Survey: There Aren't Many Women In The Video Games Business

The Border House has posted scans of the results of last year's Game Developer Magazine survey, which is about as thorough examination of the demographics of the video game business as you can get. It's interesting on many levels, firstly for seeing how much developers get paid, but then for seeing how many women there are in the industry.

Hint: there aren't many.

As you can see, most fields in the industry have around 10-20 per cent female representation. Some go as low as 5 per cent. And those who are in the trade are paid significantly less than their male counterparts.

There's an argument that this is because women have only recently begun to enter the video game workforce in serious numbers, meaning they'll mostly be at more junior positions, meaning that on surveys like this their numbers won't be skewed by senior management/developers.

You can check out all the figures here. A word of advice if you want to get rich: get into the business side. And... be a man when you do it :

The 2013 Game Developer Gender Wage Gap [The Border House]


    As a journalist, you should be ashamed of endorsing The Border House, a site that ruthlessly purges any and all views that even slightly question anything they say. The only time you should be linking them is when you explain how full of shit they are.

      I say this having no idea what the Border House is, but isn't that a double standard?

        Kotaku allows various kinds of comments, The Border House allows only circle jerking. If their writers wanted to come here and comment, they could. They've even had their articles re-posted by Kotaku. But it's a strictly one way street.

        No, it's not a double standard to refuse to enable them.

        Last edited 06/04/13 1:14 am

      I have to say that having a browse through that web site, they are clearly a feminist blog pushing an agenda (wag gap). The way they publish the stats is a bit misleading - they highlight the difference between the male / female salaries without showing a breakdown of industry experience by gender. I.e. if a majority of males are in the > 6 year category, and most females are in the <3 years category, then naturally the average male salaries will be higher. There is also no indication of how many participants took the survey, so there's no way to judge how indicative of the industry it really is.
      But hey, don't let facts get in the way of a good story right? Especially one on a hot-button-issue like women in the gaming industry.

        They actually do make your very point after going through all the stats

        I’m sure there are more details that might make these numbers less damning. For example, we all know that games have been long dominated by men and the industry is taking small steps to change that. As a result, many of the women who answered the survey might be new to the game industry, might not be in as senior of roles as the men who responded.

        Also they are just republishing the stats from Game developer magazine. None of this is new news. It is similar in many other industries and has been slowly improving over time.

        The most interesting stats would be how have these numbers changed over the last 5 years. Hopefully they have improved.

          Yep, this is true, but the way it's phrased, and it's placement at the end of the article is done in a way to gloss over this fact (while loudly decrying that men earn more in every category except programming) - it shows the author's bias.

          You are spot on about the historical numbers - they would paint a more accurate picture of the industry and give actual context to this years numbers.

            Bias is not a bad thing. Every child in Australian schools is taught persuasive writing. It is part of the national curriculum. It is the use of evidence and arguments to convince your reader to agree or at least consider your point of view. Sometimes it is done openly and sometimes it is hidden in an apparent factual reporting piece. But it is not a negative thing, especially not in journalism.

            I think you just don't agree with the Author's position, which is totally fine. But it doesn't make the data incorrect. Most industries world wide females are paid less than males on average. It is a remnant of male dominated societies and will take a couple more generations to become less significant. Some of the reasons are because of experience as you have suggested, but that can sometimes be because women take a year or two off to have children. These women will be forever two years behind their male counterparts. This isn't on an individual persons job level but when you average it out across industries and large numbers then you see a significant effect.

            There is some more bias ;)

              Bias from a blog is fine, and probably to be expected. But it becomes a problem when news sites (which are supposed to be objective) pick it up and run with it. if it's being presented as an op-ed piece, it's a different story of course, but this article is flagged as news so the expectation of objectivity is set.

              It's not so much that I disagree with the author's position, its more that I think the author is presenting a conclusion based on incomplete data, or deliberately excluding data to support her conclusion, neither of which I think help the situation.

              I don't disagree that women are being paid less than men. But as you have pointed out, there are a host of other factors that come into play. With your example, I think that if a woman takes herself out of the workforce for 2 years to have a child, then that's 2 years less experience she will have compared to someone who works through the same time, (be they male or female) and thus should be paid accordingly. Another issue is that salary reviews are usually not arbitrary, and pay increases can come down to negotiation skills (this tends to be true in smaller companies, not so much in larger ones).

              Is the difference in pay a result of widespread active discrimination in the industry? Or is the difference accounted for once you take all factors into consideration? Or does it lie somewhere in between? Again, it's difficult to make an informed decision if we don't have all the facts.

    There are very few women in mining, building and transportation too yet i rarely see any articles written about that anywhere. Why is it only the cushy upper class jobs that get the attention? If we are going to demand more equality in the more classy fields then we should also insist more women take up physical labour. If we are truly equal then it is only fair.

      It probably has something to do with this being a gaming related website, so they're pointing out the gaming related numbers, but I do see your point.

      Totally agree. If a man punches me in the face and I punch him back, nothing is said. But if a woman punches me in the face and I punch her back, she screams about equality. I have nothing against gender equality, but this cherry picking really shits me.

        I like how this comment was voted to -2 with no replies.

        Feminists always lose it when someone asks why men and women aren't treated equally when it comes to self-defense, but they can't come up with any arguments.

      Your suggestion that equality requires women to undertake more physical labour is a distraction from the issue the article raises, which is discrimination against women in professional industries. Your attitude is analogous to a woman saying there won’t be equality until men can give birth!

      Regardless your point is still false. You try and suggest that women shy away from menial tasks, yet all the lowest paid jobs in society are heavily populated by women. Also, all the most undesirable jobs are most populated by women. All the cleaners at work are women. When I was hospitalized with gastro, all the people who had to clean up my shit were women. I’m confident that women are doing their fair share of the work at the ‘lower class’ jobs (to use your class references).

      I don’t associate my views with feminism, and am a proud man. I have however seen intelligent women in my life struggle against sexism in the workplace. The ‘boys club’ is a genuine issue in some industries, and is worth discussing, not trivializing like your comment does.

      Last edited 05/04/13 9:27 am

        Men cannot birth children, but theres no mental or physical condition which stops a healthy female from performing the occupations i listed. Your attempt at a witty response has failed.

          The point that women give birth via vagina and not their eurethra also kinda kills the argument a bit. I mean, if I could give birth, it'd be through a far smaller and more painful hole...

        In before "giving birth trumps all arguments"... Wait. Damn.

      The reason you don't see articles about that is because those industries more ruthlessly enforce and suppress it and have media outlets that are massive boys' clubs toeing the party line. I know this, having worked in many of them.

      But given your post ends on a bullshite MENS RIGHT'S ACTIVISM crazytalk note, I doubt that kind of factual logic will get in your way.

        have media outlets that are massive boys' clubs toeing the party line

        You understand that public relations is a female dominated industry right?

          Funnily enough, as a senior public relations executive I am aware of this. However, the vast majority of the people THEY work for are male - and these are the people who tell them (and me) what to promote.

          As someone who was a journalist for many years in the resource sector, I am also aware that public relations offices don't actually publish news - that is the job of journalists.

          So yes, there are indeed women involved, doing the same job I do - which is simply to nicely package the information one lot of men want another lot of men to publish.

          It's still a massive boys' club.

            Fair enough. My experience with PR has been a bit different, and I was always of the opinion that PR was about managing a company's reputation as well as influencing public opinion / behaviour, rather than just packaging up info - but then again, this was in IT, and working with in-house staff, so it sounds like a different beast in resources.

            So when a man has an opinion which doesnt conform to your own its crazy talk? And the reason women dont apply for physically demanding jobs in large numbers is because of a massive boys club conspiracy, and not because they simply dont want to do it.
            We should be having this argument in a public debate hall, so you can paint me as a sexist bigot in front of the audience and i can make an off hand remark about women being crazy.
            You: Men rule the country, rise up members of the female horde!
            Me: Women... Am i right folks?
            You: To the board room! Time to plan our attack!
            Me: Thats a funny looking kitchen.
            Thats when you kick me in the nuts and we part company. So what do you think?

      But men and women are physically different, that is a biological fact. So insisting on increasing the number of women doing physical labour is not logical. However women are still able to carry out the same cognitive functions as males to the same extent.

      It comes down to having equal opportunity for individuals to prove themselves at a given job. (Including physical labour)

      It would appear from these stats that equality is improving in the game industry but there is still a long way to go. Particularly in the area of payment.

        equal opportunity is fine and I fully support it, both in terms of gender and ethnicity. However what is NOT fine is the consistent focus on equal results that feminist blogs/websites push out constantly. There is no point in saying "Women only make up 10%(random number I made up) of boardroom members" without mentioning how many women actually WANT to and have the ABILITY to be on the board of directors of a company. I personally know quite a few highly capable women who would make great directors and CEOs, yet because of various reasons not a single one of them wants to be in that position. Some prefer to be married to a director/CEO so that they can influence the decision without having to deal with the professional responsibility (smart move imo). Others prefer being a housewife and raising kids because they feel happier doing that. Others wishes for a lower level position because it gives them more free time for their hobbies etc. Gender and ethnicity based discrimination do exists and are particularly bad in certain industries/countries. But constantly shoving anti-male propaganda down our throats hurts the cause of equal opportunity, because it turns those of us who actually do support equal opportunity into anti-feminists.

          This was implied in my earlier post, but I forgot to mention that plenty of intelligent and capable women actually like leaving the money-making to their husbands/boyfriends/partners.

    VG industry still has more females then engineering industry :(

    I'm reading the comment section. Hmmm, totally no idea why there are not more women in the industry. /sarcasm


      I think the percentage being so low indicates that the industry is difficult for women to get involved with and the industry as a whole should look at why that is; If there is pervailing attitudes of sexism, how can those be changed? If women are not interested in the industry how can it be better prmoted to that group? Needless to say having a diverse workforce helps bring new ideas etc so whilst maybe 50/50 is not a sensible target, 5-10 % is much too low.

    OMG, only n% of child-care workers/school teachers/nurses/maids are mens!


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