Women in Mobile. Meet Sarah Yamanouchi, One of the Women Game Changers in the Mobile Industry

Sarah Yamanouchi, Associate Director, User Acquisition at Jam City at Aarki's Women in Mobile series

Many women are now building a strong industry presence and taking leadership roles as the gender gap in tech industry leadership roles decreases.

To acknowledge and recognize their contribution and get to know them better, we continue our blog series featuring women game changers in the mobile industry. 

Sarah Yamanouchi
Associate Director, User Acquisition at Jam City

  • What’s the best part about working in Jam City?
    I get to work with people that are passionate about what they do from different departments of the company including game studios, data analytics, engineers and marketing. The best part about my job is that I get to bring in users from everywhere in the world to play our games that entertain millions of people everyday.

  • What’s the most significant turning point of your career?
    It was definitely when I moved to LA and joined JamCity. Before that, I was working in a Japanese ad agency called CyberAgent in Tokyo and SF which was my first job in this industry. I got to learn the basics of UA there. When I joined JamCity 4 years ago, that’s when we first localized Cookie Jam into other languages. We weren’t really strategizing our international traffic buys at that time so it was a great opportunity for me to build that foundation.
  • What do you see as the biggest challenge for women in tech and how do we overcome it?
    Not just in tech but in general, women tend to be less confident compared to men and we tend to underestimate our skills and abilities.

    Although there's been a lot of improvements in the past few years, women are still under-represented in the tech industry. I’m not going to lie, sometimes it’s hard to be confident and share your opinions in a room full of men without feeling a little intimidated.

    What really helped me build confidence was being well prepared. I usually take a moment before the meetings to make sure and write down my ideas and the points I want to get across during the meeting so I am confident before speaking up. Also, having a woman mentor in the office helps a lot. I recommend having a regular catch up with a person that is in a different department and one or two positions higher than yours. Having a woman mentor can help you through your career path and moreover, having that support system will help you keep positive.

  • What do you think is the best international market to go after for the mobile app industry in 2019?
    It’s the most challenging but I believe China and Chinese speaking countries present the largest opportunities for growth. The Chinese government is slowly resuming the approval process for games/apps. 2019 will be an interesting year and I hope to finally start tapping into this market.

  • As an International Marketing Manager, how do you promote cultural diversity in the workplace?
    I encourage asking questions and sharing thoughts and ideas based on different cultural backgrounds. For international buys, it’s necessary to understand the cultural differences when coming up with targeting and creative strategies. Making sure that different backgrounds and opinions are welcomed is the key to making each individual feel inclusive.

    It is known that companies with more culturally and ethnically diverse teams are likely to see better profits.

    Having grown up in Japan, I have different values and ways of approaching things. I make sure to share my ideas and approaches based on my background as well, so other people feel comfortable to do the same.

    Sarah Yamanouchi
  • What is one of your most defining moments in life?
    When I gave birth to my little boy last fall. I feel like my life just started after that!

  • What’s your favorite holiday experience so far?
    In America, I would have to say Fourth of July is my favorite so far. I love how everyone is just happy and free on that day with beautiful weather and fireworks.

    In Japan, New Years is my favorite. New Years is one of the big holidays season there, and usually people spend time with their family and just relax.

  • If you could time travel, what’s one event you’d like to attend?
    I’m fascinated by the moon, so I would like to have been there when Armstrong stepped onto the moon in real time. And before I die, I would like to visit the moon myself and gaze on the earth!

  • What are you most passionate about?
    I am passionate about meeting people from different countries and backgrounds and learning about their cultures. It’s harder these days, but I would love to travel and explore the world as much as I can.

  • What’s your message to your 60-year old self?
    I hope you are still making friends all over the world and smiling at strangers!

Topics: Women in Mobile