EA’s executive vice president and chief talent officer, Gabrielle Toledano, has suggested that blaming sexism for keeping "women out of game studios" is "misguided" and "a co-out". According to Toledano, the solution starts with women themselves, rather than settling on the "easy" option of blaming men "for not creating an attractive work environment".
“Many have accepted as an article of faith that sexism keeps women out of game studios," said Toledano in her opinion piece for Forbes. "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.”
Although she doesn't simply write off sexism as a factor, Toledano suggests that it's no worse in the games industry than in any other predominantly patriarchal industry, and that more needs to be done between the existing industry and educational partners to attracted female students early on.
“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.
“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."
Acknowledging sexism as "an unfortunate reality of our times," Toledano called upon women to "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.” [via K0taku]