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Elizabeth Harz

VP of Business Development

San Francisco, CA

Being able to show my daughters the world is their oyster? Priceless.

What could be more fun than spending the day playing games, or talking about people playing games? That’s what I thought as I concluded my day at the headquarters of a prominent gaming company. I was talking to the company about growing their media business and inspiring brands around the world to embrace the reality that “gamers” were no longer just teenage boys in the basement.

But then I received some news via a drugstore pregnancy test. The immense joy of learning that our second child was on the way was immediately followed by a grave disappointment that I would not be able to take on this challenging and fun global role.

So I called the woman who had recruited me and her boss (the CEO), and told them I had just taken a home pregnancy test and was withdrawing my candidacy before an offer was extended. The reaction was unexpected: the CEO said that he wanted me as part of their team for years to come, so a three-month hiatus was not a concern. He also said that my decision to share my news so early, and my intent to withdraw my candidacy prior to an offer, spoke volumes about my ethics. Then, the hiring manager – president of a division and a mother of two – shared her stories about running businesses while raising children. After getting over the initial shock of their reactions, I realized it was now up to me to decide if I wanted to take on the challenge.

I hung up the phone and hurriedly arranged for a conference call with the executive leadership team of my family: my husband and my nanny. We debated the logistics of this possibility and my husband and I created a pros and cons list. The pros won, and I took the job.

What followed was a series of soon-to-become classic memories: Helpful people across Asia assisting me with my suitcase while seven months pregnant; My assistant’s concern when I walked too far on hot days in NYC at nine months along, and her consistent request that my water not break on her watch; The phone interview conducted and immediate offer extended (due to contractions), a hire that proved to be one of the best I’ve ever made.

Building a “best in class” organization, changing perceptions about marketing in and around games, and creating a cross platform network was exhilarating. Being able to show my daughters the world is their oyster? Priceless.