Hasbro's Tanya Thompson on Women Innovators of Play

by Tanya Thompson | 22 Aug 2023

Biographies and Interviews


What are your roles and responsibilities at Hasbro?

I head Inventor Relations and External Innovation for Hasbro Gaming. This means that I’m always scouting for our next big game idea! I am also excited to share that I’m heading the initiative of our Women Innovators of Play event.


What is Hasbro’s Women Innovators of Play Event? 

Hasbro’s Women Innovators of Play is a new initiative and virtual global event on September 12, 2023, centered on women’s leadership, women innovators, and women-led creativity.


Why is Hasbro hosting the Women Innovators of Play virtual event? 

By doing this event, it reinforces Hasbro’s commitment to innovation and value of inclusion. The purpose is to create a space for a global community of women to learn and be inspired together. We want to be a catalyst for driving innovation and diversity of thought with women.


What can people expect from the event?

Attendees can expect a dynamic program that includes insightful and engaging presentations from prominent women leaders. They will have the opportunity to learn from women leaders about their experiences like the process of pitching a new idea, what makes an idea right for mass market, and the journey of a product through the Hasbro pipeline.


Who are some of the speakers? 

We are very excited to have actor, director, and entrepreneur Aisha Tyler; board game designer Elizabeth Hargrave; Head of Toy at Hasbro, Kim Boyd; and President of Wizards of the Coast and Hasbro Gaming Cynthia Williams. See the full lineup of speakers here Women Innovators of Play 2023 (hasbro.com).


What are the details?

The event is virtual, attendees must be 18 or over to register and can be from anywhere in the world. This free event is on September 12 from 10:00 am to 12:30 pm EST. The registration link can be found here Women Innovators of Play 2023 (hasbro.com).


Anything else people need to know about the upcoming event?

You don’t want to miss it, not only because the day is going to be great, but also because we will make a special key announcement at the event! But I can’t say more than that. 😊 Hope to see you all there!


How can more women get involved in the Toy and Game industry?

Network and connect with others already in the industry. Attend events, either virtual or in-person, like People of Play’s many virtual and in-person events. Check out their website. Also, Mojo Nation’s Play Creators Festival, Toy Fair New York, Women In Toys (WiT), Gen Con gaming convention – it’s all about getting out there to meet people who share your passion! What I also have noticed is that there are more gatherings at events for women to gather. Earlier this month for instance, WiT did a social networking event at Gen Con for the first time. It was great! Also learn as much as you can online by joining newsletters.


What advice do you have for those starting in the industry?

Learn as much as you can both from others as well as industry websites, newsletters, and social platforms. Learning about the different conventions or conferences you can attend will elevate your networking even faster. But also, I’ve found that more organizations are also facilitating virtual events. There are also different Facebook or Discord groups for everything! So, whatever part of the industry you’re most interested in, there’s sure to be a group on social media.


Why is diversity in our industry so important?

Diversity is important because innovation comes from a diversity of thought. If we come from different experiences and backgrounds, we will have a different point of view which will lead to more interesting outcomes. Since I work on the creative side of the industry, this is especially important.


women inventors diversity hasbro

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