Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Sexist Work Culture at Riot Games

Many of Riot Games employees are speaking up about their experience of sexism they faced at the company.

Although developer/publisher studio Riot Games have been around from 2006, they were able to make a good name for themselves upon releasing their multiplayer online battle arena video game League of Legends in 2009, which grew in massive with 100 million monthly players in 2016. Founded by Brandon Beck and Marc Merrill, the company is known for a sexist work culture among current and former employees aside from being acknowledged as a big name in eSports.

riot games sexism culture
Sexist Work Culture at Riot Games

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Recently, a handful of member of staffs who have previously worked at Riot or is currently working for them has opened up about their experience with sexism within their work environment. The company has 2,500 employees in 20 offices they own and according to a report published from Business Insider in 2013, Riot was listed as one of the best tech companies to work for because, they are making a great progress and have almost everything in their Los Angeles campus.

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A female employee of Riot, who worked there for three consecutive years, has explained how tough it was for her to hire a woman into a leading role for the company. Often female job candidates were ditched saying "they weren’t Riot material" or simply labeling as either opportunist or for being egoistic. Sometime Riot’s motto seemed absent among them or maybe they were not much into games in the eyes of her leadership team despite having similar backgrounds like them.



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When one of her idea fell flat in a meeting, the lady went on too far to conduct an experiment and asked one of her male colleague to pitch the same idea to them after a few days. Though skeptical, he did follow her instruction and to their surprise, everyone thought it was amazing. This clearly shows that they never gave their female coworkers any importance. She even heard implications of her appearance are what earned her position in Riot and personally experienced other events of sexism as well.

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Most of the time, staff members stay behind at office to test their skills in competitive matches as well as earning skill points in LoL. Female employees, who doesn't quite fit into this "Bro Culture" of the other members of Riot family feels that these pleasantness only makes the workplace bearable to them for a short while, because it doesn't last. Whoever has came forward to talk about their work culture has mentioned pretty much about the same issues they faced.

workplace sexual harassment
Sexism is Not Acceptable

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After months of interviewing and collecting information from several sources, a big-picture came out exposing the existence of an alleged toxic culture for Riot's female employees. When Kotaku featured an article detailing the issue, many former staff members and current employees came in support to the truth while representatives of the company constantly tries to defend their reputation by explaining how they are trying to look up to diversity and inclusion within their walls.

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After this news has emerged, many more stories from ex-Rioters are being revealed on Twitter every moment. Riot of course claims that they do have a zero tolerance policy towards discrimination, harassment and toxicity in general to show that they care enough. They even included a "Diversity and Inclusion" page on their official site shortly after while stating that they have action against some and are still investigating every case. We think it is high time we all look at these issues in general.