Riot Games Is Being Accused of Workplace Sexism
A former employee of Riot Games, best known for League of Legends, recently shed light on the sexism that she claims is rampant within the company’s culture in a Kotaku exposé. Referred to only as Lacy, she claims that she made it her mission to hire women into leadership roles during her time at the company, only to face constant excuses as to why they weren’t Riot material. Some reasons include being “ladder climbers,” having “too much ego,” not being “gamer enough,” being “too punchy,” or failing tot “challenge convention.”
“Across the board, you’d have side-by-side similar backgrounds, but the leadership team would constantly ixnay any female candidate for leadership,” said Lacy, which is not her real name.
Lacy even asked a male colleague to pitch an idea of hers that didn’t stick during a meeting, and the results were eye-opening.
“Lo and behold, the week after that, [he] went in, presented exactly as I did and the whole room was like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is amazing.’ [His] face turned beet red and he had tears in his eyes,” Lacy said. “They just didn’t respect women.”
Another former female employee claims she was asked how big her “e-peen” was by an interviewer. Yet another woman claims she wasn’t taken seriously because she was a World of Warcraft fan, and questioned what interviewers mean when they say “culture fit.”
“There are all these generic terms used to find things wrong with women that aren’t specific,” she said. “When I hear ‘She’s emotional,’ I’d say, ‘Okay, why do you think she was being emotional?’ ‘Well she seemed to get intense and was pushing back on this thing.’ The other candidate did that and you liked that because you thought he had ‘grit.’ Why is that different? Is it because this person is a different gender?”
“I hear people comparing two candidates of different genders, and both the candidates can be of the same caliber, and interview the same way, but be described differently,” she added.
A current employee shared their opinion on the claims and how they believe the company can move forward.
“I think Riot has grown very fast and not having a planned out organizational structure that encourages diversity has hurt us. We are trying to fix that now. It’s just hard to fix things when they’ve already started. It’s easier to start things the right way and build on that.”