As you know by now, in the editorial staff of the Seekers of Atlantis we have the issue of gender equality very much at heart and, in our own small way, we are committed to fighting all forms of discrimination. We could not therefore avoid talking about the fuss that arose within Riot Games.

The manufacturer of the well-known MOBA League of Legendsin fact, in November 2018 she was involved in a massive class action (of which you find the original text Thu) which ended only a few weeks ago, with an agreement between the parties that provides for a compensation of 10 million dollars. But what are the accusations against the Los Angeles company? Let's see the main ones together.

GENDER PAY GAP

For exactly 70 years, there has been a specification in California regulations wage equity, which protects workers from episodes of discrimination and retaliation based on gender and, following recent updates, also on race and ethnicity. Although 80% of the approximately 2500 people currently employed within Riot Games are men, the company has been accused of violating this statute, on the charge of not having guaranteed women the same salary as their male colleagues (in "substantially comparable" roles) but also to have prevented them from accessing positions of greater responsibility and, consequently, with better pay. This phenomenon is called "glass ceiling", Or" glass ceiling ", precisely to indicate the presence of an invisible barrier that prevents women from making a career and reaching the leadership roles.

Among the accusations we also find that having assigned, to some employees, tasks well above the role (and the pay) for which they had been hired, with the false promise of a promotion. Once they reached this position, however, male colleagues were chosen in their place without adequately justifying this turnaround.

There are situations in which the Equal Pay Act may not be applied (as in the case of seniority, merit, productivity, etc ...) but the episodes affected by the class action they do not seem to fall under these exceptions.

BRO CULTURE

To the questions relating to equal pay, there is also a harsh criticism of the so-called "bro culture”Present in the company. In Italian we could make the idea by translating the term with "camaraderie" but it is a phenomenon that goes far beyond the (positive) meaning of fraternal solidarity between colleagues and approaches the situation of some American confraternities, from which it also takes the name of "frat culture".

In this specific case, in fact, with “bro culture"Means a humane and exclusionary environment towards female figures, in which men back each other, carrying on oppressive, disparaging or harassing behaviors towards desk neighbors.

Among the accusations made against Riot Games is that of not having watched over this type of attitude, leading its employees to have to tolerate jokes about unpleasant topics such as sex, masturbation, defecation, torture and rape. According to the documents filed by the court, teasing and objectification are the order of the day and "Women who do not join this adolescent irony are classified as snobs and reluctant to settle in the company." Or: "Employees are regularly belittled by their managers in staff meetings, through comments such as 'Your husband and children really need to miss him while he's at work', 'he should talk less' or tone criticism. of voice, judged too bright ”. The papers also report the existence of an email chain with a ranking of the sexiest employees in the company. In short, the level seems to be really that of middle school kids and all this cannot and must not be tolerated, especially since it is configured as harassment.

Chelsea Beck illustration

RECRUITMENT

Among the accusations made against the company there is also one of a formal nature and concerns the words chosen to describe the requirements necessary to work at Riot Games, during the recruiting phase. Although the search for "core gamer", In fact, it may seem a harmless reference to a figure who has a deep passion for the videogame world, this formulation seems to have been used as an excuse to prefer hiring men over women.

In this regard, it is possible to find online the anonymous testimony of a former Riot employee who saw all the candidates he proposed to hold leadership roles refused, with judgments ranging from "climber" to "not enough" gamer".

After all, let's face it, it is not new that the world of video games still carries all too often a certain type of prejudice towards female players and the reasons why they approach this environment. If it were not so, we ourselves would not have felt the need to carry out an initiative like Master the Master, to combat the belief that sees girls as less competent, too emotional or looking for male attentions.

CLASS ACTION AND COMPENSATION

To start the class action Melanie McCracken and Jessica Negron, respectively employee and former employee of Riot Games, were joined by about a thousand women who worked (or still work) for the Californian company and shared their experience.

Following the lawsuit, Riot initiated internal investigations and, while apologizing to employees for behaviors "not in line with corporate values", he made it clear that "gender discrimination, harassment and retaliation are not systemic problems ”Within the company. The matter was then resolved with an agreement between the parties and a $ 10 million compensation.

Wanting to make economic considerations, however, it is appropriate to look reality in the face: what is 10 million for a company that declares a turnover of almost 2 billion dollars a year? According to one pixy, could be the equivalent of the revenues derived from ONE SINGLE skin di League of Legends. In short, we would be talking about peanuts, a few pennies.

In addition, according to a former employee on Twitter, all women who signed the resignation or took liquidation when they left the company would not be eligible for compensation.

In short, at least on paper, we are certainly not talking about a great victory or exemplary compensation. To console ourselves, however, remains the hope that raising the issue could have served to give a positive signal and increase awareness of the problem, in order to avoid it in the future.