Do You Really Want To Work For Riot?
Riot have received claims of sexism throughout the years (mostly because of a scantily clad Kitty Cat Katarina skin.) This time though, it’s different.
Multiple ex-employees have spoken out against Riot Games, one woman known as ‘Lacy’ made it her duty to hire a woman into a managerial position. During her time working for the company she reportedly heard many reasons as to why women weren’t up to snuff.
“She’s a ladder climber,” She doesn’t challenge convention“ and “she’s too punchy” are but a few of the excuses Lacy heard, but the issue ran deeper than that.
“They just didn’t respect women.”
Lacy’s direct manager even asked her if it was “hard working at Riot being so cute” and repeatedly implied that she only had the job because she was attractive. She even stated that every few months a boss would state that her kids and husband must miss her while she’s at work.
One day, Lacy decided to conduct a little experiment; She pitched an idea she thought was terrific only for it to be met with deafening silence. Deciding that it might have fallen flat because of her gender, she asked a male coworker to make the same pitch.
And her friend did just that. He made the same speech to the same group of people, and he was met with comments praising him and his genius idea.
In total 28 current and former Riot employees have been interviewed. Many were apprehensive about speaking out, but one of the first people to talk about her experience was Meagan Marie – A lady who left her beloved job to work for the company. She managed to tolerate 6 months before quitting, but why?
According to Meagan, she had heard rumours that the Riot offices could seem a bit like a frat party at times, but the bro culture didn’t sound too bad. Plus, she’d recently gotten addicted to League of Legends and had heard great things about their community-centric way of working. After weighing the pros and cons, Meagan decided that the chance to work abroad was too enticing – and that if she turned down the chance to work for Riot she might kick herself in a few years!
She took the job in early 2014, after packing up all her things, selling the car and deciding to enter a long-distance relationship with her partner. Needless to say, you don’t make decisions like these unless you plan on staying at the company for a few years. Of course, this ended disastrously, so let’s take a look at how Meagans hopes for years of employment turned into mere months.
“Sexist, Racist, and homophobic language was the norm.”
Riot employees are encouraged to play the game after work and during their lunchbreaks. During Meagans first week at the Dublin offices, she heard some disturbing insults. We can’t repeat them here, but imagine a common racial slur and a popular homophobic comment. That’s what we’re on about.
She was unsure if this was a regular thing, but she quickly realized that such words were regularly spouted – not by everyone of course, although everyone did seem desensitized. Not one person flinched when these words were said.
They also regularly told other guys to “stop being girls” and to “man up.” Her first month there the company held an office-wide AMA, she was encouraged to ask a question anonymously. Her question was why all the female characters were slender and voluptuous, but the men had every manner of body type.
They liked the question so much that she was asked to ask It directly, to one of the CEOs. Predictably they gave the standard “Because guys like hot women.” Answer, and her rebuttal that Riot was large enough to change how people view women was ignored.
Doing this, she realized she had made a target out of herself. She had not even sat back in her chair when one man commented that women don’t want to play ugly champions, they want to feel beautiful; A couple of women laughed at this, but still, the string of comments continued.
“Why would you want to see an overweight and ugly woman anyway, no one wants to look at that?” One employee even had the nerve to say. If you think this is bad though, it got progressively worse for Meagan from there.
She was pestered about everything from how her sex life worked in a long-distance relationship, to the age at which she lost her virginity. Quick reminder; She hardly even knew these people.
Men made many jokes about forcing themselves on others – and when Meagan ended up on a team with her as the only woman, a senior staff manager named them “Bros and ho.” Naturally she tried to put an end to it as quickly as possible, but it continued for a few weeks anyway.
The Final Straw
It was during a work dinner that Meagan finally decided that she’d had enough. She believed that she had been paired with a male Rioter to share a room with. However, it turned out that it was merely a typo. This would have been the end of it, however a coworker proceeded to call her sexist for not being willing to share with a man. Understandably, she thought he was joking.
However he continued to make arguments to his point. He claimed that her not sharing with a man was the same as him not hiring a woman due to her gender. He then proceeded to call her sexist some more.
At this point, she threw down her napkin and walked out of the dining room. Finally, she’d had enough and handed in her resignation.
There’s more though, much more. We can’t vouch for the sincerity of everyone’s claims, but from what we know it sounds like Riot has a culture of sexism. Hopefully this will make them see reason and look into these allegations.
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