Riot Games hires first chief diversity officer

Olivia R. March 5, 2019

After multiple former Riot Games employees opened up about sexist behavior at the company, sexual harassment, and discrimination against female employees, Riot has hired its first chief diversity officer.

According to Riot, Angela Roseboro will oversee all company activity relating to diversity and inclusion. This includes leading the recruitment team in hiring diverse talent and working with Chief People Officer Emily Winkle on integrating diversity and inclusion into the company’s broader strategies.

The hiring and its announcement follow multiple accusations from former employees that called into question the safety of Riot's work environment.

“I can’t wait to get to get started and do my part to make sure we have a culture that embraces the uniqueness of every Rioter and a community where everyone feels a sense of belonging,” Roseboro said.

Roseboro was most recently the global head of diversity, equity and inclusion at Dropbox, the latest position in her 20 years of experience.

Allegations directed at Riot included complicity from company executives, with alleged behaviors ranging from employees calling female coworkers “hos” to members of management sending sexually charged text messages to women at the company. The ideas of some women at the company were routinely dismissed, and Riot is alleged to have unduly favorted the hiring or promotion of men over women.

Former employee Jessica Negron stated that a supervisor once told her that “diversity should not be a focal point of the design of Riot Games’ products because gaming culture is the last remaining safe haven for white teen boys.”

At least one member of Riot's leadership implicated in the allegations was sent through an amibiguous training process before being allowed to return to the company in their previous role. This, combined with leaked emails that appeared to minimize the behavors, led many to wonder if Riot Games was capable of real change in the workplace.

Roseboro appears confident that Riot’s culture can change, noting the company’s overall passion despite the “setbacks and hurdles.”

“I’ve had the opportunity to meet some incredible Rioters who are passionate about creating a culture where everyone thrives together. I’m excited to be a part of this journey,” Roseboro said.

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