It isn’t sexism that is keeping women out of the game industry and it’s a “cop out” to suggest otherwise, says EA executive Gabrielle Toledano.
In an opinion piece she wrote for Forbes, Toledano stated that while sexism exists in gaming, it was no more prevalent than in any other male-dominated field.
“It’s easy to blame men for not creating an attractive work environment – but I think that’s a cop-out,” wrote Toledano.
“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.
“If we want more women to work in games, we have to recognize that the problem isn’t sexism.”
Rather, the industry was crying out for women but too few were answering the call, said Toledano.
“The only way to be successful in a creative industry like gaming is to stay on the cutting edge and innovate. You can’t do that if your team all looks and acts and thinks the same.
“Embracing a diverse culture and making talent a core focus of our business isn’t just a feel-good message – it’s necessary if we want to keep making great games,” she wrote.
“We’d love to hire more women but we can’t find enough of them to hire, especially in engineering.”
Her solution was simple: support educational institutions that are working aggressively to encourage women to pursue STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) careers.
“If women don’t join this industry because they believe sexism will limit them, they’re missing out,” added Toledano.
“The sky is the limit when it comes to career opportunities for women (and men) in games.
“I can tell you firsthand that in the video game industry women are not just welcome, we are necessary and we are equal.”