- The class action lawsuit against Riot has been settled yesterday, which is a giant step forward for women in the gaming industry. Here are the updates on this case.
Gender Discrimination At Riot Games
In 2018, Kotaku reported about a culture of sexism at Riot Games. The report had an employee at Riot named Lacy (no her real name) trying to hire a woman into a leadership role at the company. However, Lacy encountered rebuttals as to why women weren’t able to fulfill a leadership role which she was told that some were:
- “ladder climbers”
- “too much ego”
- “aren’t gamer enough”
- “too punchy”
- “don’t challenge convention”
Additionally, all candidates shared similar backgrounds despite the excuses that Riot were using. Lacy later left the company because of the sexism she experienced working there.
“They just didn’t respect women.”
One of the biggest companies in gaming were now in hot water, and this all quickly made headlines after Kotaku published “The Culture of Sexism At Riot Games”. Kotaku spoke to 28 current and former employees at Riot who came forward with similar stories of sexism in the workplace. Months later, Riot Games found out that Kotaku was writing an article about gender discrimination at their company, so they updated their website to include a “diversity and inclusion” page.
“We aggressively enforce a zero-tolerance policy on discrimination, harassment, and general toxicity. It is incredibly important that our leaders embody this commitment, and reinforce this expectation across their teams. – Riot Games
On May 6, 2019, 150 Riot employees walked out in protest of Riot’s company policies outside the Riot’s LA offices. This was a first in the gaming industry, but it’s not the first we’ve seen of this as there have been walkouts in the tech industry before over gender discrimination. From the walkout, employees spoke to Kotaku and LA Times that they had plans to take further action against arbitration.
Class Action Lawsuit Against Riot Has Been Settled
A Twitter page was created by a group of people who work at Riot Games to shed light on the issue and bring updates to the lawsuit. The Twitter handle, @RiotersAFA, had posted an update yesterday in regards to the whole lawsuit which states:
“Settling this class action is a victory for women in games. We believe that this & Riot’s policy changes help continue the progress toward equity that we’ve made over the past year. While this settlement helps bring peace of mind to women at Riot, we want to acknowledge that issues of discrimination and harassment go beyond gender, and acknowledge the victims who aren’t covered in this suit.
This settlement is an important step on the journey of making the games industry a more dive4rse and welcoming place, but the fight is far from over. Making Riot – and the entire industry – more inclusive is an ongoing process, and we are excited to see this big step in the right direction.
This decision was made because of the hard work on the part of only plaintiffs and their lawyers, but all of the peop;e at Riot brave enough to fight against injustice in the workplace. We are proud to work with everyone who had collectively contributed to making this happen.” – Source
This is a giant step forward for women in the gaming industry as the lawsuit against Riot Games has been settled, however, it’s just the beginning. There are other issues of discrimination and harassment that are still prevalent in the workforce and with the brave workers at Riot Games standing up, hopefully, more workers will be united to stop this type of toxic environment in the workforce.