Womenize! – Inspiring Stories is our weekly series featuring inspirational women from games and tech. For this edition we talked to Miroslava Moreno Rodríguez, Director, Organizational Development at PLAION. She speaks about how her background in Digital Arts and Systems Engineering shaped her unique leadership style as well as her passion for inclusion. Read more about Miroslava in this interview:
Hi Miroslava! It’s fascinating that you hold both a Master’s degree in Digital Arts and are a trained Systems Engineer. How have these diverse educational backgrounds influenced your career in empowering teams in game development and IT?

Spanning multiple countries and disciplines, my educational journey had two chapters that profoundly shaped my career to date.

The first chapter unfolded in Venezuela, where I earned my bachelor’s degree in Systems Engineering. This provided me with a strong foundation in technical problem-solving and strategic thinking. It landed me my first job at Microsoft and had a profound influence in my approach to team management. Just as complex engineering systems have component working in harmony to fulfil their purpose, I see teams as systems of individuals with different roles and strengths. I learnt the key role of communication, collaboration, purpose, and well-defined responsibilities within a team. The other chapter took place in Spain, where I obtained my master’s degree in Digital Arts. It was there where I immersed myself in the world of interaction, creativity, and innovation through the creation of interactive art installations. I gained insights into how experiences are crafted based on the level of empowerment given to individuals. It gave me a deep understanding of the value of unique perspectives.

These experiences were instrumental in shaping my leadership style. Throughout my career in the gaming industry, where I’ve led software development teams, video games development and publishing teams, and now as Director of Organizational Development, I’ve consistently approached team management by systematically empowering strengths and optimizing team dynamics.

Could you share a pivotal moment or decision in your professional journey that significantly shaped your approach to leadership and team empowerment?

I’m passionate about inclusion and championing people’s uniqueness. This is something I realized at the beginning of my career in video games while supporting job interviews.

A team leader once invited me to join him in interviewing candidates for a software developer position. During the process, I saw seasoned candidates who completed tasks correctly being disqualified because they couldn’t communicate their results effectively within the interview format. I realized the talent my company was missing out on and who I was missing to work with because our hiring processes were not adapted to be more welcoming of neurodivergent candidates.

This experience became a pivotal moment for me. It awakened a critical eye within me regarding every aspect of people processes and drew my attention to the importance of making them welcoming and empowering. My approach to leadership is rooted in the principles of inclusion and realignment of structures, talents, reward systems, and processes to enhance capabilities and efficiencies. These principles are at the core of my current role in Organizational Development.

What’s a valuable lesson or piece of advice you would give to someone aspiring to follow a similar career path in leadership within the tech and gaming industries?

I want to encourage more women to pursue careers in gaming and tech fields to create a more balanced and equitable industry. My passion for games and the people who create games continues to grow; however, I can not help but to acknowledge that in many areas, this industry still predominantly consists of exclusively male environments.

In my current role, I hold the position of the first female director in a German-Austrian company with a history spanning three decades. While for some, this might appear as a privileged position, it is a daily commitment for me to be the change I want to see.

So, my advice goes to all female-identifying individuals aspiring to follow a similar career path in leadership within the tech and gaming industry: never forget that your experiences, knowledge, and insights are precisely what makes you invaluable and what is missing in the industry. It’s you who is needed to co-create the world we desire, the games we want to play, and workplaces we want to have. Invest in self-awareness and emotional intelligence so that you can harness your unique power and overcome any obstacle on your journey to making leadership in gaming a viable and exciting career path.

Thanks for this interview, Miroslava!

Miroslava’s links: LinkedIn

Womenize! – Inspiring Stories Feature by Madeleine Egger