Monday, January 21, 2013

EA Has “Binders Full Of Women”

I don’t care too much about politics, but by God that “binders full of women” remark is just brilliant. It works on so many levels! Completely demeaning and misogynistic, of course, but freekin’ genius when titling a story, or using it as a tag line for sillyness. Thanks Mitt Romney!  

Gabrielle Toledano, EA’s Executive VP and Chief Talent officer (and that’s a bs title of a great extent), has gone on the record to say that sexism in the video game industry is a “cop-out.” We’re taking it to an extreme. Yes it exists, but it also exists in a lot of other businesses, not just game development. She recently wrote an article for Forbes about how sexism in the industry isn’t the issue, but other factors are keeping women out. In fact, they want more women in the industry in order to produce more diverse content.

And then she wrote this:

“I’m proud to say that at EA, we have over twice the industry average of women in our workforce.”

Binders full of women! We have so many at EA! *falls over laughing* They are actively seeking women and creating files that contain said women's resumes and work experiences. Pretty close to a binder.

They want to hire more women, but so few are going into the industry that it’s counterproductive to their intent. However at no point does Tolendano go into what the problems are. There’s sexism, sure, but it’s not the cause of why women are staying away from video games. So, what is it madam Exec VP? Because you didn’t really get to that point.

The Forbes piece goes on into how she’s worked in the industry for such-and-such time, has been an engineer, and so on and so forth. Great. Doesn’t explain why you feel women are avoiding video games like the plague? She lists 3 secrets in the industry: women play video games, the industry wants more women, and there aren’t enough women to fulfill those jobs. Not really secrets. We’ve known for years that a lot of women play games, it’s a male dominated field, and there aren’t many women. So…yeah.

EA has binders full of women!

That is the only thing that I took away from the articles. Thanks EA! Once again proving your worthlessness on the mindset of modern society.

Here’s the problem with trying to “seek out women.” It’s the same concern that came up during the U.S. Presidential election in 2012. We shouldn’t be forcing ourselves to TRY and find women and minorities. It’s callus and makes us look weak. The focus should be on hiring the best people in their field. If they happen to be white men, then that’s how it is. And it is how it is. A lot of the talent in the video game industry are white males because of their educational backgrounds. It’s a field dominated by men, so you’re going to get more men. Is it right or fair? No. But by forcing yourself to try and find people other than the best of the best, you’re going to end up with those who don’t know jack. There are a few women that work in the industry, yes. Some of them are getting jobs solely because they are women. Their backgrounds might not mesh with the jobs, and you get a sub-par product in return.

Unfortunately for Toledano sexism is why a lot of women don’t pursue careers in technology, media, or entertainment fields unless they want to be an actress or a make-up artist. They are male dominated areas and women are typically shunned from joining their ranks. My first year of college, undergraduate work, I was focusing on duel degrees, computer science and film studies. I stopped after the first year because I was getting so much pressure from being in computer science. The only female in a class of 40+ men? Ostracized, isolated, and intimidated from day one. 10 years later (holy crap it’s been that long?) and it hasn’t changed. It’s a men’s only club. How is that NOT sexism Toledano when women are constantly harassed in such an environment?

So these supposedly not “make EA look like a caring company” articles really don’t address the problems or help create solutions. They’re just fluff.

I stand by my original statement: Binders full of women. EA has them.

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