Halo head Bonnie Ross: Diversity attracts diversity

The video game developer tells 60 Minutes why it's important to have women in gaming and why having a diverse team makes everyone think differently

CBS All Access
This video is available on CBS All Access

As a female leader in a male-dominated industry, Microsoft's Bonnie Ross recognizes the value of cultivating a diverse staff.

Ross runs 343 Industries, Microsoft's subsidiary studio that manages the Halo video game franchise. She told 60 Minutes that gamers want to immerse themselves in fictional worlds, which often means choosing avatars that look like themselves.

"Across Xbox, we are really deliberate in making sure that we have opportunities for people to play the way they want to play," Ross tells 60 Minutes correspondent Sharyn Alfonsi. "And that does impact diversity and gender, what you look like, what your skin color is, what size body you have. And we try and make sure that you can play how you want to play."

To achieve that range within the games, Ross says she needs to make sure her staff is also diverse. In the video above, she tells Alfonsi that it's important for women to be on the development side in gaming so they can shape diverse characters and storylines.

Ross also explained how she thinks the first-person shooter game Halo has been impacted now that she runs the show.

"I think diversity does attract diversity," Ross says. "So I think we have a more diverse team than in the past, which I think the team actually really appreciates. And I also think that diverse teams do kind of create a more diverse output, diverse thinking, and innovation on where you're going."

To watch Sharyn Alfonsi's 60 Minutes report on cracking the code for girls in tech, click here.

The video above was edited by Sarah Shafer Prediger.