Pledge 1%’s #WomenWhoLead series celebrates female leaders who are paving the way for the next generation. While our featured leaders come from a variety of backgrounds and industries, they are united in their efforts to promote equality for all women in the workplace. We’ve asked them to share a bit about their journey to success, as well as lessons they’ve learned along the way.
What is your name and title?
Jessica Lindl, VP of Social Impact at Unity.
Briefly (1-2 sentences) describe your current role.
As the Vice President of Social Impact at Unity, I focus on empowering Unity creators and employees to make the world a better place.
How did you get here? Please share any quick stories from past work experiences.
My life’s work has been focused on leveraging the power of technology to positively impact the world. I was lucky enough to run a company, powered by Unity, about ten years ago that taught me the potential of connecting game players to social impact – and I’ve been hooked ever since.
In your opinion, what’s the #1 decision or move you’ve made that has helped advance your career?
Focus on my principles and values, and find fun people who share those.
What is the most important lesson you’ve learned this past year?
I am a horrible 2nd grade teacher. More importantly, we urgently need to shift our approach to capitalism from a focus on shareholder value to stakeholder value.
What’s the number one challenge you face as a woman in your industry?
How to get more underrepresented people into our industry, and how to empower them with more resources.
Do you have any mentors? What does mentorship mean to you?
Yes, I’m lucky to have a personal advisory board made up of long term and more recent mentors. Mentorship means a shared growth opportunity for both participants and mentors.
What advice do you have for women who are just starting their career?
Think about the change in the world you want to make, and define your career based on your vision versus career ladders.
What is one thing companies can do, big or small, to help create an environment that advances women into leadership positions?
Ensure the board of directors and the executive team has significant representation from underrepresented leaders – and give those leaders resources and decision-making power.
What is one thing you hope to accomplish in the next year?
Give my parents a hug and a kiss. I also hope to significantly increase the number of underrepresented Unity creators who make a great living off of the Unity platform.
Is there a cause that is particularly close to you? If so, why this cause and how did you get involved?
Investing in people of color. Innovation comes from everywhere, and I think we’ve over-indexed investing in white men. Also, growing up in a systemically racist country that has given me unequal privilege, it’s important to me that I actively re-distribute wealth.
When did your company join Pledge 1%? What does your impact program mean to you?
As part of our first wave of social impact initiatives, we announced that Unity was joining the Playing for the Planet Alliance, a group of video game companies convened by the UN Environment Programme. By joining the Alliance, member companies pledge to take action to aid the environment in a number of ways, ranging from green activations in games, to reducing emissions and plastics in video game products.
As part of this alliance, our specific Unity social impact commitment is to elevate and celebrate the Unity experiences that are made with an eye toward a positive impact on the environment or particularly eco-friendly. Not only does this align with our overall goals for the social impact division, but it ensures Unity is taking an active role alongside other industry leaders in tackling the climate crisis.
What do you like to do outside of the office? Any interesting (or unique) habits or interests?
I love card games – cribbage and sheepshead are my favorites if anyone wants to play!
Are you reading/listening to anything interesting at the moment? Please share your most recent favorite book or podcast!
Too many podcasts to list. “How it happened” by Axios is my favorite this week. I read Isabel Wilkerson’s “Warmth of Other Suns” and “Caste” back to back over the New Year. I am so grateful she was born in my generation. Her incredible gifts may have been lost if she were born earlier.
What’s been the one (or two!) things that have helped you navigate this past year? Any tips or tricks to dealing with remote work?
Our team – their talent, tenacity and laughs have been huge gifts. They’ve also let me take half of our calls on my cell while walking in nature.