc) in senior, leading, and in high executive positions. 

Brittany Beidleman

My name is Brittany Beidleman. I joined Treyarch back in 2017 as a Level Design intern. I was simultaneously studying at USC to complete my undergrad in Interactive Entertainment at the School of Cinematic Arts. After the internship concluded I was hired on part-time until I completed my degree, then moved to full-time in 2018. I have been here at Treyarch ever since! I worked on Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 where I focused on zombie map development, notably IX, Dead of Night and Ancient Evil. I acted as the point overseeing the development for the fireteam maps Ruka, Ski Slopes, Sanatorium, Golova and Duga on Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War. Most recently I lead the level design initiatives for Der Anfang and Terra Maledicta zombies maps in Call of Duty: Vanguard.  

Women's History Month is important because it is an opportunity to highlight women in the industry and celebrate them for their contributions. My hope is that women representation in our industry will continue to grow, so that we can become an equally represented demographic.

Being a woman in this industry, I think one of the most important things to remember is to be your own champion, and whole-heartedly believe in yourself and your skills. I always remind myself that I belong in every room I walk into. Yes, I happen to be a woman in games, however that's not the only way I define myself. Rather, I see myself as an industry professional in gaming, and I am here to make an impact. My goal is to grow myself and others into talented designers and leaders of the future. 

Chelsea Felix-Shannon

I’m Chelsea Felix-Shannon and I work in the engineering department, having worked on both the gameplay and UI team. Treyarch was my introduction to the games industry. I've worked here for over the past 4 years, helping ship both Black Ops 4 and Cold War.

International women's day is a spotlight to celebrate the strides women have made in overcoming inequality and ignite hope for making it even better in the future. Engineering is still very much a "boys club" but everyday more young women are entering STEM fields than ever before. Increasingly we as a society have come to recognize that women deserve a proverbial "seat at the table" in games. No longer are we relegated to being the princess in distress or the eye candy. We are gamers too. We deserve to see ourselves in our favorite medium and I'm honored that I get to help make that a reality.

Rachel Brunelle-Rhodes

Hi all! I am Rachel Brunelle-Rhodes and I have been with Treyarch for a little over a year and work with the Commerce and MTX Content Teams. Cold War was my first game with Treyarch and Activision Publishing, and I enjoyed every minute of it.

While I have truly enjoyed working in the gaming industry for the past nine years, I have become accustomed to looking around and being the only woman at the table, majority of the time. Women's History Month is a reminder that my place at that table was made possible by generations of strong and courageous women before me who risked their freedoms, oftentimes their lives, to break through that always too low glass ceiling. Let's be honest, we kick some serious butt!

Even with all the progress made in our industry, there is still a strong stigma that video games are a man’s domain; both creating and playing. It is our responsibility to reshape that perception, continue the fight, and constantly challenge the status quo. I am honored to stand alongside these amazing women at Treyarch and do my part in continuing to make gaming an inclusive, safe, and entertaining space for ALL players.

Camille Ramseur

My name is Camille Ramseur. I'm a technical artist on the Core-Engine team and I focus on programming shaders, pipeline, and rendering tools. I've been at Treyarch for almost 2 years, and I have worked on Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, and Call of Duty: Vanguard.

International Women’s Day  means a lot to me because it demonstrates how far we have come in terms of representation and rights for women. It amazes me how little rights we had not too long ago (I.e. during my mom's and grandmother's time). We've come a long way and we still have a lot more to accomplish. By having this day and month we are able to celebrate the women of the past and present and to remember these words: "The most dangerous phrase in the language is 'we've always done it this way." -Grace Hopper. While we have made great strides in history, we shouldn't just feel satisfied and not challenge the way things are done in life, and in the gaming industry, just because no one has ever asked 'why?' or looked to challenge gender norms

Being a woman in games can be rewarding but is challenging at times. Most of the time I am the only woman in my meetings or events. As disheartening as that is at times it also shows me there is a lot of room for growth in this industry, which has led me to volunteer in other organizations that help to teach young girls the skills that they might need to create their own games. I love working on games where the women are kicking butt and taking names and not always falling into the stereotype of being the damsel in distress.

Jenn Ocampos

Hello, my name is Jennifer Ocampos (Jenn), I was born and raised in Los Angeles California. I’m an Associate Level Designer at Treyarch and I’ve been here for about two and a half years now. I’ve gotten to work on Call of Duty Black Ops 4 as a QA Tester for the season maps/ DLC. I’ve also had the honor to work on (a childhood favorite game mode of mine) Dead Ops Arcade 3: Rise of the Mamaback as a Level Designer for Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War. I love playing video games, board games, and watching baseball (Go Dodgers!)

IWD and Women’s History Month mean a lot to me. I grew up in different toxic environments where there were plenty of close minded individuals. Today, we live in a time where there are so many things that many women have accomplished and have broken barriers to help build that path for the next generation. It’s amazing to see what women can do and how they can inspire people to be what they want to be in life.

Being a woman in games is awesome! I love being able to let the younger generation of women know that you can be whatever you want to be. It took me a while to feel confident enough to work in the gaming industry, but I always knew that it was something I had a huge passion for. Working alongside talented people who believe in you as well just makes me even more motivated and I feel much more confident in my decision to pursue a career in the video game industry. You feel like a teammate and that feels amazing! I hope that seeing more women in games helps push women into a career that they’re passionate for. Doesn’t necessarily have to be games but something that they might feel afraid to do because of judgment from others but it’s a career that THEY want to do, and it makes them happy.

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