Blaming sexism for the gender imbalance in games industry workplaces is a “cop out”, according to EA executive Gabrielle Toledano.
“Many have accepted as an article of faith that sexism 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,” Toledano said an opinion piece on Forbes
“If we want more women to work in games, we have to recognize that the problem isn’t sexism.”
Toledano, EA’s executive vice president and chief talent officer, went on to explain that while she does not deny sexism exists, she doesn’t feel its worse in games than in any other male-dominated industry.
“The issue isn’t just in video games. And it’s not what’s holding us back,” she said. “Rather than blame the majority just because they are the majority, I believe the solution starts with us – women.”
The executive said that women play a lot of games; the games industry wants to hire more women; and that there aren’t enough women to hire. She then called on the industry and its educational partners to collaborate in attracting female students to related disciplines.
“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,” she said.
“Sexism is an unfortunate reality of our times, but as women we must seek the power and ability in ourselves to change the dynamic. 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.”