Employee Spotlight: Stephanie Warwick
Welcome back to our series of Employee Spotlights, which is inspired by the community spotlights we often share in our communities.
Community Spotlights highlight one member of the community and allow other members to get to know them a bit better, which is exactly what we’re looking to do here as well. Since we see the team here at Standing on Giants as a sort of community, we wanted to introduce you to our ‘members’, and as we think the whole team deserves to be celebrated, you can see this has become a long-running series!
This time, we sat down and talked to one of our lovely employees – Stephanie Warwick, who’s been leading the English Airbnb community team for some time now and has recently become Head of Community.
Hey Steph, first of congratulations on the new role. For an introduction can you please tell us who you are and what you do at Standing on Giants?
Sure, I joined about three years ago on the Airbnb team as a community manager. Then I worked there for a little bit of time and just before I went off on maternity leave I was made senior community manager, which is the role that I’ve been working for most of 2021 and obviously just towards the end of 2021 I moved up to be head of community.
How did you come to join the company in the first place?
My entire career has been in the games industry, this is basically my only job outside of it ever, apart from working in Co-op when I was young.
So years ago I just finished working with a publisher and indie developers on marketing and PR, because that is my background – marketing with a focus on community. I was thinking about taking a bit of a break. Then Toby got in touch via a mutual friend and said: ’Oh, you know, we got this community manager role.’ I used to work for Lithium (now Khoros) before, so I was always already very well versed in online communities and we took it from there. I started talking to him in February and my first day was March 1st.
As you mentioned before, you recently had a baby. Now that you are back, what is more difficult, looking after a child or after a community?
Uh, my clients might see this. So I’ll say the baby. (Laughs) You do have a very similar sort of scenarios. You give the community members choices whether they’re going to behave or not. So, yeah, there are similar tracks in training a baby. Sometimes the community can be a bit of a playground. But that’s just human nature and that’s not specific to communities. But that’s why we don’t tell people off. We steer them and say, ‘Hey, if you want to be in a healthy environment and be able to express your opinions, you do it. Do it in a constructive way, and you can pretty much say what you want.’ And it’s the same with the baby. If you want to play with these toys, you can play with his toys, just do it in a constructive way.
What would you describe as one of your biggest achievements at SoG?
That was absolutely stepping into a senior role, managing the little English team at Airbnb. Working with Nick, Liv and Quincy is just one of the best experiences not just at SoG, but in my life. Such a fantastically, fantastically talented team with completely different ways of looking at things and approaching problems. They all just clicked together beautifully and we’re just this little unit. They all pick each other up. They all support each other whenever anybody is struggling. It’s brilliant. So, the team management has been a great achievement and seeing them get promoted was really great as well. It’s just nice watching them flourish.
You said you are a big gamer and games developer outside of SOG – What can you tell us about that? What games are you developing?
Oh my God, can I plug my game? Yeah, yeah, yeah. Actually that’s a really interesting thing, because since 2017, me and my mates from Ubisoft, have been making Starbeard, which is a tactical RPG tile matching game. We were working on this game, and we brought it out in October 2019. I was sort of keeping it under my hat and then a few people from Standing on Giants saw it and they were like, ‘Oh, that’s cool. Let me see it.’ And then they actually translated into lots of different languages. Apple featured it on the app store and it did really well. And now we’re trying to fund the next game, which is lovingly called Grow Beard, which has got a bit more of an environmental idea behind it.
If you could create any community, apart from a Starbeard one, what community would you start?
It could get a bit morbid, but from a personal perspective, I know that there’s an upsurge now in mental health awareness issues. I personally have had miscarriages, and I don’t think there’s the support there for people that have had them. There is nothing out there to help you, it’s a wasteland. ‘Oh you can try again’, is just not what you want to hear. And I think for both, the men and women, the mothers and the fathers, there is no support. It would be nice just to feel like you can talk to someone even if they haven’t been through it, but they’re there to listen and allow you to grieve.
So yeah, I think that would be a fantastic space just to not only share your story and get help, but then feel like you can help someone else because not everyone but a lot of people go through it. And it would be nice to say what my coping methods were and also celebrate with the rainbow babies that do come.
That would be a very helpful community for so many people – a real hero community. If you could have a superpower, what would you choose?
I would love to fly. I’ve always wanted to fly, but not like Dragon Ball Z or Superman. I want wings, feathery, beautiful wings. I went skydiving purely for the fact that I wanted to feel how it was. And I usually go swimming a lot because it’s that feeling of weightlessness. I just like the sensation of freedom.