Riot Games makes changes after sexism allegations

Riot Games releases diversity and inclusion progress

Just last year, an investigation by Kotaku brought to light issues of sexism and harassment taking place within Riot Games. Since then, the League of Legends developer has hired Angela Roseboro as the company’s Chief Diversity Officer to help correct these problems. The company claims it has implemented several agendas to improve workplace culture.

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Riot Games hires Chief Diversity Officer

Roseboro mentions she decided to interview with Riot Games even though her “friends and colleagues questioned” her actions. She describes that the vetting process for the position took almost four months to ensure she would be the right fit. She came to have a “deeper appreciation of [Riot Games’] motivations, vision, and genuine desire” to make Riot a better place. After joining the game developer, Roseboro asked her fellow employees to give her 90 days to implement the things they wanted.

In a post on the Riot Games blog, Roseboro detailed the progress made in the year since Kotaku’s original report. In terms of experts on diversity and inclusion, Riot Games hired Frances Fei and Youngme Moon. These brought both expertise in D&I as well as the creation of a committee to hold Riot accountable. Overall, the executive leadership team is now 28% female and 45% minorities. Emily Winkle has also been brought on as Chief People Officer.

The Riot team also built external partnerships, including a graduation ceremony for their first Girls Who Code summer program. The developer studio also joined Melinda Gates’ Reboot Representation Coalition. This organization hopes to double the women of color who graduate with computer science degrees in the US by 2025. Furthermore, Riot has partnered with Hampton University and Anita Borg to increase representation among candidates. It noted that 33% of the 2019 interns are women.

Diversity and inclusion at Riot

Riot Games diversity and inclusion

The post then discusses how Riot has “fine tuned” the compensation and pay equity process. The company has also hired Hollie Downs as Head of Total Rewards to assess its compensation strategies and solutions. It reviewed every aspect of the recruiting pipeline to ensure that talent is acquired from different backgrounds. There is now inclusive language in job postings, a diverse recruiting function, mandatory interview training, and an internal job posting board for Rioters.

After speaking with over 1,700 Riot Games employees, the team has updated their values and communicated this change with all employees. With this, training and education programs have been implemented to help instruct employees. 2,500 Riot employees completed 12,000 hours of training in total over the last year. Identity groups have also been launched to foster a “sense of belonging” among employees. This includes groups for Rad-Genders (gender and non-binary), Riot Noir (Black and African-American), Rainbow Rioters (LGBTQ+), Veterans, and Filipinos.

Roseboro also established a 30 / 60 / 90-day plan to mark progress. This was to ensure that these commitments were achieved by certain dates and to hold themselves accountable. In the end, all of the goals were hit by the one-year deadline from the initial Kotaku article. Furthermore, the Riot team has established 5 pillars to “create alignment” and “drive accountability.”

Goals for the future

Riot Games goals for the future

With this information and the progress made, the Riot Games team will continue to work on diversity and inclusion. They plan to create and implement strategies to increase the representation of women and under-represented minorities at Riot. Actions and measures will be set in place to hold leaders accountable. An external partnerships and advisory council will also be created to provide advice and identify issues for D&I. Finally, managers will go through training to make them more capable of working with diverse teams.

However, this statement is just from Riot Games and Roseboro’s perspective. The initial blog post on the Riot website was not posted on social media by the company itself. Employees also did not give any comments in the original statement.

Kotaku spoke to Riot Games employees again about the recent changes. “Has Riot done everything I would like them to do? No,” said one employee who chose to remain anonymous, in fear of reprisal from the video games industry. “Has Riot put in significant investment and shown commitment to want to be better? Yes, I do believe that.”

Do you think Riot Games has made enough changes to make up for their prior incident? Let us know in the comments, and keep up with all of the latest Esports news and content here at Daily Esports.


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