UK Government Urges Gender Equality in Game Industry

July 16, 2010 -

During the Women in Games track of the Develop conference in Brighton this week the UK government voiced its concerns about the hiring practices of games industry when it comes to women. Speaking of inequality in hiring practices, Lynne Featherstone MP, Minister for Equalities, expressed concern that the UK industry hurts itself by not tapping into the pool of talent based on gender.

In the letter the Minister highlighted the importance of seeking a "greater gender balance in the workplace," and warns that some companies "risk being uncompetitive" if they fail to address the problem.

"It's a problem for the industry as a whole, as organisations filled with people who look the same, sound the same and have the same life experiences can all too easily end up thinking the same," wrote the Minister.

"Diverse organisations reflect their customers better, are likely to understand them better and offer better products and services as a result. Companies that can't see the value that women bring to the workplace are extremely short-sighted as they lose out on talent and skills of half the population.

"They risk being uncompetitive in a very fast-moving world by not being able to chose from all available employees. Equality is as good for businesses as it is for women and society."

On a related note, Dr. Richard Wilson, CEO of the UK trade group TIGA, issued a statement throwing its support behind the Minister's comments, but also urged it to help the industry with various initiatives and programs that encourage women to follow a path leading to game development:

"The 2010 TIGA-Hewitt Games Software Developers’ Salary Survey shows that just 6.6 per cent of the workforce is female. This is an extraordinary gender imbalance. The video games industry would like to recruit a more diverse workforce. If we are to recruit a more diverse workforce then we need to encourage more women to both study courses relevant to the games industry and to highlight the career opportunities that exist in the sector. TIGA produces a career guide for this purpose. We hope that the Government will work with TIGA to champion the games industry as a potential career path."

About 15 per cent of T2G students are female. Approximately 10 per cent of students on a typical university games course are female. The proportion of HE graduates studying computer science in 2006/7 that were women was just over 17 per cent. Wilson added: “All games businesses must ensure that their selection and recruitment policies and practices promote equal opportunities and recruit on merit.

Source: GI.Biz. Thanks to Pete for the TIGA comments.


Comments

Re: UK Government Urges Gender Equality in Game Industry

In general, I've found that most companies are desperate for women programmers.  Every girl that I know from Computer Science has gotten good jobs if they want them, regardless of actual ability.  I agree with the comments above that the problem is that a lot of women are just uninterested in programming as a career.

What I also found amazing was that even once girls finished their degree in Computer Science, they expressed disinterest in actually working in the field.  This disinterest wasn't for a lack of support or opportunity.

Re: UK Government Urges Gender Equality in Game Industry

The gender mix in the game industry varies from studio to studio and region to region. Socialists and Academics seem have this need to change things that don't necessarily need changing. 

Game companies don't intentionally not hire female developers. Quite often they seek them out.  But don't expect an FPS game maker to be as proactive about this as a developer involved in social media, simply because they understand for whom they are making their games and have a good idea of the type of talent who will best help them reach their goals.

Wanting to see more women making games may be a good thing. But to achieve that, you have to have wormen who WANT to make games as a career ... with everything positive and negative that goes along with that career.

If you force any company to hire based on ethnicity, age, gender, social background, nationality, or in fact any criteria OTHER than merit, then it's essentially Affirmative Action and everyone suffers. Companies then produce substandard product and employees find themselves in jobs for which they are ill-prepared or un-qualified to perform, simply to fulfill an unrealistic quota. 

--Verbinator

--Verbinator

Re: UK Government Urges Gender Equality in Game Industry

 This is quite a moot point. The gaming industry is more balanced then any other industry out there. See how many women work at EA and Santa Monica studios.

 

 

Re: UK Government Urges Gender Equality in Game Industry

I personally would have a hard time accepting someone as a useful employee if they constantly act like a victim.  These people would have a much easier time finding a job if they would focus on what they can do rather than what they are.  

Re: UK Government Urges Gender Equality in Game Industry

If only seventeen percent of grads are women, you can't get an "equal" mix of men and women in the industry.  Hell, unless every female grad applies for a gaming job, you won't even get 17% of the industry to be women in the first place.

How about we find out why only 17% of grads are women?  Oh, wait, we already know that.  It's because women, generally, aren't interested in gaming.

---

With the first link, the chain is forged.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: UK Government Urges Gender Equality in Game Industry

"Diverse organisations reflect their customers better"

But as the games industry isn't diverse it reflects its customers perfectly.

The IT industry in general is male dominated, it's not sexist, it's just that a lot more men than women are interested in it. I don't see complaints about the day-care industry not being diverse as it's dominated by women.

Believe me if women wanted to go into the male dominated industries, young attractive women would find it very easy getting themselves jobs. They definitely wouldn't be turned away by the men.

The reason why there aren't that many women in the games industry? They're not interested in it.

Re: UK Government Urges Gender Equality in Game Industry

 

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Re: UK Government Urges Gender Equality in Game Industry

"Speaking of inequality in hiring practices..."

"...hurts itself by not tapping into the pool of talent based on gender."

So, the question, in fact, becomes: During any specific moment of hiring procedures, has anyone from the public actually audited the prospective hiring potentials and, after a proper evaluation of each and every individual, stated that someone, with better education, qualifications, and outright ability, was NOT hired because of their gender?  Or are they simply avoiding outright saying that what they really are looking for is Affirmative Action (ie legalized institutionalized discrimination based, in thise case, on gender) put into place to hire someone, not because of individual capability, eductation, experience, character, etc, but rather based solely on gender?

Nightwng2000

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Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

Nightwng2000 NW2K Software http://www.facebook.com/nightwing2000 Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

Re: UK Government Urges Gender Equality in Game Industry

"must ensure that their selection and recruitment policies and practices promote equal opportunities and recruit on merit."

You cannot always make these two objectives meet.  One must take priority over the other.

 
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