A new survey suggests that the games industry still has a huge problem with the gender wage gap. The results also suggest that the industry still struggles with a lack of diversity in its workforces too.
These results follow years of discussions about diversity in games and how businesses within the field can be more inclusive to women and minority ethnic people.
Games Industry is ‘Not Good’ With Diversity, Say One Third of Respondents
For its annual careers survey, GamesIndustry.biz polled 373 people from different fields in the games industry and found that almost half (46.4%) said that the diversity of their companies (including gender, sexuality, ethnicity and “more”) was “Good” and 22% said that it was “Very Good.” But nearly a third (31.4%) of respondents said that it was “Not Good.”
While the games industry clearly has trouble with diversifying its workforce, it also has trouble with paying everybody equally too. The mean average salary for women surveyed was £33,274, in comparison to £40,090 for men, and just 11% of women who replied (approximately seven women) earned over £60,000.
The results also (unsurprisingly) drove home the point that there are “fewer women than men in higher-earning senior and executive positions” and the publication also stated that the most that any female respondent earned was £130,000 while the highest paid male respondent earns £980,000.
The responses shed light on what we already know to be significant problems; it’s why the United States held Equal Pay Day yesterday to shed light on the issue and it’s one of the reasons why diversity in gaming has been such a hot button issue. However, there are some fairly significant caveats with the data.
With just 21.4% of respondents identifying as female, which the publication says in line with the industry’s gender split (Australia’s games industry is 19% female, for example), it means that the respondents may have been biased to think that the diversity of a company is fine.
28.6% said they expect the diversity to improve while 25.1% didn’t and it would be interesting to see if that gender split is why the responses to this question were so divided. After all, this 2016 survey shows that it’s easy to misunderstand the lack of diversity (and its causes) when you aren’t one of the groups commonly affected.
Although the data also shows us how women are paid much less than men, the lack of male/female averages for every sector (e.g development, marketing. etc.) means that it’s hard to gauge whether that’s because women aren’t being given the opportunity of higher paid jobs or whether they are being paid less for doing the same work.
Moreover, we know that the gender wage gap is significantly worse for women of colour, and men of colour are also affected by a wage gap too. It would have been useful to know the ethnic makeup of the respondents in order to see how prevalent that is in the games industry, in comparison to the workforce as a whole.
Even without this information, though, the data is a useful tool in fighting back against those who argue that the diversity problem and the wage gap don’t exist. Maybe from now on, the industry can stop dismissing the issues and will finally get around to fixing them.