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Supercell CEO hands over control to 15-year-old girl for the day

Clash of Clans developer takes part in International Day of the Girl campaign

Stepping down for the day, Supercell CEO Ilkka Paananen made way for 15-year-old girl Sonja Korpelainen.

Sonja was one of 600 girls involved in the #Girlstakeover campaign as part of International Day of the Girl. The global event was organised by humanitarian group Plan International.

In a Facebook post, Supercell said: "We believe that gender stereotypes and societal expectations shouldn't constrain girls' dreams and limit their possibilities. For us to make the best games to as many people as possible we need more girls to the game development industry."

The campaign was active in over 60 countries and saw the prime minister of Finland, El Salvador's minister of health, and the head of the Ugandan police force symbolically stepping down for the day.

"Having talked to Sonja today it became very clear that young girls don't even think about games as a potential career choice," said replaced CEO Paanenen. "I think it's up to companies like Supercell and others, like all of us game developers. We just need to get the word out and we have to find different ways to increase awareness and really promote games development as a viable career choice."

Sonja met with staff and developers, including Camilla Avellar, who said: "I feel that sometimes it's a bit hard to get your ideas out there. Mostly because maybe the guys don't really feel that way about things, so sometimes it's hard to sell your idea if no one sees things the way you are.

Following her day in charge, Sonja said: "I don't see that there would be a problem for girls in this industry. I think the problem is not inside the industry, I think it is about people encouraging girls to study this industry or to just get involved. When you come here it's like you don't even see the difference between the genders."

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Ivy Taylor avatar

Ivy Taylor


Ivy joined GamesIndustry.biz in 2017 having previously worked as a regional journalist, and a political campaigns manager before that. They are also one of the UK's foremost Sonic the Hedgehog apologists.