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EA executive says sexism isn’t keeping women out of the games industry

Sunday, 20th January 2013 22:28 GMT By Brenna Hillier

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.”

Thanks, Kotaku.

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23 Comments

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  1. LuLshuck

    Amen

    #1 2 years ago
  2. DarthKate8215

    At first I was like “EA, grumble grumble..” but this is a genuinely nice statement: “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.”

    #2 2 years ago
  3. deadstoned

    There is a demand in engineering jobs and computer science jobs for women. A woman with the same skills and drive as a man competing for the same job is more likely I’d say to get the job than the man to help boost sexually equality in the workplace. imho

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Francis O

    There are far more men interested in gaming than women, and thats a fact. Women need to start getting into gaming more, change the dynamic. Women in gaming should support fundraisers or events to introduce young girls and women to play video games.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. LuLshuck

    @4 they do, its called a ds

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Sini

    BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORING

    Women have smaller brains. This was practically proven long time ago.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LS37SNYjg8w
    and let’s not forget..
    http://veehd.com/video/4726405_Women-Keep-Your-Virtue

    #6 2 years ago
  7. YoungZer0

    Ugh, so refreshing to hear something intelligent one this subject for once.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. Vice

    I don’t know about women in game industry as designers or authors, or I dunno, but as a gamers they’re terrible. They’re like 12 yo kids, just ALL of them. Bad players, unreliable, emo and stupid. And yes, I do have years of experience in all kind of games to say that.
    Now another problem I have with women is that they often trying to fight images like sexy female characters. Big boobs, sexy dresses… They say it’s sexist and insulting. But it’s perfectly normal for them that every frakin’ single male character is an attractive muscular guy, not some old fat dude.

    If it was up to me, I’d keep women far away from games. Both development and from playing them. Well, in multiplayer ofc, I can’t care less what they do in single player…

    It’s a man’s world. Get f**ng finally used to it.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. G1GAHURTZ

    Uh oh.

    Here come the ‘heroes’…

    #9 2 years ago
  10. Phoenixblight

    Can easily see who doesn’t have a gf or a wife in this thread already.

    All of these naysayers have no idea what they are talking about infact writers for Bioware a large majority of women.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. Vice

    @Phoenixblight Really? Did they get that “majority” in past year or two? Because that would perfectly explain how this company went from totally awesome games like DAO and ME2 to absolute garbage like DA2 and ME3.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. YoungZer0

    And this is why you’ll never get laid.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. Telepathic.Geometry

    I don’t know an awful lot about the subject really, but it’s been my experience that the a large part of the problem is that a lot of women accept the status quo and even embrace it. A woman using her sexuality to get what she wants, for example, does as much for women’s reputation as men using their physicality to intimidate does for men.

    If you want out of the stereotype, you have to wade through tonnes of shit from the guys side, but if some of the women are holding you back too, I think it makes it much much more difficult.

    I applaud the positive proactive attitude this woman has.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. Telepathic.Geometry

    I would like to add that this kind of attitude does a hell of a lot more for feminism than getting bent out of shape about words like “chick” or whatever…

    #14 2 years ago
  15. YoungZer0

    Feminism? What makes you think the woman who wrote this is a feminist? Truth be told the toughest women i know are anything but feminists. My sisters for example didn’t even know what that was when i asked her and she’s the strongest woman i know.

    My best female-friend actually despises feminism. Also a fucking tough woman.

    #15 2 years ago
  16. Telepathic.Geometry

    I said feminism, not feminist.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. YoungZer0

    @16: Oh really? Let me just clean my glasses. *cleans glasses* Damn it!

    #17 2 years ago
  18. Telepathic.Geometry

    Yay, I won the internet! First time I think… ;D

    #18 2 years ago
  19. roadkill

    “EA executive says sexism isn’t keeping women out of the games industry” No s**t! The women’s brains keep them out of the games industry. Duh!

    edit: @8 Lol!

    @10 And look where that got them with Mass Effect 3. As soon as Drew left the women did quite a number on that game.

    #19 2 years ago
  20. Phoenixblight

    @19

    It has been that way since DAO. So keep trying troll.

    #20 2 years ago
  21. Gheritt White

    @12: Hear, hear.

    #21 2 years ago
  22. roadkill

    @20 Me? Troll!! Yes! You! N00b? Also yes! There are two different teams. We were talking about the Mass Effect team. But nice try anyway. :)

    #22 2 years ago
  23. Phoenixblight

    @22

    Yeah and I enjoyed the game and all Bioware teams for the writers majority of them are women.

    Also Drew wrote the entire plot of Mass effect before leaving except the new ending after it had been leaked.

    #23 2 years ago