Having already enraged the majority of the development community, WildTangent founder Alex St. John has now come in for a lambasting from his own daughter.
Amilia St. John is a front end developer at home technology firm Energy Circle, and wrote a lengthy response on Medium to Alex’s much-publicised recent comments on game devs’ working conditions and minorities within the community.
Among his comments seemingly defending longer working hours and ‘unfair’ pay was an accusation that “many modern game developers have embraced a culture of victimology and a bad attitude toward their chosen vocations”, while unearthed presentation slides expressed statements such as: “You don’t recruit and retain male engineers, you recruit and retain wives and girlfriends.”
“In a world where so many women are finally gaining the opportunity for a voice, the tech industry is quiet,” Amilia begins. “And what my father seems to so fundamentally misunderstand is that this is NOT, as he insinuates, a result of women ‘claiming victimhood’.”
Referring to Alex’s comments as ‘toxic waste trash fire’, Amilia specifically calls out his suggestion that “technical women are often quickly promoted for a variety of reasons. Stronger social skills often make them better architects, technical writers, QA, or technical support people.”
“While many of these ‘more social’ roles may be high paying, they remove truly technical women from technical jobs, furthering the imbalance,” she retorts. “This directly impacts women later in their careers, as it has been shown that technical positions are more likely to lead to senior roles in the industry.
“My Father’s suggestion to continue the practice of ‘promoting’ women out of engineering roles will only further reinforce gender norms in the workplace and ultimately harm the supply of senior female technical executives.”
Amilia continues by highlighting the statistic that “as many as 50 per cent of women working in STEM fields have chosen to leave over the past decade as a result of hostile, unwelcoming work environments”.
“Rather than telling these women to buck up, suffer in silence and keep working, it would be more effective to address the root of the proverbial elephant in the room: The men (and sometimes women) who believe what people like my father are spewing, and regurgitate it at their female counterparts,” she argues.
“The real crux of the issue is that by propagating this offensive ideology (even if it could be just my father trying to get his jollies by instigated fights with everyone on the internet), he is feeding the fire for the dull brained Neanderthals in the industry who actually are anti-women to continue propagating these practices.”
The piece is an enlightening and vital read – read the full post here.