Gamasutra's Game Developer Salary Survey 2014 Highlights the Gender Gap in Video Games Industry

July 22, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

According to Gamasutra's Game Developer Salary Survey 2014, men working in the video games industry here in the United States made an average of $85,074 in 2013, while women in the same jobs made an average of $72,882. According to Gamasutra, women made 86 cents on every dollar that men made in the U.S. game industry.

While this is certainly an issue that needs to be addressed, the pay gap between men and women is less than the national average: in the U.S. overall, women make 77 cents on every dollar that men make, according figures from a 2012 Census Bureau survey.

Gamasutra posits that the mostly like reason for wage gaps between men and women on average is due to what is commonly referred to as "career interruption" due to women taking time off to take care of their families.

Harvard University labor professor Claudia Goldin said in a recent paper on the gender gap that it would be dramatically reduced if employers wanted it to be.

"The gender gap in pay would be considerably reduced and might vanish altogether if firms did not have an incentive to disproportionately reward individuals who labored long hours and worked particular hours."

You can check out Gamasutra's full survey results here in PDF format.


Comments

Re: Gamasutra's Game Developer Salary Survey 2014 Highlights ...

In most cases men and women working "the same job" is an incredibly misleading phrase that tends to ignore hours worked, seniority, experience, and other factors. It's damned near impossible to find two people with identical skillsets, credentials, work schedules, an so on to accurately tell if one employer or company is purposefully paying an employee less because they are female.

Re: Gamasutra's Game Developer Salary Survey 2014 Highlights ...

That does not really change the equation though.   Over large data sets, millions of people, the factors themselves should even out, but they do not.

One of the big issues is women are generally rated as lower skilled, thus get less seniority.  On the one hand people will point out that people who have less skill and less seniority should make less, but others will question if the women actually have less skill/experience and actually had an even chance at promotion in the first place.  Research has generally shown this is not the case.

The only way it works out is if one believes that strait white middle class men actually are smarter and harder working then every other demographic.  Otherwise citing 'other factors' is just moving the systemic discrimination from one layer to another.  Few managers are actually going to say 'ah, she is a woman, so I will pay her less', but the more subtle 'gut feeling' of who is more talented has the same end result.

Re: Gamasutra's Game Developer Salary Survey 2014 Highlights ...

Not this again. Okay, here we go.

The wage gap, defined as discrimination against women by paying them less than a man in the same job, is an illusion created by shoddy statistics. Simply averaging of all the salaries of men and women across gross career categories (which is exactly what this survey has done, by all appearances) provides a misleading image with no context. What are the average salaries of women who have worked in the same area as men for the same period of time? Have women had the same (uninterrupted) average career lengths as men? Do they work the same hours? Have they volunteered to take on greater responsibilities in their area? These are all critical questions (and there are plenty more) that need to be asked before you declare the existence of a discrimination gap, because they all affect the real value of an employee to the business.

I particularly like the quote on page 7: Harvard University labor professor Claudia Goldin said in a recent paper, “The gender gap in pay would be considerably reduced and might vanish altogether if firms did not have an incentive to disproportionately reward individuals who labored long hours and worked particular hours.”

Who would've thought that offering better pay to people who contribute more value to the business was sexism.

Re: Gamasutra's Game Developer Salary Survey 2014 Highlight ...

"The gender gap in pay would be considerably reduced and might vanish altogether if firms did not have an incentive to disproportionately reward individuals who labored long hours and worked particular hours." I can see calls to end or reduce mandatory long hours like so called crunch time, but as long as equally qualified people get equal base pay rates and they equally reward both men and women for long hours, I don't think those who work those long hour should be punished because on average woman tend to take more time off, that's not equality. That's just gimping those who do work long hours. Even if they receive no other compensation or rewards, they still have to be paid over time, and that can be substantial. Maybe rather than focus n the rewards of those who work long hours something needs be done about who is expected to take care of the family, I mean women taking care of the family is another gender role right? Sharing that on more equal terms would also help. Women who have children will still end up taking more time off to recover, but sharing family duties will at least bring time taken off work closer to parity. Maybealso offer some kind of paid leave for new parents.

Re: Gamasutra's Game Developer Salary Survey 2014 Highlight ...

"Maybe also offer some kind of paid leave for new parents." - Thankfully most of the world has this. Not so much in the US.

Re: Gamasutra's Game Developer Salary Survey 2014 Highlight ...

Sadly we have the GOP who dismiss such programs as anti-business and/or socialism. Of course corporate lobbyists don't help either.

Re: Gamasutra's Game Developer Salary Survey 2014 Highlight ...

And on top of that they dupe people who benefit from similar programs into believing that they're evil.

 
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