Electronic Arts Vice President Gabrielle Toledano says that blaming sexism for the shortage of women in the game industry is a “cop-out.”
Nobody will argue that there are far fewer women working in the videogame industry than men, and very few would claim that sexism, in one form or another, isn’t largely responsible. But in a recent column on Forbes, Gabrielle Toledano, executive vice president and chief talent officer at Electronic Arts, argues that very point, stating that if we want to increase the number of women working in the industry, “We have to recognize that the problem isn’t sexism.”
Toledano acknowledged that sexism is an issue but claimed that it’s no worse in the videogame industry than anywhere else. Instead, she said that a lot of women are reluctant to identify as gamers, which naturally precludes any thoughts about pursuing a career in game development, and that while the industry “needs and wants more women,” there just aren’t enough of them to hire.
“If women don’t join this industry because they believe sexism will limit them, they’re missing out. The sky is the limit when it comes to career opportunities for women (and men) in games. If we want the tide to turn and the ratio of men to women to really change then we need to start making women realize that fact,” she wrote. “Sexism is an unfortunate reality of our times, but as women we must seek the power and ability in ourselves to change the dynamic. Cast aside the preconceptions, and look for the opportunities and places to make an impact. And I can tell you firsthand that in the video game industry women are not just welcome, we are necessary and we are equal.”