Hasbro, parent company of D&D and MTG publisher Wizards of the Coast, has announced ‘Hasbro Women Innovators of Play’, a virtual event celebrating women’s contributions to the world of toys and tabletop games. A press release from August 22 says “The event will be centered on women’s leadership, innovation, and women-led creativity”. Participants include Wizards of the Coast CEO Cynthia Williams, Wingspan board game designer Elizabeth Hargrave, Hasbro’s head of toy Kim Boyd, and actor Aisha Tyler (who we mainly remember as Charlie in Friends).
The free event will be held online on September 12 between 10am and 12:30pm ET (3pm and 5:30pm BST, or 7am and 9:30am PT). It will offer a series of talks designed to encourage more women to enter the toy and games industry. “Participants will learn about the process of pitching a new toy or game and the journey through the Hasbro pipeline from concept to creation”, Hasbro says in Tuesday’s press release.
The event’s schedule includes a seminar from Elizabeth Hargrave on the success of Wingspan (which you can learn more about in the interview below). There’s also a talk from Cynthia Williams on imposter syndrome, and other talks on the schedule include ‘how to be a successful inventor’, ‘the perfect pitch’, and ‘cultivating dynamic resilience’.
Hasbro’s chosen participants have plenty of ties to social responsibility. Aisha Tyler has previously worked with Planned Parenthood, the American Red Cross, and the International Rescue Committee. Elizabeth Hargrave regularly uses her platform to discuss the gaming industry, including the lack of diversity in board game awards.
Hasbro itself was named one of 2023’s most ethical companies, with Cynthia Williams made a Women in Games ambassador in 2022. Despite this, Hasbro (and Wizards of the Coast in particular) has regularly come under fire from fans for its practices. Recently, this includes attempting to overhaul the community-friendly DnD OGL, sending Pinkertons to retrieve leaked MTG cards, and publishing AI art in a DnD book.
“Women inventors have played a vital role throughout history”, says Boyd. “And at Hasbro, we are dedicated to connecting and collaborating with innovative women with revolutionary ideas.” “In our 100 years in business, Hasbro has consistently supported women trailblazers, including the inventors of Guess Who (Ora Coster) and Candy Land (Eleanor Abbott) and we’re proud to highlight women leaders across the world about the toy industry and beyond.”
You can learn more about Hasbro Women Innovators of Play in the online schedule. For more of the latest from Hasbro, find out how Baldur’s Gate 3 is projected to affect Hasbro earnings. We can also tell you all about Elizabeth Hargrave’s groundbreaking board game in our full Wingspan review.