Gamasutra: The Art & Business of Making Gamesspacer
View All     RSS
July 31, 2014
arrowPress Releases
July 31, 2014
PR Newswire
View All





If you enjoy reading this site, you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites:


EA: Blaming sexism for lack of women in our industry is a cop-out
EA: Blaming sexism for lack of women in our industry is a cop-out
January 21, 2013 | By Mike Rose

January 21, 2013 | By Mike Rose
Comments
    133 comments
More:



"If we want more women to work in games, we have to recognize that the problem isn’t sexism."
- Gabrielle Toledano, executive vice president and chief talent officer of Electronic Arts, says that blaming sexism for the lack of women in the video game industry is unreasonable.

In an article for Forbes, she noted that the video game industry is being painted as a more sexist environment than other male-dominated workforces, and that this simply isn't the case at all.

"As an insider, I find this argument is misguided," she says. "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."

She notes that, while sexism is definitely not something to take lightly, the real reason that there aren't enough women working in video games is that there simply aren't enough to hire.

"Our industry needs and wants more women," she says. "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."

But she adds, "We'd love to hire more women but we can't find enough of them to hire, especially in engineering... If women don't join this industry because they believe sexism will limit them, they're missing out."

She concludes that, while sexism is unfortunate, women looking to get into the video game industry should put aside any preconceptions they may have. "I can tell you firsthand that in the video game industry women are not just welcome, we are necessary and we are equal," she says.

Toledano's thoughts clash with those of the women in the video games industry who took to Twitter last year to raise their concerns over sexism and harassment via the #1ReasonWhy hashtag.


Related Jobs

Raven Software / Activision
Raven Software / Activision — Madison, Wisconsin, United States
[07.31.14]

Senior UI Engineer
Treyarch / Activision
Treyarch / Activision — Santa Monica, California, United States
[07.31.14]

Senior Gameplay Engineer - Treyarch
Treyarch / Activision
Treyarch / Activision — Santa Monica, California, United States
[07.31.14]

Level Designer - Treyarch
Vicarious Visions / Activision
Vicarious Visions / Activision — Albany, New York, United States
[07.31.14]

Human Resources Manager










Comments


James Coote
profile image
Yeah, I remember out of my graduating class for Computer Science at uni, there were 4 women and 100+ men.

Kaitlyn Kincaid
profile image
and the question is why?

Maybe it was their grade 3 teacher saying how they were "Almost as good as a boy" at science?

Was it their grade 10 advanced math teacher who told them that, despite getting 99% on the final exam, that they should take remedial math in grade 11 because "math isn't for girls"?

Was it their first year university tutor who insisted on kicking them off the computer because they "could do it faster"?

Maybe it was the hundreds, nay, THOUSANDS of gamers over the years who asked for pictures of their chests (or lower) whenever they found out that they were a girl?


Sorry, but sexism doesn't begin or end at the job placement. Each of those examples above have happened to me and really made me question if this is the right industry for me LONG before I ever got my first development job. I know I'm not the only one those things happen to either.

If there are not enough people to hire it doesn't mean that the root of the problem isn't exactly what people are saying it is.

Johnathon Tieman
profile image
@Kaitlyn Kincaid: While valid statements, the article is limited to the context of sexism in the video game industry.

Arthur Souza
profile image
"We'd love to hire more women but we can't find enough of them to hire, especially in engineering... "

Johnathon, if you can't connect the dots, the problem is on your side. Kaitlyn is saying specifically why there are not enough women to be hired in engineering, and sexism is the answer to that question.

Kaitlyn Kincaid
profile image
@Johnathon Tieman

You say that like the game industry is somehow isolated from the entire rest of society. Games like Blood Rayne, Laura Croft, Tera Online and countless others with their absurdly dressed, hypersexualized characters do not exist in a vacuum. They were created, drawn, approved, marketed and developed in our industry to sell to society at large. If the sexism in society wasn't there, we would not be making these kinds of games to take advantage of it for a quick buck.


You can't look at the issues in our industry without addressing the social causes that lead up to it. We may not be able to do a damn thing about my 3rd grade teacher, but we can sure as heck do a lot about making games where you fight stripper assassin nuns or mages wearing "undies" so skimpy that a spiderweb would actually cover more skin.

Tom Baird
profile image
"we can sure as heck do a lot about making games where you fight stripper assassin nuns or mages wearing "undies" so skimpy that a spiderweb would actually cover more skin."

I don't buy that one. There is also a subgroup of the movie industry that objectifies women, but they don't seem to be struggling for female job applicants. The video games industry is not just Lara Croft and BloodRayne, it's also Beyond Good and Evil, Journey, Mirror's Edge, Plants Vs. Zombies, Heavy Rain, Walking Dead, Portal, etc... And the above problem is not strictly a video game problem, it's a media problem. But other media are not facing the same issues we are.

Edit: To add my view, rather than just refuting someone else's, I think it's more telling that the industry we share this issue with is the IT industry, and not other media. Because of this, I think we need to look at the field of engineering and technology education, rather than trying to look at the media we create, or audience we currently cater too. On the bright side, a number of institutions (e.g. MIT), and individuals (e.g. Kim Swift) are currently working to improve that, and I think that trying to understand why engineering and IT is male-dominated is the first step to understanding why the games industry is male-dominated. This also means I generally agree with the article. None of this excuses the sexism within the industry that is reported, but I also think that is more of a symptom of being male-dominated in the first place, rather than being the cause.

Johnathon Tieman
profile image
@Arthur Souza/Kaitlyn Kincaid: What I am saying is that the author is explicitly trying to refute the unproven claim of "the video game industry is sexist". I am not saying *anything* about whether sexism exists in society, or whether or not society influences the video game industry, or anything else (and I'm very well aware of the cyclical nature of societal influence). If you can't understand that not all statements are general societal references, then clearly the problem is with your lack of reading comprehension.

James Coote
profile image
Sexism aside, as mentioned in the Forbes article, it's a problem for all STEM subjects. My sister was one of only a handful of girls who graduated from her uni Physics course.

That is down to image. Maths in particular is perceived as being hard and geeky, but I see straight-A girls and boys pick History or English Lit over Science and Engineering, because they perceive, rightly or wrongly, that they are easier and more interesting

Tom Baird
profile image
@Maciej
Eeep, to be honest that one was one I hadn't played (the only one on the list), but I mostly took my interpretation of her from the short videos, demo, and trailers I saw, which certainly did not come off that way.

Next time I'm only listing games I've played through, since that info definitely makes that game stand out as being a crap example.

Kaitlyn Kincaid
profile image
@Tom Baird

Very good point about other media types not having trouble attracting women to the industry, but to that I counter with: How many of them require university degrees or higher in maths or sciences?

Acting, writing, drawing, graphic design... they are all "socially approved" female job options. High math, programming, and yes, game design are not. Why is that? Can we really lay all the blame on gradeschool teachers who said that we were never going to be good at those topics because of our gender, or is some of that on us as well for picking on the girls in our math class, or pandering to the ones in our programming class, or saying "lols bewbs!" when you hear our voice on ventrillo?

Matt Terry
profile image
To get back on focus with what the article conveys, yes, it is a cop-out to completely blame sexism, but sexism still may be part of the reason why there aren't more women in the game industry.

A parallel study may be the construction industry. Why do you see almost no women doing the physical labor jobs?

How about waste management? Auto mechanic?

Its all due to a combination of historical, cultural, social, and mechanical (males have more muscle mass are naturally built to be better at heavy physical labor) reasons. Its no secret that male brains are typically geared more toward dry logical/mathematical endeavors (a.k.a. programming)

I know everyone hates generalizations, but exceptions do not invalidate generalizations, no matter how indignant someone may become.

It seems this conversation became specific to the programming side of the gaming industry. Even though the title of the article just generalizes "industry", the term "engineer" come ups a lot. But what about the industry as a whole?

PR, HR, marketing, sales, graphic design, sketch artists, are all a part of the game industry, and each of those positions I mentioned would require a specific talent set vs PR/HR in a different industry so its not like they are generic job titles that can be unrelated to the gaming industry. I'm sure there are a lot more women in the gaming industry than people realize when you look outside of programming/engineering.

Bernardo Del Castillo
profile image
Ok I can't determine the specific reasons, but I know a lot of very smart women working in engineering, which to date scoff at the idea of working seriously videogame development. Normally, when I tell a guy engineer that I work doing indie videogames, they are all excited, and want to know more, while if I tell a Girl, I more often than not get a look of *ah, you're a nerd-creep*

However, I have met a few that do show interest, and it is hard to determine the exact conditions that make them observe games as an interesting expressive medium rather than a pointless juvenile nerd passtime.

I live in a highly traditional Country though, and I agree that there may be a very strong upbringing/education component in this view. And maybe (it is horrible and stupid, but it exists) there is a conception that a woman that will work in "serious job" will become absorbed by it, and fail as a wife and mother, which *should* be every woman's goal. Stupid, I know, but it is a stigma still carried down.

Also, and this is purely conjecture, but there is a certain more practical and secure genetic disposition to female behaviour. This in general primates. And this could still dictate a certain lack of confidence towards less established "useful" activities, playing it slightly safer/more traditional when picking a carreer.

This division is actually not only present in Games though, for many reasons, maybe hystorical, maybe genetic, entrepeneurship has been generally a male dominated area.
And don't get me wrong at all, I respect and would love to see more woman interested, but in my experience, I often have a hard time even explaining why I so much as consider games important to women...(although to be fair, I also think a lot of men completely miss the point of them too, which in itself detracts from the apearance of our medium itself).

My mother, for example, cannot comperhend that videogames today can have an ideologic discourse, and present ideas about reality. For her, that's not the area for games, games are for points, and colours, and shooting the bad guys. And this same observation lowers the validity of it as an occupation in her eyes.

I suppose it is a reflection of the media image of games, like many other things, this devolves into a bit of a vicious circle, since games often show themselves unintentionally or willfully ignorant or offensive to women's views. And even some well intented male efforts, can backfire simply because there may be little female creative input in the process. And they think "Ah, they wouldn't be into it anyway".

There is also a certain Market soft cushion, that determine what qualities should be in female games (friendly, caring, casual) and which should be male (RAWWR hardcore, InURFace, Brofistpump). Which also divide the audience even more, even though I feel the distinction should not exist. Thankfully, games like Portal, Or Katamari, or Okami, or Zeldas, or FFs (or many others) don't fall on the pidgeonholes and with some luck they will keep growing into more diverse experiences.

I suppose the problem lies with the defensiveness and the demarcation. I am a man, working with an all male indie dev team. I would love to have female colleagues, and I'm sure, we can unwillingly be sexist (and a list of other less than possitive adjectives), but I'm also aware that that is not how we want it to be, so I'm definitely willing to adapt.
However, there has to be an interest for me to even be aware of our shortcomings.

Friends?

James Yee
profile image
As stated in the Forbes article and elsewhere women in any of the STEM fields are rare.

I work for NASA and I've been tracking satellites for over a decade. Do you know how many I've worked with in operations (Not HR or Admin) in all that time on three different sites?

6

This day to day operations stuff here, not programing, not IT tech support, this is just telemetry monitoring, tracking, and commanding of spacecraft. Lots of guys and almost no women. Honestly I think it's because women are smart enough, or have enough options to do other things. Why go through the drudgery of operations when you could make something, or fix something, or better yet manage something?

*Shrugs*

Michael Rooney
profile image
I think the lack of women in STEM fields is much more complex than any single thing, and I think it's probably rooted well before high school even.

Not trying to be sexist saying this, but a lot of women set themselves up to work less challenging jobs with fewer hours because they expect to also be handling most of the work in a family unit as well. Studies have backed up that women work fewer hours and are more likely to leave their careers/scale back their work hours after having children. I don't think it's absurd to think that a lot of those women would have the foresight to avoid fields with mentally exhausting work and long hours as the STEM fields tend to have.

I'm not entirely convinced that it's because of sexism either. Sexism implies discrimination. I feel like it's a much larger cultural and possibly even biological influence than pure sexism. Sexism seems like too easy an explanation for something so complex; something that simple should be much easier to find rampant evidence of.

R G
profile image
@Kaitlyn Kincaid

Typical cop-out.

How about we ignore the fact that there are many games with healthy depictions of female protagonists. Also, you do not speak for all women. Many women enjoy empowered females; for example, Lara Croft from the Tomb Raider series.

Boo hoo. A gamer asked for a pic of another gamer's chest. It happens. That's not all gamers, and there are plenty of female gamers who also go online and act promiscuous (LOL IM A GURL GAMER ;)) ). Is it right? No, but you are generalizing as well.

You yourself are being sexist by not seeing it from a male perspective; you say that females are subjected to sexism in the video game industry when, curiously enough, other media do the same.

Playboy, movies, "reality" TV. All of them contribute. And you know something? Most guys hate being put into a stereotype just like women do; we mostly don't like skinny bimbos. True story.


I'm slightly ranting, and I'm sorry for that. But please, every group I've worked with females have been treated equally. Female gamers are on an equal playing field. Ask the Frag Doll next to me who just beat me in some Call of Duty, "TEH MANLIEST OF MAN GAEMS YO".

Love and peace everyone

Kaitlyn Kincaid
profile image
@Robert Gill

I'm being sexist for pointing out male privilege... gods how I wish I could say that was the first time that has happened.

I do see it from a male perspective, I have male perspective rammed down my throat from every billboard, magazine, tv show, movie and, yes, game I see in any given day. Laura Croft an empowered female character? Please hun, just because you give a girl a pair of 9mms doesn't make her empowered when her chest is still 50" and her waist 12". Hell, just look at the covers and tell about all the ones where she ISN'T in the typical "chest out butt shot" pose... there are three, out of fourteen (just games, not counting movies and other media)

Pointing out sexism isn't sexist, trying to shut someone down someone because they are calling you on your privilege and you just don't want to hear it is however.

R G
profile image
@Kaitlyn

Just stop. You're not even backing yourself up anymore. "B-b-but I do see it from a male perspective, it's, uh, rammed down my throat get it liek raep ya know? Ladies? Everyone?"

You're being self-entitled. Fact is, there are thousands of female gamers out there, and most of them don't feel this way. Just because there are younger players on Xbox Live who call out on a girl DOES NOT MEAN male gamers in general are like this.

The average age for a gamer is ~30 years old. And I've yet to hear any reports on anyone above their twenties doing this. Does it happen? Probably. But less often.

When you can start being less defensive and a victim, then you can start hurling words. But this stuff isn't helping anyone; not you, me, the industry, or gamers everywhere.


Have a wonderful day.

Joseph Russell
profile image
In the United States, there is a serious lack of Asian-Americans in politics. Is this because the environment is inherently biased or unfair? That Asian-America communities are simply "unwelcome" in politics? While I can not speak for every case, evidence suggests the real issue is that there are not enough Asian-Americans putting themselves on the voting ballots.

One should not expect to be voted into office if they never get their name on the ballot. One can not expect to find work and footing in any industry if they never fill out and submit their resumes.

Axel Cholewa
profile image
You're missing the point. Read the discussion above. The problem is not that women do not apply for the jobs. It is that there are not enough women who would want to apply, because in a lot of countries only a handful of girls pick science or math classes.

Jacob Germany
profile image
@Joseph Both? Why do you assume there's no racism against Asian-Americans in politics? The vast majority of politicians are white males, and you think the only reason for that is because they're the only ones wanting the positions?

And even if that were true (it isn't), you think that still absolves voters and politicians of racism and sexism? That those factors aren't contributing to the lack of individuals willing to seek the positions?

Emppu Nurminen
profile image
Surprise, surprise, tech industry suffers yet exact same problem. I would point out the hostile culture they both have and seems like want to sustain because dude, bashing iFanboys/Androidnerds is just do much fun and the drama is worse than any reality-tv can offer for far more pettier things.
No, seriously, while it's wrong to call that as sexism, I find it odd, why people keep wondering why there is so few women in both industries. People who want a nice place to work won't look the technology related industries simply because of the attitude the resonate via industry professionals, journalists and the end-customers.

Emppu Nurminen
profile image

Lewis Wakeford
profile image
There isn't really going to be one single cause of a lack of women in the industry. It's probably a combination of a number of things. Do women not get into technology because they feel like its a hostile environment or has it become a hostile environment because there are no women in it? I feel like even at Secondary School (Middle School, for Americans) there weren't many girls getting into IT or Computing, at least not the more technical stuff like programming. At Uni there must have been a less than 5% ratio of girls in my Computer Science class.

If we want to get more girls into this stuff in general I think it needs to come from encouragement at a younger age. Though I feel their might just be something different between men and women that makes it naturally less appealing. Whether that something is part of the social structure of schools or an actual biological difference, I don't know.

Carlos Rocha
profile image
I find truth in her argument. Although some studies have shown some differences between women and men salaries in the industry, I do think that the problem would be less if there were more women in aspiring to work at games. I have a small videogame company, and finding women to work with us has always been a challenge.

Kaitlyn Kincaid
profile image
the issue is more that by the time we go through 12-13 years of grade schools, 4 years of university and however many years of QA, the blatant hostility in those areas have long since weeded out all but the 100% dedicated women from the industry.

EDIT: on the flip side, any girl you see who DOES get through all that BS you know is really committed to the craft.

tony oakden
profile image
Out of interest Kaitlyn do you think the reason why there are so few male nurses is similar? E.g. the blatant hostility to men in the nursing professions weeds out all but the 100% dedicated? Or do you think women make better nurses because they tend to be naturally more nurturing and better at that sort of job. Hence more nurses are women because they are just naturally better at it and more inclined to choose it as a career because it's something they are interested in? Nurture versus Nature is a hot topic right now. It seems to me there isn't a lot of hard evidence either way.

Jacob Germany
profile image
When have you ever met a nurturing nurse?

My anecdotal perspective is one of neutral attitudes at best, rude and apathetic at worst.


As for the actual argument, the cultural factors affecting decisions to become programmers or nurses can hardly be ignored. Even if you believe there are biological factors, one couldn't possibly believe that the sexism in tech or the attitudes towards males becoming "nurses" have no bearing on the likelihood of individuals entering into those fields. It's inevitable that they affect the situation.

Rob B
profile image
Damn it chicken, would you stop arguing with that egg about who came first!

Maurício Gomes
profile image
I once saw a very clear reason for women to not work in IT:

The work is harder than most want to bear.

You think I am kidding?

Well, once I worked in a office with 40+ programmers, 5 were female (yay!) and the company was very pro-female (for example the CEO would every week have a private meeting with ALL women of the company and ask their concerns and whatnot).

One client (not big, a huge-pharma) liked a project that the company was making for iPhone, only that iPhones were against their company policy, their workers had to use Blackberry.

In mid-project thus, stuff changed for Blackberry, pressure quickly built up, people started to cram very long hours to meet deadlines, and milestones were shown frequently to the client, meaning that any bug slipped it would also see, the client was so interested in the project, that sometimes it asked for programmers to be shipped from the company to meet with the president (yes, ever thought as coder you might be shipped to see the president of a huge-pharma?) so he could talk personally with them about the project.

Result: a resounding success, good case story, and lots of rewards to everyone (including the client that had a sudden 20% profit increase in one of its departments).

well, almost everyone.

the women involved in the project just could not handle the pressure midway, and quit. The CEO really liked them, because they were geniuses and good team-players, but even offering lots of stuff to them did not worked, they said that they were in the wrong career, and quit.

I tracked them on LinkedIn, they really changed careers, went away from IT, although seemly one could not resist and now is working in a bank (but in a much easier to work department, probably for less pay).

Rob B
profile image
'You think I am kidding?'

No, I think you use anecdotes as evidence and are therefore not relevant to the discussion. Given no, more direct, access to what the women involved were thinking you are not even a data point.

Paulo Ferreira
profile image
I think, woman or man, no one should feel obligated to give their lives to their companies just for financial rewards. There's more in life then money ok?

steven macinnis
profile image
It also comes down to how we are wired for social interaction. In my opinion women have a much higher need for social interaction and drawn/gravitate to jobs that provide this and tasks that are much less intensive so they provide more of it. That would help explain why they fill more bank teller, waitress, office jobs. These jobs provide less mentally taxing tasks that don't require literally hours of concentration. This gives plenty of opportunity to chat with co-workers and clients.

There is a certain amount of isolation that comes with any job that requires deep concentration for extended periods. It's not that they are less capable, they just don't want the jobs because for most women the job can't fill a basic need for them.

And if I am wrong then somebody better start a "We need more men in teller positions" campaign to make things more balanced :)

Johnathon Tieman
profile image
@Rob B: That's no different than the anecdotes used to "prove" the industry is sexist. The plural of anecdote is not data.

@Paulo Ferreira: No one was obligated - those that didn't want to work long hours moved on to other careers. There are even other jobs in that career field that don't require those sorts of long hours. That specific company did not owe those women (or anyone, really) a job that didn't meet the requirements of the company. Employment is a two way street, after all.

@Maciej Bacal: No, he said that, in his experience, women chose to not work as hard as men. You are putting (rather vile) words into the author's mouth.

Kaitlyn Kincaid
profile image
funny, I had 4 friends in highschool who also wanted to be game designers... they failed out of uni because they couldn't handle the pressure. I was the only one out of the 5 to a) graduate university and b) get a job making games.

So, in conclusion, my anecdotal data 100% proves that men can not work as hard as women.

Rachel Presser
profile image
"the women involved in the project just could not handle the pressure midway, and quit. "

A man REALLY wouldn't have done the same thing?

Hmm, I saw my master's in accounting to the very end despite the mounting pressure from holding down a job and dealing with a really unreasonable professor and teammates who essentially forced me to do 80% of the work on this big project. Even though the capstone project went well into that summer, I started my thesis in late 2010 and managed to complete it by summer 2011...I started it the same time I prepared for the Enrolled Agent exam. I passed all three parts on the first try and was licensed literally the day tax season ended in 2011.

Compare that to a male friend of mine who was unemployed and not preparing for any professional exams while he started work on his master's in comp sci, but then gave up after just one semester because it was "too hard".

My anecdote totally proves that there are PEOPLE who just can't handle pressure.

Johnathon Tieman
profile image
@Maciej Bacal: Do you really not understand the difference between people who chose not to work as hard as someone else, and people who are incapable of working as hard as someone else? Those are two drastically different things.

Rob B
profile image
'Do you really not understand the difference'
Whether through ineptitude or unwillingness to put in the effort the point of the post is still the same. Women cant hack it.

As for proof, the problem was implicit in the post. If you identify a problem and comment on it you should have the evidence to back you up. (Yes this goes for both sides of the debate.) This is especially true when saying something as daft as women just arnt as stalwart as men or that its so mentally taxing they just prefer to be waitresses...

Kaitlyn Kincaid
profile image
@Johnathon Tieman

here is the exact words the OP used: "the women involved in the project just could not handle the pressure midway, and quit."

Not "did not want to", or "chose not to", but "COULD NOT HANDLE"

Kevin Alexander
profile image
Dude, you lost me at the CEO's weekly private meeting, with JUST the 5 female employee's...

That is instantly weird, even in the most professional of senses.

Johnathon Tieman
profile image
@Kaitlyn Kincaid: These are not women who were screwing up, or couldn't get the work done - you left out the fact that the boss wanted the women to stay. It is clear the they were capable women who could do the job, but chose not to. There is nothing sexist in pointing out that those women just flat chose not to trade that much of their time and energy for that project.

Emppu Nurminen
profile image
The story just sounds so STDH, either OP is bullshitting or the women are bullshitting. Women are such magnificent people to hide the real truth, when they have been taught to do that constantly and it does sound too unbelievable coincidence.

@Steve; Women are social ONLY, if we believe in that fallacy that more words mean more social. No. There is fair share of introvert and extrovert in both genders, and while expressing oneself with more words than others, it doesn't mean you are more social. It means you want to use human interaction to know about things rather than babbling IRC/Skype/Facebook chat with others because you don't want waste time on writing useless stuff that can be easily sorted out by speaking.

Note; I've been writing this comment for half an hour to make sure I will be understood perfectly clear and I could have done the same thing in 5 minutes by simply discussion with you. Technology, such a time saver.

Maurício Gomes
profile image
Alright, lay down the pitchforks.

First, I am not a english speaker, and my choice of words are not precise. (for those that want to nitpick the post in that manner).

Second, I said the CEO had meeting with ALL women, I even wrote the ALL, like in all caps. I said there was 5 female programmers, ever saw a company with ONLY programmers?

The company had 5 female programmers, and of course other department, some female dominated (ie: HR for example, had all employees being women, also the cleaning department, and the reception, some other departments also had women in rates about 50%, only programming was male-dominated).

The CEO would ask all women in the building to go to the meeting with him, also the HR department (that had only females) also would do meetings like that. And it worked, the only instance of male perpetraded bigotry got harshly punished.


No, I never said people are supposed to chase money, that actually is my whole point, some industries have huge amounts of money on them, but also huge amounts of unhealhy work, and women frequently don't take those jobs, that applies to IT, some scientific fields, physically dangerous labor...

I am not saying that all women don't do that, my girlfriend works in a prison (for men, not women) and do just fine, but men, and women, have different priorities in life, while a guy might want to chase money until he dies (and many do, hoarding stuff even knowing he will die of old age in 5 years), women prefer to do other things (like, have children... or do volunteer social work, or whatever).


Why my female colleagues quit? Because they were failures? No, quite the opposite in fact, they were really good workers, but they had other priorities, they wanted to do something else with their life beside work themselves to a unhealthy life and to them, meaningless life.

Maurício Gomes
profile image
Alright Maciej, then tell me, why careers with more pressure and danger (that you can account for example by the number of deaths, or work-injuries, or work-related mental problem leaves) have less women?

Kaitlyn Kincaid
profile image
@Maurício Gomes

Wikipedia is your friend, if you really want to know the answer to that question there is far more reading to do on systemic sexism in western society than can fit in a comment.

This is 101 stuff in a masters level discussion, you will have to get yourself up to speed before you can tackle the advanced questions.

and as for why they quit? maybe it's because they found their fellow programmers were sexist and thought they couldn't do the job, so they left for somewhere else where they felt appreciated. Good CEO or no, if your co-workers are jerks, you're going to have a bad time.

Maurício Gomes
profile image
@Kinkaid

You should stop blaming everything on sexism.

Like I said, there was ONE instance of sexism on the company, and it got quickly and harshly punished.

One of the co-workers that quit had even fans, she was above her 40s, a mom, and was without work for several years and suddenly decided to work, and she was pure genius, always amazing people, if you needed something to be done, we handed to her, and she did it.

When she decided to quit, we asked her why. She told us that not being able to properly take care of her children was not worth the fun she was having at working again (she did not needed the money, and was working because she liked the work).

I don't know what happened to you, but I am kinda tired of people that see sexism everywhere, you know, I am tired of being told that I am a misogynistic pig just because I held a door open for a lady ("I CAN DO THAT, I DON'T NEED A MAN!") or because I have no women in the company I currently own (I never had a female applicant by the way), or because you know, I decided to be kind and offered to pay the dinner.

Emppu Nurminen
profile image
"When she decided to quit, we asked her why. She told us that not being able to properly take care of her children was not worth the fun she was having at working again (she did not needed the money, and was working because she liked the work)."

Yet you see this as something as not able to deal with the pressure? The woman most likely run the whole freaking house hold and took care of the kids too on top of the work at her job (and believe me, many women do this in their daily basis). That's a double of the stress, duty and responsibility any single man - and unfortunately quite many married dads - is dealing with such. There are decent guys who share the duties and responsibilities of the kids and household, but unfortunately you don't see that sort of sacrifice men doing. And that's quite selfish in the needed situations because it's more about dumping most the responsibility and duties in home to another person rather than dealing the fair share of it yourself.

You kind of see, how it's so much easier for guys to have family as well as career, but for women, it's completely different story still, in these days. If you don't want people to call you out, then don't do such blatant assumptions how easy it is to raise kids, run the household and work full-time on your own. Without the help, naturally, because in perspective of your work community, society, even from your significant other it's your job because of your gender

Steven An
profile image
Wow and you've never had a male employee quit mid way through a project?

Maurício Gomes
profile image
I don't get it.

Why people MUST imagine that I said negative things? I never said that taking care of the house was easy.

I said that my coworker thought that taking care of her house was more important than working, not that she could not code or something.

And I fully agree with her, and all other women that take this position. If they do have a hardworking husband that pay all the bills, and they don't want to work, why they should?

Rob B
profile image
'lay down the pitchforks.'
Ahah, as if you are being victimised, of course.

'I am kinda tired of people that see sexism everywhere'
Oh spare me. This isnt about you or the fact someone was overzealous about door etiquette. This is about the fact that you cant comprehend that saying women cant or wont cope is a sexist thing to say.

It is mind-boggling that in one thread weve had people say women just want to be tellers, dont like to be mentally taxed, and cant handle pressure or danger, and we have the same people not just completely oblivious to the fact that there might be something wrong with that attitude but playing the victim because everyone is being so mean about these silly generalisations.

To be honest though, you seem genuinely confused by what the problem is. The issue of crunch times is a different kettle of fish, it applies to everyone, men, women, everyone. It is not flattering or understanding to say 'Well women wont work in tough high pressure roles like the ones I can.' You are saying that all things equal men can cope with pressure better than women and its entirely baseless.
Saying things like 'why careers with more pressure and danger have less women?' when you dont appear to know (or at least havent gone in to depth on) the complex details and issues with particularly male dominated fields of work since the world wars, just compounds the problem.

Its fine to be confused about these things, its quite difficult to empathise and understand an issue from a point of view that is often culturally rendered very different to your own. It would be arrogant for any men here to say they fully understand this, but if you are going to stand up and say 'I have identified the problem!' followed by implying the inferiority of an entire gender (I repeat to make this very clear, you _have_ implied the inferiority of another gender.) then as I said right from the start, you had better have some seriously concrete grounds for saying it.

'I said that my coworker thought that taking care of her house was more important than working'
No, youve so far said _all_ of your female co-workers have left primarily because it was too much pressure, (Which seems convenient to your point, but I dont want to get dragged in to musing over some random story.) and youve said its 'a very clear reason for women to not work in IT' in general. If you were just giving a singular example then this whole set of posts would be less of an issue and also would be even less relevant than they already are.

In a nutshell,
you have said in no uncertain terms that women cant or dont want to handle pressure in IT across the board. There is no evidence that its true and its an insulting assumption about the capability/willingness of a gender. It is, by the literal definition of the word, sexism. I dont know how to make it any clearer than that, and will probably give up trying to.

Vicki Smith
profile image
While you may have phrased things a little, um, tactlessly, you make a good point. I'm a woman in the industry and I love working in games. But during crunch I pull 80 hour weeks. If I had kids, there's no way I could work those kind of hours, even if I had a full-time stay at home dad at my side. The bond between a mom and her children is just too strong to spend that much time away.


Now, that doesn't mean that the industry isn't sexist. It's not deliberate, but requiring those kind of hours fundamentally keeps women out. It's not great for the men, either. And ultimately, it's not an unavoidable problem. As an industry, we suck at project management, and this kind of problem -- and a lot of our problems -- won't go away until we're better at it.

Kaitlyn Kincaid
profile image
@Maurício Gomes

You say the "one instance" of sexism was quickly punished? What about YOUR multiple instances of sexism in this thread?

Not all cases are as blatant as "I'm not going to hire her" or smacking someone on the backside and saying "hey baby, how YOU doing?" Saying that women are incapable, or even simply unwilling to deal with stress IS sexism (especially when you later reveal that the REAL reason was because she not only ran a 40-60h a week job like you, but also took care of the kids AND her whole household).

And the fact that such a sexist attitude is tolerated in your department doesn't support your point one bit. If it was really cracked down on, and not just the most obvious instances of it, you would be out of a job.

Luis Guimaraes
profile image
"A man REALLY wouldn't have done the same thing?"

That's not much of a choice for men in modern society.

"she did not needed the money"

Bingo! And welcome to the amazing realm of the HR thinking, where employees can't have other priorities besides making money for the company. Society is wired to ensure men make better slaves, because having a choice makes you free. No news here.

---

And this is my last comment in this subject, which is clearly not about sexism, but about an over-sensitive culture I'm not part of (nor are Maurício for that matter). Sexism is a real problem, but this topic for the last entire year has been mostly about first world problems instead (when the noise is higher than the subject, it becomes the new subject).

Out of here I am, have work to do, and life is hard and unfair to those wasting time.

Rob B
profile image
So this is all noise while the really pressing issue is how enslaved men are because of all the freedom they have? 'over-sensitive' appears to be code for, 'Why arnt people letting me make silly generalisations'.

Thanks for telling us about how this is such a waste of time you felt compelled to join in and tell us about how you are not going to waste your time with it.

Maurício Gomes
profile image
Yes Kaitlyn Kincaid I am a evil chauvinistic misogynistic pig that write only sexist and evil stuff of the realm of the lowest and most evil MRA tea-party nutjobs.

Of course, this is because I believe that women that don't need to work, can choose not to work, and that we should not expend too much effort in convincing them to work when we have no shortage of workers in general.

Thanks for informing me of that, I will keep in mind how evil I am.

Jen Hamilton
profile image
@Maurício Gomes
Haha... So you're saying she quit because she couldn't handle it? How do you know that?
You don't.
She could have quit for many different reasons. Making that assumption is ridiculous.

Chris Dickerson
profile image
I don't care who codes my games so long as i can save anywhere and there are no random encounters.

Steven An
profile image
totally unrelated to sexism but...c'mon man, don't limit yourself to such a limited band of gaming experiences :P

Paulo Silva
profile image
I would really like to read "more" comments from women.
Otherwise this feels like men discussing whether trans-vaginal ultrasound are a good idea...

Rachel Presser
profile image
I too would like to see other women speak up-- but you see, that's one of the problems of having sexism indoctrinated in you from the moment you're brought in the world: women are pretty much taught to keep quiet lest they cause a stir. Maybe it's not forced as much today as it was in my parents' and grandparents' generations?

But it's done enough, and was done plenty to my generation, to explain why things ranging from sexism-based threats at work to outright sexual assault tend to go unreported. Then when speaking up is met with threats, having doors slammed in your face, and verbal (or otherwise) beatdowns?

It's what makes many women not want to discuss the problems at hand. It angers and upsets me.

Jesus Alonso Abad
profile image
@Rachel Presser: Hope that changes soon, as I'm fairly concerned with this topic. It's always good to see other points of view, specially from those who have suffered it first hand. Even trying to be open with the best of my will, I may be skipping something important just because of cultural biases. That's what I found best of the #1ReasonWhy movement: that I was getting a lot of reality all of a sudden. A lot of things that should've been said and fixed long ago, but unfortunately weren't. Good people may not be doing things right just because they don't know they're wrong!

Of course I'm open to any comment or discussion (even in private if you will) from you or any other concerned woman. Having a good knowledge on the problem is needed to put a solution :)

Christopher Enderle
profile image
Do a search for "women professionals speak less." There seems to be quite a body of research that may help explain why we don't see as many women commenting.

Rachel Presser
profile image
@Jesus- I would gladly encourage that discussion! More attention needs to be paid to the roots of these issues rather than the buzz that surrounds them. I'm speaking solely from my own experiences and observations.

Kaitlyn Kincaid
profile image
@Rachel Presser

It's not just that we are told not to speak up, it's also that when we DO speak up we are told that we are "too close to the issue" or "fail to see it from a male perspective" and our comments are discarded totally.

Heck just look above at comments in this very article, I was called "sexist" for pointing out another persons sexism. You will note that he didn't call any of the guys calling him out the same.

Rachel Presser
profile image
@Kaitlyn

That too-- sadly, many women just opt out of speaking up in anticipation of scoffing and dismissal. Or being told that we just don't want to do things that are too mentally taxing.

Oh! And/or just being told we're making a mountain out of a molehill, being too defensive, etc. Heard it allll before.

Jesus Alonso Abad
profile image
Maybe the ratio is lower in the states, but when I graduated from CS, in Spain, the ratio was approximately 60% men:40% women, or maybe 70:30. At my former job, almost half of the office staff (I'm talking about 100+ people) were women. And certainly some of the most hard-working, talented and competent programmers I've worked with, were women. To me, hiring a man before a woman when both have the same CV and experience, is sexist.

Of course, discrediting those confessing their experiences on #1ReasonWhy and say they're wrong, sounds to me like an EA PR maneuver, excusing themselves for not hiring more women. I wonder what would happen if now, suddenly, they receive an avalanch of job appliances from women. Are they going to hire them all? After all, the only reason they talk about is that there's not enough female candidates, that they're eager to find women willing to work for them.

They can keep saying sexism is not the cause. I still believe the #1ReasonWhy reasons, some of them coming first hand from friends of mine.

Johnathon Tieman
profile image
@Jesus Alonso Abad: The ratio is vastly lower in the states. During my undergrad, I can think of only two, maybe three women in the computer science program. It was the same in my graduate program. I believe the formal studies done show about 5% of IT programs in America are women (but I'd have to double-check that, as I'm going off of memory).

I have no doubt some women have run into sexist assholes in the industry. However, just becomes someone sexist works in the industry does not mean the industry is sexist. Those statements are what is referred to as "anecdotal evidence". Equally, the plural of anecdote is not data. I'm not aware of any study done to determine if the video game industry (or even the IT industry in general) is actually sexist.

Jesus Alonso Abad
profile image
@Johnathon Tieman: Agree. Since the #1ReasonWhy movement, a parallel movement rose on Twitter, #1ReasonMentors, where people from the industry can help women willing to get into the industry, either with experience, suggestions, or actual job offers. I can't say which of those movements is better at depicting the actual industry, so either saying it's sexist or open can be wrong.

However, albeit being just anecdotal data, it's an issue that exists, and in a fair number of cases. Toledano's view of it as a cop-out, is wrong. Maybe not 100%, but quite wrong. It's something that should be taken seriously and eradicated from the mind of many old-school-ers in the industry. Indeed, although I was very lucky for the office I was working at, here's still most likely that women end working as waitresses, cleaners or fashion shop attendants.

Johnathon Tieman
profile image
@Jesus Alonso Abad: I don't take Toledano's view to mean that the individual cases of sexism shouldn't be eradicated. I take her comments to mean that the unproven view of the industry as a whole is sexist is a cop-out that masks the fact that it is a society problem, feeding back on itself (this also applies to the gun violence issue). Address the underlying societal problem, and any issues in the industry will be corrected along with it.

Mary Diamond
profile image
Sexism exists -just take a look at any forum or comment thread. I don't know how many times I've been looking for information on something technical -and forums are my friend for that- and scanned over a post about how someone's girlfriend is such an idiot with her tech that he has to nerf her phone or talk to her like a child. But you have to get the job before you can be a victim of gender prejudice there.

There is an obvious lack of women actually competing for these positions, so we should probably acknowledge that the gaming industry isn't actively trying to filter us out. I wish this article had addressed the cyclical nature of the problem without calling valid issues like sexism "a cop out". That's backlash at it's finest.

There are fewer women with the skills/experience to work in this field because women are typically not encouraged to pursue technical careers of this type because... well, because sexism. Little girls traditionally get play kitchens, toy babies and sexualized fashion dolls to play with and then go to college and perpetuate the stereotypes they've grown into. Maybe the next generation or two will have more female techies who can hold their own -since even ten year old girls now have smartphones.

Maurício Gomes
profile image
I only wonder how to fit in that theory, the 1950s, the famous bastion of sexism and women educated to be stay at home moms, that had MORE women computer scientists than men. (Grace Hopper anyone?)

Mary Diamond
profile image
...Mauricio you seem like an intelligent person. I think what's causing you so much trouble in this thread is that you keep making generalizations.

I'd love to see a link or reference to there being more female computer scientists than males in any decade. Just because you can cite famous women who contributed to computer science does not by any stretch of the imagination disprove the reality of postfeminist attitudes toward the education of women.

That statement you made further up about how women CHOOSE to have babies or be volunteer social workers was almost too much for me to take. How are we supposed to support our familes or ourselves in those ways?

Maurício Gomes
profile image
@Mary

People that choose to do other stuff than get money, is obviously because they don't need the money (for example they are married with a guy that can handle that alone, or handle the most part of it).

Or they think they don't need the money... (sometimes they need and never figured out that).

As for the amount of women, I will have to did that up... I saw this in another discussion in Gamasutra, someone posted some links and even photos of early computer work (1940s, and 50s). Grace Hopper was one among many.

Lars Kokemohr
profile image
As far as I know most men in the 1940s were in the kill-and-get-killed-business aka World War 2, so that there were more women in "men's jobs" might not be statistically relevant.

Jonathan Adams
profile image
This article seems to be out-of-sync with the actual discussion it's trying to address. Sexism contributes to the problem at all levels of the industry, though I imagine it's much better at a larger (and thus more accountable) company like EA. I don't think I've even seen people claim that women aren't ALLOWED in the industry, but that they tend to face discouragement during their education due to social conventions and assumptions, and discomfort during their careers due to old (but slowly dying) biases and behaviors ingrained in the industry. I think that it would be best for everyone if women went for it anyway, rather than letting historical inertia get in their way, but to dismiss the issue seems like sleight-of-hand propoganda, even though well-intentioned. You can still acknowledge something unfortunate while kicking that unfortunate thing into the history books where it belongs.

Adam Bishop
profile image
If her point is that there is no sexism in *hiring practices* then that may very well be accurate but I don't think that's the point that things like #1reasonwhy are trying to address.

Lars Kokemohr
profile image
I believe that there is a point to this article, not only because I think that this industry is less women-unfriendly as it appears but also because I used to work in one of the most sexist jobs there is:
Before I became a developer I used to be a musician. Now in an orchestra you don't have such a thing as job interviews. Instead new applicants have to play short concerts in front of the whole orchestra and everyone gets to vote whether someone gets the job or not.
Several decades ago there used to be only men in these orchestras (at least here in Germany) and there still are a lot of musicians who seriously dislike the idea of working with women. Just look at the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra - if I am not mistaken they still have no more than 1 woman employed!
I heard a lot of "reasons" from my colleagues, e.g. "women get pregnant all the time and we have to fill in for them" etc.

My point is however: There are so many women applying for positions in orchestras that sooner or later people had to vote for women, and now the ration of women to men is about 1 to 1, it will probably even change to the other extreme so that there are more women than men.

Unfortunately that does not really solve anything, because that still leaves us with the question whether so few women go into IT for some genetic reason or because they were taught as kids not to like technical stuff.

By the way: "You can't do that if your team all looks and acts and thinks the same."
So all men look and think alike? ;-) I wouldn't say that about women, please don't say it about men.

Matt Wilson
profile image
My perception of EA's HR and employee treatment has continued to decline over the years.

Having the chief of HR insist that the problem cited by developers doesn't actually exist isn't helping that image.

Andrew Grapsas
profile image
Anyone that thinks sexism is involved has never had to hire an engineer. I don't care who you are. I don't care about your gender. I don't care about your extra-curricular activities. I don't care about your personal choices. I don't care about any of those non-work related things.

Are you a great engineer? Can you get along with my team and collaborate? Are you going to get up every morning and genuinely enjoy working with my existing team and contribute meaningfully every day? Great! You're hired!

Is there sexism? You bet. Is there racism? Yup. Does it apply to engineering? Are you kidding me? We can't afford to have sexism or racism!

Russ Menapace
profile image
"Can you get along with my team and collaborate?"

Right there is the rub. Maybe your team is full of chauvinists that can't get along with her. What then? Fire them all so you can hire her?

It's nice to say that male chauvinism is dead, but it isn't. Maybe there's a little less of it, but for the most part it has just gone into hiding. Like racism, it's going to take dozens of generations of applied effort to eradicate it.

Jesus Alonso Abad
profile image
I don't know in the US, but in Spain I've seen loads of civil engineering women not getting a job, just for being women, even with better curricula and aptitudes. My experience in the IT industry was quite different, but because I worked at a hugely open company; however, what I've read in the #1ReasonWhy discussions is that the problem exists in the videogames industry too. In an ideal world people would be picked by their merits, but it's not the case everywhere :(

Alan Rimkeit
profile image
"Like racism, it's going to take dozens of generations of applied effort to eradicate it."

You assume that is going to happen to either one. Will it ever? Really?

Russ Menapace
profile image
@Alan - I subscribe to the comforting belief that it could happen, but assign the arrival time after my expiration date, to prevent the inevitable disappointment.

Alan Rimkeit
profile image
@Russ Menapace - You have more faith in the human race than I do.

Andrew Grapsas
profile image
I was just having this discussion with the industry board for a prominent university. We all agreed the reason there aren't women in computer science is that there are no support systems in the US to appropriate engage women with the subject.

Without social and educational systems supporting and generating exposure, how exactly are we going to compete with advertised programs of study? (Math, science, and engineering enrollment were 60/40 or 50/50, computer science was less than 13% female)

R G
profile image
Thank you Andrew. Seriously, I hate this blaming sexism bit.

Joshuah Kusnerz
profile image
I think if we look at what is happening in our player base we can see why people discount the games industry as a boys club. We have a fighting tournament hosted by a major corporation (and recorded for a video site) show us how a lowlife can harass and verbally abuse a young lady for days without anyone stepping in, stopping it or throwing him out. We have sites like http://whywasibanned.com/ and http://fatuglyorslutty.com that document the vile hate-filled things that our players say and type on a daily bases. We need to start removing the privilege of voice chat or the ability to type in public forums to these abusive players. I rarely play multiplayer anymore because of the foul language and blatant threats of violence. I can't imagine what the a female gamer has to put up with. My GT is gender neutral and I get horrible types of messages when I log into my XBLA. Even the Steam forums are infested with trolls. As an industry we may need to start training our players that this type of behavior is unacceptable. Permabans may be needed in some advanced cases but for the most part removing the ability for those players to communicate will foster a more family like atmosphere. This will let everyone feel more comfortable with gaming culture as a safe place to have fun. If both men and women are more comfortable gaming together without fear of harassment, violence or stalking, the thought of becoming a games programmer or artist may become a valid desirable option for more young women.
Just my five cents.

Michael O'Hair
profile image
Although I already dropped a line on the Forbes article, but I think I thought of a better one.

From the article:
"So if you like to play games, wouldn’t it be fun to make them?"

Fun...?
Yes, HR Person.
Fun is the word you are looking for.
I'll just go back to sharpening up the graphics on Level 3.
Salt the fries.

Matt Terry
profile image
To get back on focus with what the article conveys, yes, it is a cop-out to completely blame sexism, but sexism still may be part of the reason why there aren't more women in the game industry.

A parallel study may be the construction industry. Why do you see almost no women doing the physical labor jobs?

How about waste management? Auto mechanic?

Its all due to a combination of historical, cultural, social, and mechanical (males have more muscle mass are naturally built to be better at heavy physical labor) reasons. Its no secret that male brains are typically geared more toward dry logical/mathematical endeavors (a.k.a. programming)

I know everyone hates generalizations, but exceptions do not invalidate generalizations, no matter how indignant someone may become.

It seems this conversation became specific to the programming side of the gaming industry. Even though the title of the article just generalizes "industry", the term "engineer" come ups a lot. But what about the industry as a whole?

PR, HR, marketing, sales, graphic design, sketch artists, are all a part of the game industry, and each of those positions I mentioned would require a specific talent set vs PR/HR in a different industry so its not like they are generic job titles that can be unrelated to the gaming industry. I'm sure there are a lot more women in the gaming industry than people realize when you look outside of programming/engineering.

Rebecca Richards
profile image
"Its no secret that male brains are typically geared more toward dry logical/mathematical endeavors (a.k.a. programming) "

Gosh, I wonder why women think the industry isn't exactly welcoming when their peers still spout dated, disproven "bio-truths" like this one?

And this isn't even the FIRST TIME in this thread that a man has waltzed in, stated women are inherently incapable of doing a "man's" job, and then sounded surprised that people might find that kind of offensive.

To the EA woman, the only "cop-out" is pretending it's the fault of women that they're not terribly interested in joining this industry.

Wes Jurica
profile image
@Rebecca Richards
She never said it was the fault of women. She said there weren't enough of them applying in the first place.

Like has been brought up in the other comments already, the male/female ratio in CS programs is hugely skewed in favor of males. As little girls of today grow up and decide which career to pursue, I'm hopeful that their parents that grew up playing games won't put the same stigma on STEM that their parents may have had for them.

This won't be solved overnight, but hopefully discussions like these (no matter how thickheaded some of the commenters are) are helping to raise awareness that there is an issue.

It makes me wonder if the industry is going through something like The 6 Stages of Acceptance (if such kooky stuff is to be believed):
Denial
Anger
Bargaining
Fear
Depression
Acceptance

Matt Terry
profile image
@Rebecca

For one, please post a credible source that disproves what I said. I believe this to be a fact, the key word being "typically", not "every". I have a feeling you are exactly the person I was talking about when I said exceptions don't make generalizations less valid, even if someone gets offended. Although being offended is a valid emotional response, it does not entitle you to anything.

Secondly, way to take one sentence I posted completely out of context of the entire message and make a completely separate issue out of it. Who ever said women are inherently incapable of doing a man's job? Those are strictly your words and your interpretation of a message much less offensive than you perceived it.

Jacek Wesolowski
profile image
A creative director at one of my former jobs once called an all-hands meeting in order to welcome our new receptionist. Part of his welcome speech was a joke that compared her work to prostitution.

A creative director at a company that I didn't work with, but had close contratual ties to, once made his female producer so angry with his direct remarks during a party that she left at once.

A high-ranking manager at one of my jobs once said women are supposed to have pretty butts rather than "pretty IQ", and trying to have both of these is just pretentious.

Another manager I worked with would hold it against a female candidate if she seemed "too girly" to him at the interview.

In literally every job I've had there's always been at least one guy with the hobby of trying to test everybody else's tolerance to crassitude. You probably know that kind of person: one who keeps sending goatse links and compares female programmers to guinea pigs.

So that's one side of the picture. But there's another one.

When I was in school, girls always seemed better at math. In terms of grades and general understanding, there was always a girl at the top, and not a boy (well, there was also me, but I didn't really have any pastime options except for studying, so I don't think I count). All of my math teachers were female - there are generally very few male teachers in Poland - and they never seemed to favour anyone on the grounds of gender.

After graduation from our equivalent of highschool, one of those girls who were good at math went on to study architecture. Another chose chemistry but then resigned. All other girls chose either mathematics or some purely non-engineering faculty such as journalism.

One faculty at my university taught both mathematics and computer science: same lectures, same workshops, same professors, and largely overlapping curriculae. Still, math students were mostly women and chose such occupations as accounting or market analysis. Computer science students were mostly men. They would naturally become programmers.

I studied information technology at the electronics faculty next door. There were 180 students in my year. Exactly six of those were female. They all had above-average grades, by the way.

So that's another side of the picture. But there's more.

The company I work for has a large QA department. The testers seem like the most mixed and varied group of all. Women are a minority, but a visible one. A tester's job is neither well paid nor stable (most people are temporary employees), so I guess a significant portion of these people are driven by their enthusiasm for the subject matter.

And it shows. We have recently offered junior designer assignments to two of them. We knew they were good candidates, not because they're skilled (they're not, yet), but because they've put significant effort into letting us know just how much interest they had in this kind of job. Now that they've got a chance, they're learning quickly and making progress faster than we anticipated. Oh, and yes, they're both male.

How about female candidates, then? I honestly have no idea. They never said anything, and I don't have the time to conduct a survey or an exam. In my experience, the number one problem with discovering talented female designers is that, on average, women don't speak up, whereas men speak all the time. I know for a fact there are women interested in game design out there, because I've met a few. Pity all of them already had other careers. The women at my workplace don't seem interested at all. A statistical anomaly, perhaps - but statistical anomalies are unlikely by definition. I'd rather keep looking for a better explanation.

So, is it because women are too shy, or because men are too loud? Is it a culture problem? Is it anybody's fault at all? Who knows? I'm no sociologist, so let's just assume it's a bit of everything.

And that's the third side of this picture, making it a somewhat non-euclidean construct. Let's stop here before we all get eaten by a grue.

The point is, it's a complicated issue and you can spin it in every direction you want. Blame it on men, women, sexism, feminism, tradition, hipsters, or whatever. Either way, it's going to feel quite comfortable, but it won't get you anywhere.

Or, you could pick a different route. Try and think about something that you - and you specifically - can do to make the industry a better workplace. If you're a young woman thinking about her future career, then go ahead and give engineering a try. It's fun and the pay is good. If you're a young aspiring male developer - design a game for your girlfriend. Create opportunity for her to become interested. If you're a man in the industry - try and keep some of those jokes for yourself. They do sound better in your head. If you're a woman in the industry - try and forgive your teammates, as they don't really mean it most of the time. And if you're in a position where you can actually choose your teammates, regardless of your gender, then for once stop looking for the most skilled labour, and give a chance to those with a surplus of enthusiasm.

YOU are your coworkers' workplace.

Vicki Smith
profile image
This is a perfectly valid point, and difficult to address. It's also another reason why women tend to get paid less -- they are simply less aggressive when it comes to asking for raises.

Alan Rimkeit
profile image
How about someone does a major study on the possibility of working in the video games industry with the subject control group being females ages 10-18? Ask them what they think. Let's not assume that they even want to do this. Ask them and get clear picture of the real situation. More data is always a good thing.

Sean Kiley
profile image
A problem of appeal.

Most games when I grew up weren't interesting to girls (mario zelda megaman etc.) as more games become appealing to young girls/women, the more will be interested in the industry.

Jacek Wesolowski
profile image
All girls in my class in highschool were addicted to either "Baldur's Gate" or "Heroes of Might & Magic 3". That was 15 years ago.

Alan Rimkeit
profile image
My 13 year old daughter loves Dead Space.

Sean Kiley
profile image
I'm sure there WERE girls that played games, I can only speak to my experience. No girl I knew had a game console until high school, even then it was maybe a just a few.

Joshuah Kusnerz
profile image
Growing up in the 80s and 90s I knew many girls who adored the Zelda and Mario games (Mario Tournaments are how I found my first girlfriend). RPGs were also popular, the old SSi Dragonlance and Forgotten Realms games got a lot of attention. The AOL version of Neverwinter Nights had every type of gamer logged in and playing together. Along the way something changed. Online matches started to become an excuse for loud Alpha male posturing. BBS rooms became virtual frat-houses. I don't know when the change happened but that's when I noticed a drop in my female friends admitting to like games in public or online.
If you enjoy playing games but are told by everyone you can't really like them because of your gender or that you are not as skilled or make sexual comments about you, wouldn't you also tend to drift away to another hobby? Would you could start only playing single-player games so you aren't ridiculed? Or would you write off the entire industry over the immaturity and close-mindedness you have been exposed to?
I teach summer classes in UDK Level design, Environmental and Character Design to teens from 12-18. In recent years I have seen an increase in female attendance and am grateful for it. Those young ladies are the hard working (they feel like they have to prove something, for some reason) and often do the top rated projects of the week.
I rarely have a female student goofing off (talking while I lecture, watching Youtube or playing games in lab time) and they help keep the students around them focused as well. I had one 12 year old student last summer who did a feminine version of Altair that was spectacular. She was doing better cloth sculpting in Mudbox than some college students I knew. With practice and any fairness in the Universe she will be a star character artist next decade. From my observation there is and has been an interest in game design from creative people of both gender. We need to find out what happens before the end of college that changes or kills that passion.

Jacek Wesolowski
profile image
That's where actual research comes in. One cannot infer general patterns from personal experience. None of us knows enough people, and our samples are biased.

That said, Sean did mention "Legend of Zelda", so that would be second half of 1980s. "Baldur's Gate" is second half of 1990s. Alan's example is consistent with my friends' daughters playing, say, "Halo 3", in the second half of 2000s. Let's risk a hypothesis: we're looking at three generations of gamers here, and games may have become appealing to girls in the mean time.

Joshuah Kusnerz
profile image
True, anecdotal evidence is not something to base data on. I think Alans' point of having a survey done would get us the best start to create a hypothesis.

steve roger
profile image
I have done some open editing because I think it was wrong of me to use such words as dumb and silly. But the comments in reply to my original comments wouldn't make sense if I cut them out so I just made some open edits. Again, Sorry for my over wrought approach.}

The premise of the article is silly [I am changing it to I disagree with the premise of the article]. "Before we can address the lack of women in the game industry we have to agree that the problem isn't sexism in the game industry but the lack of a pool of females to hire from." Then, she tells us that the reason there aren't enough in the applicant pool is because of sexism. This is just dumb [Strike that sentence with the word dumb entirely] . All she is doing is attempting to ingratiate herself with the male audience she is attempting to connect with. I am an african american and I have some of the same kind of issues to contend with as women described here. I understand how uncomfortable it is to have a conversation with white folks where you are asking them to hire more minorities but blaming them at the same time for the lack of people of color in the business. But the truth is that you have to be willing to put it all on the table if you expect to be successful in the long run. You can't blow smoke up people's asses [redact peoples asses] when trying to get them to be proactive in hiring minorities and women. Recruitment of women into the gaming industry is done by starting a dialogue with the people you are trying to attract. The game development industry has a great head start because kids are already sold on gaming and you can have their attention if you want it. But if you want those female children to think about preparing for a career in games you have to have companies and people who recognize that the industry is pretty much male dominated and they have recognize that they have to change in there approach. Which brings us directly back to the point in question here. It is really dumb to [cut this phrase with dumb and just add: "We shouldn't"] pretend that there is no gender problem within the game development industry. The first step is recognizing what is missing: women and minorities--just like the multitude of other male dominated industries and businesses. The second step is figuring out why they are missing. If you are in denial about what role your particular male dominated business and industry has in the lack of women and minorities then forget any possible success in addressing it. All you have to do is to blame everybody else for the lack of a significant female applicant pool. Then you can go on your merry way of doing nothing about it on your end. So we can thank Gabrielle Toledano for letting us off the hook. Sorry Gabby, but what you are leading off with here is dumb, dumb, dumb. [Strike the part with dumbx3 and replace with I disagree with what Gabrielle lead off with here.]

Jay Anne
profile image
She never said the reason there aren't enough in the applicant pool is because of sexism. She says that it exists, but not any more than other male dominated workforces. She also says that it does not create a glass ceiling for career opportunities.

You should read the article more carefully before spending all that time writing an entire page of words that misses the point.

steve roger
profile image
@Kaitlyn Kincaid

You are wasting your time responding to Maurício Gomes. His points are even sillier than Gabrielle's. I think you are right about what you have been saying in the comments here. It is just hard for people to hear the truth. People would rather be spoon fed with pats on their back like Gabrielle is doing here. Nobody likes to swallow the truth whole because it gets caught in your throat. You end up with a lot of people being immediately defensive. You have to get by the emotional response of people who have been just told that they are guilty or even at fault before you can get them on board with your ultimate point--which is you want their buy in and their honest effort to address the lack women in the industry. Which is all that Gabrielle is trying to do here. Hers is more of a strategy than anything else.

Jay Anne
profile image
People, this isn't rocket science. If female employees truly do provide more workplace value, then eventually companies will figure out how to hire them as a competitive advantage. This is what happens at social gaming and casual gaming companies, where their audience highly skews female, and it works well for them.

But most commenters here are talking about AAA console games, where the product audience highly skews male, and so having more female employees may not be a big benefit. So it doesn't happen. As simple as that.

Every time an article on this topic comes out, everybody trots out the same old tired arguments that everyone has heard a hundred times. While I applaud the public debate on an important topic, it mostly only serves to show just how dumb some commenters are.

Rebecca Richards
profile image
So hey, how's that male-dominated AAA retail scene been doing over the last few years? Seem to recall article after article after article on this site showing plummeting sales, layoffs, and company closures.

Maybe instead of dismissing the idea of women and AAA, the industry should be actively trying to appeal to them. And that means instead of complaining about uppity women and men highlighting the obvious areas where we're failing to close a gap, we actually address them.

Joshuah Kusnerz
profile image
I respect your right to have an opinion in opposition from mine.
That being said if companies would organically shift long term hiring practices to catch up with the evolving workforce we would not have needed Executive Order 10925 and Executive Order 11246, or the EEOC to enforce them (Affirmative Action).
You argument that women would not be a big benefit in AAA titles is based on shaky ground. I'm sure Kim Swift, Amy Hennig or any of the developers who have tried to emulate their successful games would be better equipped to respond to that. In my opinion you are already making assumptions that bias your conclusion : Women play casual games more than men, who in turn play AAA titles, therefor that is how is always must be.
In the future please refrain from personal attacks in your comments, it devalues your credibility. Just because someone disagrees with your opinions does not make that person dumb or stupid.

Jay Anne
profile image
@Rebecca and Joshuah

Yes, the male-dominated AAA retail scene has seen year over year decreases in sales between 2008-2012. But it was that same male-dominated retail scene that had massive year over year sales increases between 2005-2008. And you have given no evidence that marketing AAA games to women would fix the recent downturn. I would love to hear any possible evidence you have of that (as would most publishers looking to find new markets).

Why are people so adamant about forcing AAA games for female audiences when they usually don't sell well? Is there some moral imperative that more female gamers should specifically be playing AAA games and not others? They vote with their dollars and they play tons of social games and casual games and that all works just fine. Those game designs are honestly more interesting than most AAA games, with social interaction and player expression through player choice. These games better fit their general spending habits and usage patterns. On the whole, female gamers don't want to purchase a $300-$1000 dedicated game machine and pay $60 for a single game. Yes, there are some that do, but not enough to justify a market.

Can you cite specific reasons why companies should forcibly create a female audience for console games with $20 million dollar budgets?

Jay Anne
profile image
@Joshuah
I apologize for my personal attack. I'm just trying to say this should be easy to understand.

I have great respect for Kim Swift and Amy Hennig and their games. Can you name some other examples like that?

Joshuah Kusnerz
profile image
@ Jay sure we have many to choose from down through the history of games. In fact today (because of this article) I had a discussion with quite a few people both in and out of the industry. One of these people happens to teach Game Design now and asked that very question so she could put together a section in her Survey of the Game Industry class. These are just off the top of my head from the list we compiled so my apologies for all the names I will miss: Jade Raymond, Lucy Bradshaw, Corrinne Yu, Kellee Santiago, Deborah Mars, Cammie Dunaway, Megan Gaiser, Robin Hunicke, Carol Shaw (some say she was the first woman game designer), Roberta Williams, Jane Jensen, Christy Marx, Sheri Graner Ray, Erin McCarty, Brenda Brathwaite Romero, Dona Bailey, Emily Ridgway, Erin Robinson,Cindy Armstrong, Ellen Beeman, Paulina Bozek, Rima Brek, Linda Currie, Kaye Elling, Laura Fryer, Denise Fulton, Beverly Garland, Heather Kelley, Debra Kempker, Rhianna Pratchett , Samantha Ryan, Nancy Smith, Kiki Wolfkill, Emiko Yamamoto and of course Tasha Harris.
I know this is not an exhaustive list as I have left out many of the CEOs, CFOs, Presidents, Vice-Presidents, Producers, Programmers, Modelers, Animators, Tech-Artists, that didn't have as strong of a name recognition factor, those I just plumb forgot or those who would prefer I not use their name.
In my opinion crafting a game is about doing a quality job that will let as many people as possible have fun. It doesn't matter what race, religion or gender is doing the work as long as everyone is doing their best and working their hardest to create an exceptional product. However when a member of your team is hurt by the actions or words of another member of your team there is friction, people lose focus. No one can do their best when they are not comfortable in their surroundings and that feeling quickly can spread through an entire office.
In addition, having a diverse team can often help you avoid cliches and missteps in story, design and execution. Different backgrounds help not only broaden our understanding of the world but can help us look at a problem through fresh eyes and find a solution we would have otherwise miss. Sometimes the big budget games can seem a little been-there-done-that. We should be welcoming new ideas, new ways to look at things or we will become stagnate, sales will plateau and more companies might close. I think the question we should be asking is: "Why are people opposing this idea of changing our industry so EVERYONE feels welcome?". You can never get the absolute best if you disregard (or drive away) half of your sample size.
Again, just my five cents.

Jay Anne
profile image
@Joshuah
Very good points

Matt Terry
profile image
@Rebecca

I know a fantastic solution to maintain profits for AAA games even if sales volume is down: hire many more women.

Because you only have to pay women 70% of what a man makes, right?

30% reduction in labor expense!

steve roger
profile image
@Jay Anne What I love about your comments is that you do exactly the same things that you accuse other of. Plus you have no idea what you are talking about because apparently you are totally unfamiliar with the articles that are referenced in this piece that the author and Gabrielle identifies for us as people and positions she agrees with. This encourages us to go beyond this thumbnail of a broader subject. If you had a clue you would find my points clearly supported and adopted by Gabrielle in the Forbes piece which leads you directly to what I was discussing that she found in the New York Times. None of this kind of discussion and debate exists in a vacuum. Which is the problem you have. Take the time to go beyond the 4 corners of this Gamasutra piece. The author laid out a path for you to take just by clicking on the links he provided. Instead you have spent all your time attacking those of us making comments. Grow up. Learn how to gain some breadth of knowledge. Instead of just making the same tired arguments of an angry white male.

Jay Anne
profile image
@Steve Rogers
I apologize for my attacks. I had a very clear succinct point that you have not addressed or refuted directly, either with statistics or logic. I will repeat it, just to be clear. If hiring women is a competitive advantage, then companies eventually do it because it's good for business. This works for social/casual game studios. If that has not happened at AAA console games, then maybe it is not a competitive advantage in that sector of the industry.

Joshuah provided a clear rebuttal to my point by bringing up data that there are in fact many women in important creative and leadership roles in the AAA industry.

Can you elaborate on what your rebuttal is, Steve? And please don't say something like "I already did and I refuse to repeat it just for you".

james sadler
profile image
I work at a college in the IT department. Our computer science major is the second highest enrollment major, just below Engineering. The CS program is somewhere in the high 40% of women. I've asked a lot of them about going into the game industry and generally their answers have nothing to do with sexism. Most responses have to do with going for PhD's so they can further the science or become professors. A lot of them just never considered the game industry as a worth wile pursuit. If they do want to go into industry they typically want to work for Google or Microsoft.

Its not like the game industry hasn't tried at our school though. The first year I was there MS Game Studios came and did a long pitch to the CS majors. During the jobs fair we usually have Blizzard, Riot Games, and a few other bigger game companies there looking for people. Riot games employs more than a few of our students, a few of which are women.

From my perspective the game industry just needs to do a better job at selling a career in games to women. There is a small stigma of sexism but it is overshadowed by the sheer lack of the games industry looking like a viable, sustainable career.

Christopher Enderle
profile image
People go into an industry they are passionate about. I'm in the game industry because I felt it enriched my life and I wanted to create experiences that enrich the lives of others. You sell a career in games to women by creating games that speak to your audience. Too often, though, when games address women, foot seems to meet mouth.
Now, games don't need to speak to women directly to inspire them. Games can be enriching at a simple, sexless, human level, but such games seem few and far between.

Gil Salvado
profile image
I've worked as a professional in the gastronomy for over 6 years before I joined the games industry. Hell, I really miss working with women.

Well, being treated as an equal can be somewhat of a problem for some women. There's no girl bonus in a male dominated industry. Not, if all are expected to be professional. Especially in such a high risk industry.

Maria Jayne
profile image
You know what I find really messing with my noodle. If we are saying we need women in the industry because they bring something to the industry that men can't. That's sexism...

We need good developers in the industry, their gender is irrelevant. If you're hiring someone based on their gender that is no less sexist than excluding someone based on their gender.

I don't understand why anybody would want to attract people who have no real passion to work in the games industry. Because if you are passionate about it, you're there.

Paul Boyle
profile image
I love how this is the first comment that's pointed that out.

Joshuah Kusnerz
profile image
I agree gender is irrelevant. I don't believe we should just scoop people up and dump them in a game studio based on gender. I also don't believe anyone is suggesting we hire people who aren't passionate about the work.
My concern is for those women who love games, they love making the art, the code, or just organizing everything to run flawlessly. Sometimes through "off color" jokes or comments about their body, or that pat on the back that lingers just a little to long, that guy who leans over just a little too close, a person can start to dread going to work. Not because their passion for the project has faded but through a desire not to place themselves in an uncomfortable (or sometimes) dangerous situation. That has driven talented people out of our industry and that is a shame.
This doesn't happen at every studio, but when it does happen it seems to be pervasive and is reported on. I think you are taking the argument of "Don't exclude someone because they are a woman" to mean "Only hire her because she's a woman". I don't think anyone should be making that argument either. Both women and men should be able to work without fear of harassment.

Rob B
profile image
'If we are saying we need women in the industry because they bring something to the industry that men can't. That's sexism...'
Women and men arnt identical in thought, nobodies argued that. The very fact that there are cultural pressures on women that men dont have automatically means there is a completely different perspective from the female point of view. Men and women are both technically capable but games are much more than their technical aspects.

We need people in the industry from all sorts of backgrounds to make sure the industry is as diverse as the society it is producing content for.

'We need good developers in the industry, their gender is irrelevant.'
Well thank goodness we live in a perfect world where this is so...

' if you are passionate about it, you're there.'
Passion isnt innate... I wasnt born with a passion for programming, it developed, and I was encouraged.

Jonathan Adams
profile image
Men and women have very different experiences in life on average, no matter how much we try to mitigate that. We're nowhere near the point where your sex or gender only matters for biological or fashion purposes yet.

Vicki Smith
profile image
It's not sexist to point out that men and women are different. They absolutely are. They like different things. It *is* sexist to create a workspace or a playspace where women feel unwelcome or unsafe.


Also, -- please don't be offended by this -- saying that "gender is irrelevant" is a tiny bit sexist. Just like saying that people should be "colorblind" is a little bit racist. Don't get me wrong; I used to think that way, and many well-meaning people think that way. But the truth is, men and women are different. Different races and cultures are different. Women *do* bring something to the industry that men can't, just like men bring things to the industry that women can't. Blacks, Hispanics and Asians are different, and we should celebrate and profit from their differences.

A lot of women ARE passionate about games and passionate about making games. But they often run into an industry that only wants to make the same games over and over again, for the same audience. Other women WOULD be passionate about games, if they didn't run into such a wave of hostility and/or lechery when they jumped into a game.

Rob B
profile image
'It has nothing to do with gender, and if you think it does, you ARE sexist.'
Women have an entirely different set of cultural pressures. Thats why this discussion exists in the first place! You can not be seriously saying that gender issues dont exist. You cant be that that naive.

Women have all the ability men have as does virtually any individual group, but to say that all these groups and genders have no unique perspective is worryingly ignorant of the history of not only this but every piece of discrimination.

You can not simply say there is no problem and have it be so.

Vicki Smith
profile image
Well, one thing that women might bring to the game industry -- hypothetically -- is that they may be better at designing games that appeal to women? Maybe? Considering that we as an industry very much want to sell more games to women, don't you think that might be valuable?

I understand that you are a passionate egalitarian, and I respect that. But "equal" does not mean "the same." There are many existential feminists who preach that true gender differences are minimal, purely engineered by society. For each such feminist, there is a neurochemist and an evolutionary biologist laughing at the back of the room.

Vicki Smith
profile image
@Brion

You are entirely correct, you should not treat any individual according to generalities that apply to any group. That's stereotyping and yes, it's wrong. However, it's ok to talk about group generalities when you're discussing groups, as we are doing here.

Women in general have a different perspective than men. Sure, there are plenty of individual women who could NOT design a game women like, and there are individual men who could. But women, in general, will have a better idea of what women like than will men, in general. It sounds like common sense because it is common sense.

I am not trying to stereotype any individual. But it's undeniable that women *as a group* tend to avoid the game industry. The industry *in general* would benefit from having a larger percentage of women and minorities, because that will tend to increase our understanding of those demographics.


Furthermore, no one is suggesting we should hire women off the street just because they are female. No one is suggesting we should hire a female candidate over an equally qualified male. If we can convince women that they want to work in games, we widen our pool of talent from which to choose people. The overall quality of candidates can only improve if there is more competition. But to do that, at very least, we need to shed our public image of being a misogynist old-boy club.


Vicki Smith
profile image
You know what? I will.

And I'll do it despite the discouragement I feel when fellow game developers basically say: "You know what? This is a misogynist boys' club and that's ok by us." And I will do it because I know that any artist who doesn't know their audience is not an artist at all.

[User Banned]
profile image
This user violated Gamasutra’s Comment Guidelines and has been banned.

Brenda Gershkovitch
profile image
While Toledano is right that sexism isn't the only factor at work, I shudder at her week analysis. Anything that looks at only one factor is going to miss the whole story. This is complex and interwoven, and a statement like "i'ts not the sexism dummy!" is just misleading. How about a look at the research? While it's true less women than men apply (duh), it is also true that women leave tech jobs at higher rate than men. That is about the sexism, and also the glass ceiling. And also because of family. But you can weed out the family issue by comparing those numbers to other industries - and we still come up short in comparison. Again, it's multi-faceted. But please don't try to biol it down to one thing - you do a disservice to a complex and important problem that simply needs to be addressed in a complex and directed way.

steve roger
profile image
@Brion Foulke

I put the part of Gabrielle's comment that I found silly in quotes at the very beginning of my first comment. I don't think can and/or need to be any more specific than that. And regarding having to swallow difficult truths about why there aren't more women in the game development industry--especially the technical or STEM side of it--yes, I do think it is tough for men to swallow the truth of the lack female hires in this area. Because IMHO it is because the applicant pool of women is really small. I don't disagree with this position, but what I don't agree is that we have to all play a charade and pretend that the pool is limited because women don't recognize the obvious opportunities that Gabrielle sees from her special and unique vantage point in HR. Rather, I think that women are limited from the get go due to societal constraints on women entering in the STEM fields. Like I suggested to @Jay Anne (consider that suggestion of mine equates with a two by four :)) you have to dig a little deeper than just reading this small(but very effective and well done) article and find out what Gabrielle is really talking about. Take a look at the referenced Forbes article and the New York Times article referenced by Forbes. I think that Gabrielle is well aware of the barriers women face in making a steadfast decision to buck the male dominated road to techincal/STEM based careers.

I think that she is just minimizing the difficulties women face in gaining traction in careers that require engineering/programming education, training and experience. I think she is minimizing such barriers as they exist today in the gaming industry. And as I have now said a number of times, I think she is using this this tactic in order to ingratiate herself with the huge numbers of males that she has to make convince that females hires are a good thing for everybody involved.

I probably shouldn't have stated my disagreement with Gabrielle's premise by being so flippant and using the word dumb and the word silly. It took away from my argument and provided little effective words of wisdom. My apologizes to Ms. Toldenda.

Brandon S
profile image
Hm.. she has a point , really has far more to do with the fact that ,gaming heavily relies on technology computers mathematicians programmings , (Things traditionally consider and only for the white/ masculine in American-Western Culture) So that default in the culture gonna get less woman focusing on gaming major ,Combine that with fact general culture demonizes gamers and blames it for ever social ill on earth or it consider "Childish"
The skilled middle class female professional who has over come the computer gender bias are more likely to work at intel then work in games . Think it has very little to do with the actual games to be honest . If one turns on television you'll easily find very large female audiences for some of the worse female character imaginable (Kim karadashin) Glossy glamor mags , Cat fight bitches ,about sex ,money and shallow fashion obsessed bimbos and reality tv . Nothing particular Healthy about them ,but being objective they do form entertainment for a very large audience that is predominately woman.
We are too focused on the content rather than literally what barriers (social ) are in the way of getting someone into a careers .One can say the same thing about race (I am African American , )But technical careers are traditionally consider the domain of the white middle class , if your in school you express intrest in computer someone will go "Your acting white". Meaning your less likely to get someone to pursue those career opportunities due to fear of being kicked out there peer groups.Not to mention it very hard to get into the gaming industry and be successful.

steve roger
profile image
@Brion Foulke

I did my best to explain what I meant. I have no idea where you are getting the feeling that I made a "dangerous" assumption. If my position is some how making you or anybody else feeling scared and afraid then we are all in a lot of trouble. Race and gender in the workplace is a subject that does cause a lot of hotly contested discussions. The very nature of the issues are polarizing. However, that doesn't mean we are required to temper what we say because of worries about the reactions of people who may not like or agree with what is said. That is the point I was making. I think Gabrielle can hold whatever beliefs she wants, but I get to do the same as well. It is pretty obvious to me that what she had to say was pretty effective on you. I think she accomplished exactly what she intended.

Alena Saunders
profile image
My 2 cents: As a woman in this industry I have never experienced sexism in my career. Maybe I got lucky, after all I'm in the casual game development. I'm just wondering why there is gotta be an equal number of females and males in the industry? Many women don't want to be in our industry coz 1. they don't consider it serious 2. it's too "geeky" for many. Or at least it has been until few years ago when "geeky" became very fashionable. And I believe we do witness more females coming to our industry. Look at the programmers classes - there are many more females, def the same applies to more traditionally "female-accepted" careers as writers and artists. So while sexism probably exist (def in the games themselves which is more likely the response to the society needs), it exists only to some extent and can't be 100% blamed for the lack of females in our industry. There are many more industries where the split between males and females uneven and I think it's only natural, not everything needs to be forced to be equalized.


none
 
Comment: