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Griffin Gaming Partners said that almost 30% of its deployed capital has been invested into game startups with women founders or cofounders.

That’s pretty impactful, considering Griffin Gaming Partners has raised the largest venture capital fund to invest in games, as its total has grown to $837.6 million. And the Santa Monica, California firm has $1.2 billion under management.

That’s remarkable, Diversity VC found in a survey (revealed yesterday), of 213 VC funds that only 1.87% of $31 billion in assets under management was invested into startups with women or underrepresented minorities as leaders.

Emily Wang, Managing Director at LionTree and partner to Griffin Gaming Partners noted, “Well-networked women with an inner circle of 1-3 other female leaders land positions 2.5 times higher in authority and pay than women who don’t have such networks, according to [the Harvard Business Review]. Women face certain subconscious biases and double standards that are positively mitigated by having a close circle of other female leaders. It’s in these circles where we can share strategies about the complexities of navigating leadership as a woman. This is why we host dinners like these — to create space for women to form much-needed relationships and trusted circles.”

Monica Loya-Clarke (Loaded, VP Developer Partnerships), Cara LaForge (Frost Giant Studios, Director Business Operations), Ashley Fairon (SVB, Director Consumer Internet), Alicen Lewis (Gen.G, Senior Project Manager), Margaret Stohl (Stone Kite Studios, Co-Founder), Jennifer Oneal (Blizzard, Former Co-Lead), Joyce Chang (Activision, Director Product Management)
Left to right: Monica Loya-Clarke, Cara LaForge, Ashley Fairon, Alicen Lewis, Margaret Stohl, Jennifer Oneal and Joyce Chang.

The company celebrated its focus on women on Tuesday night with a Women in Gaming dinner at its headquarters. Silicon Valley Bank sponsored the dinner.

Some of the attendees included:

  • Julia Boorstin – author of When Women Lead and CNBC senior media and tech correspondent
  • Mich Mathews-Spradlin – former chief marketing officer of Microsoft
  • Ann Hand – Super League Gaming CEO
  • Beth Nations – Scopely, vice president of growth
  • Jenefer Brown – Lionsgate, executive vice president and head of global products and experiences
  • Erika Winterholler – Mattel, head of business development, digital gaming
  • Joyce Chang – Activision, director of product management
  • Amy Powell – Amazon, head of entertainment, social & content marketing
  • Amber Bezahler – Muus Collective, CEO

And other attendees came from companies including:

  • Activision
  • Amazon
  • Electronic Arts
  • Lionsgate
  • Mattel
  • Roblox
  • Scopely
  • Super League
  • Warner Bros.

Overall, about 50 women attended the event. Emily Wang, Bo Kim, Marissa Toomey, and Lindsay Krause from the Griffin team led the event.

Julia Boorstin of CNBC and Ann Hand of Super League Gaming.

“The Griffin team is intentional about helping to bridge the historical underrepresentation of women in the games industry, and the purpose of their dinner series is to create a forum where executives gather to develop relationships, find ways to elevate one another, and share tips on promoting diversity in each individual’s realm of influence,” the fund said. “With the context that women are a traditionally underserved audience in games, Griffin hopes to push the evolution of the industry to closer parity by backing female-founded and focused teams and by encouraging partnerships, coming out of such events.”

Boorstin helped inspire and facilitate conversation at Tuesday’s event. Her recent book is a data and research-driven book that highlights the key commonalities and characteristics that help top women leaders thrive in business. 

Left to right: Scopely’s Grace Zhou, Peixin Mo, Beth Nations and Margarita Vasilevskaya

At the dinner, Boorstin cited insights from her research, including statistics, case studies, and anecdotes from dozens of inspiring female business leaders and facilitated a conversation among the attendees on how to immediately apply this research in their leadership. She highlighted the importance of educating both men and women on subconscious biases and double standards that adversely impact women in leadership, so that society can begin to actively counteract the imbalanced playing field. 

Through creating opportunities for these types of discussions, Griffin hopes that female founders and operators in the games industry will feel both equipped and emboldened to educate others about this type of research and to spearhead conversations in the workplace about these disparities. 

Griffin also continues to actively tracks its deal flow and investment activity to intentionally invest into female-led teams. GamesBeat, FYI, has had five Women in Gaming breakfasts at our GamesBeat Summit events and we’re looking for a sponsor for the breakfasts.

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