Gabrielle Toledano, executive vice president and chief talent officer of Electronic Arts says it’s easy to blame sexism (men) for not creating “an attractive work environment”, but that she thinks it’s a cop-out. Somebody give this woman a life-time supply of Bells!
I’ve often expressed an opinion on sexism in the videogame community and industry that’s been different to the general outcry, men mostly agree with me and women, well, I don’t think they like me as much because of that opinion. Never the less, common sense tramps mass hysteria, so I’m not jumping on the sexism train. The only other woman that I’ve really seen being open and honest about the subject is Toledano and I can’t agree more with what she wrote on Forbes.
In her post, Toledano speaks many truths. The most prominent being that sexism isn’t the problem or the factor that keeps women out of game studios.
As an insider, I find this argument is misguided. It’s easy to blame men for not creating an attractive work environment – but I think that’s a cop-out. If we want more women to work in games, we have to recognize that the problem isn’t sexism. She wrote.
This not only applies to game studios, but everywhere else in the industry. That being said, she follows up with clearing up that she has a strict policy against sexism and harassment in the workplace. She also states something that is supposed to be something every one can see, and that is that the video game industry is not one that is more sexism than any other male-dominated workforces. I can think of a few that are probably a hell of a lot worse and harsh.
It’s time to start breaking the stereotype, starting with women. If women in the industry keep hammering on how bad sexism is, how many women do you think will be eager to join it? Another good point made by Toledano:
If women don’t join this industry because they believe sexism will limit them, they’re missing out. The sky is the limit when it comes to career opportunities for women (and men) in games. If we want the tide to turn and the ratio of men to women to really change then we need to start making women realize that fact.
What am I getting at here? It’s simple: stop playing the victim, conquer sexism. It really does not have to be a highlight or problem in your work environment, because you can rise above it. Rather inspire other women to get into the industry than to scare them away by joining the blame game. Just like Toledano is doing.
Cast aside the preconceptions, and look for the opportunities and places to make an impact. And I can tell you firsthand that in the video game industry women are not just welcome, we are necessary and we are equal.