Gabrielle Toledano, executive vice president and chief talent officer at EA, has made a guest post over on Forbes discussing the issue of sexism in the game development industry.
Toledano begins by reiterating the old mantra that sexism is keeping females out of development studios – but she suggests that sexism isn’t to blame for a lack of female talent in the industry.
“The issue I have is that the video game industry is being painted as more sexist than other male-dominated workforces. I know sexism exists, but the issue isn’t just in video games. And it’s not what’s holding us back.,” said Toledano.
Toledano lists “three dirty little secrets about women in games”:
- Women play games – a lot of them.
- The video game industry wants to hire more women.
- There aren’t enough to hire… yet.
Toledano addresses these points by suggesting that women need to recognise and admit that they are game, “whether it’s on our phones, online, on our Facebook accounts or on a console.”
“Women know how to make games that appeal to women, and as I’ve established, there’s certainly a market for them. I’m proud to say that at EA, we have over twice the industry average of women in our workforce. But it’s still not enough.”
“We’d love to hire more women but we can’t find enough of them to hire, especially in engineering. In our industry and the technology world at large, we need to support educational institutions that are working so aggressively to encourage women to pursue STEM careers,” said 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.”
“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 first-hand that in the video game industry women are not just welcome, we are necessary and we are equal,” Toledano concluded.