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Yodo1 Stories: Making it Easier for Women to Grow a Career From Anywhere

At Yodo1, we’ve championed the importance of equity and diversity from day one. When we launched over 10 years ago, half of our founding team was women, and all these years later, that fact remains true among our leadership team.

Today, we recognize the success of seven incredible women from across Yodo1—and worldwide—who are making waves in the mobile gaming industry. By diversifying perspectives and taking risks, these inspiring women have achieved remarkable growth and built a life they love through mobile games.

Join us as we share their stories and highlight their incredible accomplishments to celebrate International Women’s Day!

Vivien Zhang, from career launch to business leader, while starting a family

Vivien Zhang joined Yodo1 in an entry-level marketing position in 2012. A few years later, she was leading the Chinese marketing department. As Yodo1 became globally focused, Vivien got the opportunity to reinvent herself as head of a completely new IP licensing business unit launched in 2019 called Brands in Games.

As her career was advancing, Vivien also started a family. From newly-wed to new mom, Yodo1’s Work From Anywhere (WFA) policy has given her the flexibility to spend more quality time with her daughter, travel as a family, and strengthen bonds.

Vivien continues to lead her teams in what is now our fastest-growing business line and she has been a member of Yodo1’s executive management team for over five years.


Vivien, how has Yodo1 empowered you?

Over the past ten years, I have grown professionally and started a family at the same time. As a woman, I feel strongly that Yodo1 always trusts and encourages me to take on new challenges and helps me succeed. I’m given the chance and guidance to try new things and even if I eventually fail in some of them, what I learn in the process is still a great treasure to me. Also, the management and my peers respect my personal life and have supported me when I had to deal with family issues.

What advice would you give to other women who want to advance their careers without sacrificing family life?

In current society, women are under even more pressure than men. We have to take care of the kids and family while also being excellent at work.

My suggestion to you is not to lose yourself in all the daily chores and tasks. Remember, you are the most important person in your life. When at work, do your best so there’s no room for regret. Reserve time for yourself and doing what makes you happy.

Trust me, if you do this and stay positive in everything, you will find your life and work getting better!

Elizabeth Wong, accelerating while relocating

Elizabeth currently lives in Dublin with her 12-year-old daughter. She joined the Yodo1 team in Beijing in 2014 as an accountant and was later based out of Hong Kong. In 2022, she decided to take full advantage of our Work From Anywhere arrangement and relocate to Ireland for her daughter’s studies.

Moving to a different country and time zone is never easy, but it didn’t stop Elizabeth from being promoted from Accounting Lead to leading the entire Finance Team and earning a spot in management for her outstanding work in transforming Yodo1’s finance function.


Elizabeth, how has Yodo1 empowered you?

Yodo1 embraces our mobility through Work From Anywhere. I’m very glad I’ve continued my job while navigating a new hometown. It empowers me and my daughter, as she can pursue her preferred education. With the flexibility to work from anywhere, we’re able to live in an area with better education opportunities that’s more affordable than in other regions of Hong Kong.

What advice would you give women who are thinking about relocating for work?

It certainly takes a great deal of time and effort to blend into a new environment. Being respectful in a new society is important. Be focused and prepared to explore; get ready to experience a bit of a bumpy ride sometimes and, most importantly, have fun!

Marina Espin, Yodo1’s youngest business leader

Marina moved from her hometown of Barcelona to Beijing in 2017 to study Mandarin. In 2019, after being enticed by the gaming industry, Marina started an entry-level position as a Monetization Manager at Yodo1. After less than six months, she led the team, and one year after that, she became the head of Yodo1’s MAS business unit—managing 30+ people and becoming Yodo1’s youngest-ever business leader.

In 2022, Marina moved to a new challenge, becoming Head of Strategic Partnerships for our Publishing and IP Licensing teams. Today, she is fully focused on expanding our global licensing partnerships and Brands in Games collaborations.

She’s also a certified sailor and can even do a headstand!


Marina, how has Yodo1 empowered you?

Yodo1 allowed me to grow extremely fast in the past four years, trusting me to do things I had never done before. I got the chance to work in the three main business units, engage with, and learn from many different teams around the company. 

Working remotely allowed me to be based in Barcelona but have the freedom to travel often for work and pleasure, planning my working hours in a way that best fits me.

I have also been able to hire great team members from all around the world. Not being limited by a geo-location when building a team is extremely empowering and allowed me to hire the best people for each role.

What advice would you give to women who want to stay physically active and socially connected while advancing their careers in a remote work environment?

If you want to advance quickly without sacrificing your health or social life—especially when working remotely—you need to create the right environment for yourself.

Choosing a place to live where you have friends or at least have the chance to meet people is important, as you’re going to spend a lot of time working by yourself, connected to your colleagues online but far away physically. 

In my case, using a co-working space really helped, as I got to meet new people and have a more stable routine. It feels like having the perks of an office with the freedom of working remotely. 

Lastly, I think it’s important to make the effort to meet your colleagues in person once a quarter to strengthen personal connections and engagement with the company.


Flo Alcasas, from freelance writer to HR leader

Flo was never interested in a traditional career path. After high school, she left her home country of the Netherlands to volunteer in Asia while pursuing an online college degree and teaching English on the side. Coincidentally, it was when she started running a blog that she landed her first freelance writing work with Yodo1. After a few months, she was offered a part-time and eventually full-time position in the PR department.

The big leap came when Yodo1 closed its Beijing office and went fully remote. Co-founder and Co-CEO James LaLonde asked Flo if she was interested in leading Yodo1’s new global recruiting efforts. Four months after that, she became the Head of HR—leading recruitment and people operations—and hasn’t looked back since.


Flo, how has Yodo1 empowered you?

My boss and mentor was quick to see my potential in areas I’d previously never imagined myself working. Along with new opportunities, I got a lot of coaching, on-the-job learning experience, and—most importantly—a lot of trust to try my hand at a new set of challenges.

I’ve never heard of a company that promotes people as quickly as Yodo1. And it’s super empowering to work alongside so many exceptional women leaders!

What advice would you give to freelancers who want to transition to a full-time career?

Whatever job comes your way, don’t take it unless you’re going to give it your best. Freelancers build their careers by establishing a reputation of excellence, whether the assignment is one hour or one year.

Do the research needed, pay attention to detail, double and triple check. Once you are known for delivering at your best on whatever task you’re given, clients will keep coming back and may even want to bring you on full-time if an opportunity opens up.

Winnie Yang, from managing a game to a whole business unit

Winnie joined Yodo1 in 2019 as a project manager in the Publishing department, handling the game production schedule, ensuring quality releases, and managing external communications.

As she gained more experience and demonstrated her capabilities, she was given the opportunity to take on a bigger role within the team. Now, she oversees the entire game production team, operates multiple projects, and helps run the business unit.


Winnie, how has Yodo1 empowered you?

Yodo1 empowers me by trusting me with increasing responsibilities and providing opportunities for growth and development.

Moving to my new role, I had to start managing people, costs, and strategic direction. One of the biggest challenges I faced was transitioning from a hands-on worker to a more strategic thinker, which required me to learn how to delegate tasks effectively, empower team members to make decisions, and focus on the bigger picture of the business.

Despite the challenges, my work at Yodo1 has been extremely rewarding, allowing me to significantly impact the company. Overall, this role has been an incredible opportunity for growth and development, and I am excited to see where it will take me.

What advice would you give to women wanting to become gaming industry leaders?

I honed leadership skills such as communication, delegation, and decision-making to succeed in my role. I built relationships with key stakeholders. These are important skills to develop.

Additionally, I stay up-to-date with industry trends and best practices to ensure our games remain competitive and engaging for players.

My advice — believe in yourself, develop your skills, seek mentorship and support, and remain persistent in pursuing your goals.

Nina Wang, from China to Global

One of our first employees, Nina, joined Yodo1 in the early Beijing days in 2012. Four years later, she left to pursue a different path, and in 2020, she returned to continue her career in gaming. By this time, Yodo1 was a completely different company… and while COVID disrupted work, it didn’t slow Nina’s growth.

Starting as a Product Manager for a publishing project in China, Nina eventually took on the brand new challenge of leading Yodo1’s first globally published game.

Though it required getting out of her comfort zone, Nina stepped up to the plate and led her fully-remote (and now globally distributed team) to success with ARBS, increasing the game’s player base by 50x


Nina, how has Yodo1 empowered you?

At work, Yodo1 gives me a lot of room to play. When I face unknowns, my leaders never give me direct orders, but they provide me with a lot of information and inspiration to explore and learn on my own. My colleagues also share recent discoveries and grow together. I feel that I am making progress every year, every month, and even every day at Yodo1 and this makes me feel more empowered and confident. 

There is one more point I want to make about women. For women my age, I am often asked when I am looking for a job in China, “When are you going to get married?” “When are you going to have children?” But the interviewers at Yodo1 never asked anything like this; they were focused on my career plan, professionalism, and potential. This made me feel very well taken care of as a woman.

What advice would you give non-native English speakers wanting to break into a global workspace?

Get out there and talk! Speak out loud. Don’t worry about grammar or word choice. The first step is always to speak. People are very tolerant of non-native English speakers. They will encourage you if they understand what you are trying to say and see that you’re making the effort. The more you speak, the more you’ll get used to it and the better you will become!

Nadiia Marchynska, three countries, three promotions

Nadiia, a digital nomad from Ukraine, was living and working in Vietnam when she decided it was time for a new challenge. She spotted one of Yodo1’s “work from anywhere” job openings and joined the team as a User Acquisition Specialist in 2021. It wasn’t long before she was promoted to UA Team Lead, and in less than a year, she became Head of Game Marketing and a member of our management team!

Nadiia was at a Yodo1 offsite in Thailand when the war started. If not for the trip, she would have been in Ukraine. Today, she is living and working in Canada.


Nadiia, how has Yodo1 empowered you?

Working at Yodo1 helped me keep moving despite the difficult war situation back home and inspired me to grow myself, my skills, and my team.

Receiving constant support from my team has been almost life-saving for me during such a difficult time. But the cherry on top is when I hear testimonials from our developers and receive sincere thanks and positive feedback directly from them. Being in a role where I can directly help developers empowers me greatly!

What advice would you give to women wanting to enter the gaming industry?

With focus and determination, nothing can stop you from succeeding, so keep moving towards your goals!

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