Women In Games International (WIGI) works to normalize women, nonbinary, and femme-identifying professionals in the global games industry by eliminating barriers and increasing access and opportunities for everyone. WIGI works to normalize a safe, inclusive, and diverse workforce in the video game, tabletop, and esports industries by developing and cultivating free-to-access resources. Over the past twelve months, WIGI’s CEO Joanie Kraut has led the organization’s rebranding, assembled a dynamic team of experts, and overhauled the programs’ portfolio to include over ninety programs, workshops, panels, and initiatives. Joanie was named the 2022 Most Influential CEO for California, USA, and she shows no sign of slowing down.
Joanie Kraut is a powerhouse advocate and mentor who has committed her career to empowering those who feel powerless. As the CEO of Women In Games International (WIGI), Joanie has transformed the organization’s trajectory through financial solvency, global expansion, and strengthening community engagement for large-scale impact.
WIGI’s mission is to cultivate resources to advance economic equality and diversity in the global games industry. In doing so, WIGI promotes excellence through increased representation, access to technology, and knowledge-sharing with a vision to advance the success of women, nonbinary, and femme-identifying professionals in the global games industry. These programs also serve as an excellent building block for those seeking opportunities and inspiration to continue training as mentors and leaders themselves, championing sustainable change within the games industry with an emphasis on more diverse representation.
Leveraging her background in financial strategy and nonprofit management, Joanie successfully navigated the nonprofit’s turnaround, restructuring the organization from operating at a deficit to securing the largest gift in the organization’s history of $1 million (unrestricted).
WIGI is proud to be empowering women, nonbinary, and femme-identifying professionals to gain the confidence and skills necessary to navigate a successful career in the games industry. Under Joanie’s leadership, WIGI has been championing change through developing sustainable programs and initiatives to create meaningful change through diverse representation. WIGI strives to uphold a level of representation and inspiration for people everywhere, from every background, and with everything seemingly against their ability to succeed.
WIGI offers professional development opportunities to empower marginalized individuals to strive to succeed beyond all expectations, empowering the next generation of leaders and providing a platform to amplify the voices of underrepresented gaming professionals everywhere.
For over fifteen years, Joanie has operated in the tech and gaming space within different verticals throughout her career. She has served as an advisor and consultant for studios, startups, and nonprofits in the tech and gaming space. Her expertise resides in business development, financial strategy, and DEI initiatives.
Joanie was recognized as a 2019 CalCPA Women to Watch in Finance and Accounting, Experienced Leader for her significant contributions to the profession and her community. She was also named the 2020 Top 100 Global Leaders in Finance presented by GCIF and Prism Events to recognize fintech innovators and global financial leaders driving significant industry impacts.
Joanie has been named the 2022 Most Influential CEO, California, USA, for her tireless efforts in championing change in the global games industry. Joanie also serves on the Board of Directors of Techbridge Girls, is an Advisory Board member for the California State University East Bay Big Data program, and is a mentor and guest speaker for Lesbians Who Tech & Allies, the Wonder Women Tech Foundation, and The Expat Woman group.