Riot Games claims it made headway into diversity efforts over 2020

    
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Ever since Riot Games was called out by its own employees and the state of California as a truly toxic and sexist workplace, the studio has been making at least some efforts to police itself, including creating a diversity and inclusion report that outlines efforts by the company to hire female, Black, and underrepresented minorities.

The company’s 2020 self-report is in, and it claims overall incremental gains in representation, new hires, and leadership roles for women and minority groups by either 2% or 3% as compared to 2019. There was one lowered metric, as new female hires were down 28% from 32%.

The report’s announcement further highlights philanthropic efforts by Riot including a $1M pledge to its Social Impact Fund, $10K grants to both the ACLU Foundation and The Innocence Project, and the opening of an Underrepresented Founders Program that has pledged $10M to underrepresented and Black gaming startups.

Riot Games is considered a controversial company in the gaming world following a 2018 exposé of the sexual discrimination and harassment inherent in what workers described as its “bro culture.” The scandal brought forth accusations against multiple developers and high-ranking executives and ultimately led to a developer labor dispute and walk-out. Lawsuits from former workers and the state of California, which has alleged that Riot is refusing to cooperate with its investigation, are ongoing.
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lispychicken

“that outlines efforts by the company to hire female, Black, and underrepresented minorities.”

As a black minority, hiring us just to “check a feel good box” is perhaps the top insult from the L community. For starters, as a population, there are less of us. No wait, for starters, if we want to be a game dev, we will.. there’s nothing stopping us. Stop treating us like we’re too stupid to figure out how to work in some industries. Stop treating us like we’re too stupid to do anything. We had a black president, and a black surgeon general.. we’re doing just damn fine, and treating us any other way is OUTRIGHT INSULTING.

Secondly, game development isn’t all that popular for a lot of people, minorities aside. Also, why is their “diversity” only focusing on skin color or one of the two genders? Do they think because someone is dark skinned or a female they have some sort of diversity secret ingredient to bring to a game development table? That’s awfully presumptuous, if not insulting. “hey you, minority, you have to have a different outlook on life, right?” .. and when we don’t? Then what? Stop treating us like incapable morons you can place on your feel good bookcase.. good lord.

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Utakata

Good for them? But it’s a self-report though. And most likely subject to the prevailing winds of the PR department. /sigh

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IronSalamander8 .

They were so rock bottom that any progress would be an improvement, but they have a long way to go.

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kothoses

The thing that bothers me is rather than addressing the cause, they are addressing symptoms.

Why are there fewer female applicants for these positions, because its a rough place to work if you are a young woman who doesn’t want to be “one of the guys” How can we fix this “Make a concious effort to bias our recruitment programmes”… no… no…no the fix is changing the culture, which starts at the top but has to be invested into everyone.

Certain things are not “ok” any more and that’s ok, address those, address the actual workplace culture that allowed such issues to thrive, invest in educating your work force, invest in making the people you have better to be around for these groups, commit to hiring not to fill quotas but to improve the work and the workplace, value people for more than just metrics that they bring and the diversity will follow, naturally, organically and most importantly meaningfully as each new voice brings its own experience and helps to spread the knowledge of their world. Teach people not to be horrible to each other (Because apparently thats not been a thing for a long time) and help them learn how to appreciate differences.

Teach people that how they behave in public places IS important and DOES need to be different to how they behave with their two best friends if they are hanging around on their own. That its not weak to curb your worst tendencies, nor is it some how highlighting that you are a monster. Teach people that they dont need to be scared of everything that they are still gonna be able to make vulgar jokes from time to time but to do so in a way that doesn’t target anyone, doesn’t devalue anyone present and that sometimes what people say doesn’t reflect who they are as a person either.

There is no need for witch hunts, there is no need for “Tokenism” what there is a need of is an increase in emotional intelligence across so many different groups and industries, so that people can accept that things which in the past were ok, are not ok now, and other people can accept that this does not mean everything is going to go their way either. But that we can as a species do better, and be better.

Nah.. its easier to measure things in yet more metrics and give them selves a pat on the back for a 2% increase, with no actual meaningful change.

Its not a 0 sum calculation, stop selling it as though it is, Improve rather than replace and maybe then the people who scream that “Its not fair now either” wont and instead will be able to fully get behind making things better for everyone involved.

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Slaasher

I believe the fix is to get more women interested in gaming and game development. These companies could do a lot to promote that at the grass-roots level. The fact of the matter is that women are still a very small percentage of the workforce in this area.
Oh and also don’t treat them like objects. The fact that we have to say Sh!t like that in 2021 blows my mind.

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Brinto Sfj

It is not just game companies, all software companies and tech companies have very bad reputation among females. I heard from an aunt of mine who worked in silicon valley for nearly 2 decades that the entire culture is heavily male dominance oriented. And it is not just silicon valley, it is everywhere in any tech company.

For example, she joined a startup after leaving silicon valley behind, it started very well, it felt like a friends and family company and after 2-3 years, they started to go for more “corporate way of doing business.” and she left immediately. She told me: “I left when those cubicles appeared outside the office. I was in silicon valley, I know what happens inside and between those cubicles.” And it is not just her, she met many women in her work outings and everywhere, the tales are the same.

There need to be serious changes in culture and according to my aunt, that needs to start from college where women go to get their degree on these techs but suffer occasional “jokes” such as “women can’t code! lol jk, don’t mind!” or “women aren’t suited for computer designing!” etc.

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Bruno Brito

I’ll load a shotgun with cookies and shoot in their general direction.

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Kickstarter Donor
Darthbawl

“We can has forgiveness?” 🤣

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Kickstarter Donor
Ken from Chicago

Yay … ?

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angrakhan

Considering how low the bar was set, I believe they made headway.

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somber_bliss

We didn’t openly mock female coworkers! We can has raise now?

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Vanquesse V

At least they’re trying which is more than can be said of ubi or acti/blizz or twitch for that matter.
That’s not to say that riot is a champion of equality because they clearly have a long road ahead

EmberStar
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EmberStar

Half of something is better than all of nothing, I guess? T-T

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Vanquesse V

It’s not great, but at least one of the major companies being called out for being shitty aren’t busy trying to dance limbo in hell.
I hope they keep at it, and at an accelerated pace if it’s not too much to ask.
We could really do with a success story to point to and say “see, it’s entirely possible to reform”

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Bruno Brito

Eh…i wouldn’t go that far. I guess Blizzard lowered the bar because they acted like idiots from start to end, but let’s not forget, Riot didn’t fire the guy, they gave him a paid timeout and let a public note literally saying: “At least he’s not running away and quitting, instead he’ll come back and face his deeds.”

Like, spare a thought for the victims that have to see this idiot again back at the office.

Just because Riot is silent, doesn’t mean they’re not as bad. Blizzard just made the entire thing a circus.

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Vanquesse V

The stuff I heard about Riot was really shitty for sure and this might just be bad memory due to it happening so long ago, but I think the blizzard and ubisoft stuff feels magnitudes worse to me.
With Riot I’m having a hard time figuring out the incompetence to malice ratio, whereas in the other examples it’s a lot harder to explain the awfulness away with stupidity.

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Bruno Brito

I think the malice is present, it’s just more insidious and smart. Blizzard’s mess has this feel of Activision not giving a shit beyond crumbles for Blizz to work with. Riot has Tencent breathing down their necks, and while Tencent clearly doesn’t give a shit either, they probably got memo sent to Riot saying “don’t fuck this up”.

Blizzard banalized evil, and this is what i find more dangerous about all of this. It makes people blindsided to actively “inteligent” harassment.