In a recent article in Forbes (as reported by Gamasutra) Electronic Arts executive vice president and chief talent officer Gabrielle Toledano said that blaming sexism for a lack of women in the video game industry is a copout and unreasonable.
"If we want more women to work in games, we have to recognize that the problem isn’t sexism," says Toledano. "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."
While she notes that sexism is a serious problem and shouldn't be taken lightly, she says the real reason that there are not enough women working in the video games industry is because there simply aren't enough women to hire right now. Naturally this would lead one to believe that there aren't enough women pursuing a career in the field.
"Our industry needs and wants more women," she continues. "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. 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."
Toledano concludes her thoughts of the subject by saying that, while sexism is an unfortunate thing, women also need to put aside any preconceptions they have about the industry aside.
"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.
While Toledano paints a rosy picture of equality at EA, her thoughts on gender in the video games industry is at odds with those who took part in the #1ReasonWhy hashtag on Twitter last year. Some of those responders pointed out anecdotal evidence of gender bias, discrimination and harassment in the video games industry.