Why Do So Few Women Work In The Australian Games Industry?

In June last year, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released some raw figures concerning games development in Australia. Of the 581 people employed in games industry, only 8.7% were women. Debi Taylor, a student at UTS in Sydney wondered why those numbers were so low, so she decided to try and find out.

For her honours thesis Debi tracked down all the development studios in Australia, asking each company about their female staff. She spoke in-depth to 10 regarding their involvement in local games development.

Part of the issue begins at university.

"I don’t want to say it is bullying but it is a condescending attitude ... In your first year, there is a lot of pressure; male students can be dismissive of a woman’s input. Men and women tend to challenge women more than they challenge men," said Debi, speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald.

Interestingly, Debi found that female developers who did make it into the industry tended to have a lot in common: fathers who worked in science or research, no sisters.

"Every one of them was influenced by a close male relationship, someone who played games and included them in the games," explained Debi.

You can read more about Debi's research over at the Sydney Morning Herald. We're planning to speak to Debi about some of the issues raised next week.

Game on! But not for women [SMH]


Comments

    Not sure if it's true or not, but it may stem from a lack of interest (relatively speaking) for women to do an IT degree, which tends to be a prerequisite to many jobs in the gaming industry.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/02/01/no-women-don-t-make-less-money-than-men.html

    For the past few decades, untold millions of state and federal dollars have been devoted to recruiting young women into engineering and computer technology. It hasn’t worked. The percent of degrees awarded to women in fields like computer science and engineering has either stagnated or significantly decreased since 2000. (According to Department of Education data, in 2000, women earned 19 percent of engineering BA’s, and 28 percent in computer science; by 2011, only 17 percent of engineering degrees were awarded to females, and the percent of female computer science degrees had dropped to 18.) All evidence suggests that though young women have the talent for engineering and computer science, their interest tends to lie elsewhere.

    A personal anecdote: When I was at uni, I was friends with most of the girls in my Comp Sci course because I didn't give a shit about their gender. I remained friends with a bunch of them post-uni and sadly, the majority of them now don't work in the IT industry anymore. Or have moved on to more business type roles.

    In saying that, the gaming industry has a wide array of different jobs on offer, from art to marketing and journalism.

    I'd certainly like it if there was a higher percentage of women in the gaming industry.

    Last edited 16/04/14 9:36 am

      Hey @twogirlsoneleica, mind explaining why you down voted my post? Was it nonfactual? @vanit 's post too. Or do you just like trolling and down voting people?

      Last edited 16/04/14 9:51 am

        Dude, why do you care?
        The thing about having an opinion is that some people will not agree with it for what ever reason they choose and really don't have to explain why.

        You were down voted, who cares. If you believe your statement to be true then why worry about what others think.

          No reason other than personal behavior. In the rare occasion that I down vote something, I put my thoughts down as to why via a reply. I like it if people do that to me too so I can learn and better myself. Perhaps I truly wrote something stupid or needed something pointed out, so I appreciate the reply.

      Don't know why this was downvoted, because from my experience, this is true.

      I studied computer science at Uni after coming from an all girls technology high school which strongly encouraged all girls to choose computer related subjects. When I started Uni, it was kind of weird to see that girls only made up about 1/3rd of the whole course. ..By my final year, I was the only girl in all of my classes, because the rest of the girls had chosen the Business major, while I had gone with a major in Networking.

      Also, halfway through Uni I ended up visiting my old high school to catch up with my old computer teachers, and ended up giving a talk to some of his classes about why they should study computer related subjects. Apparently the general consensus amoung teenage girls is that because they can use Facebook and Microsoft Office, they already know about computers and don't need to know any more plus, computers were for boys.

      So yeah, I didn't end up working in networking - I design and develop websites / mobile apps and games instead. :)

      I think there just really needs to be more encouragement in high school for girls to pursue careers in IT, so they realise that there's so much more than Facebook and Office.

        I design and develop websites / mobile apps and games instead. :)

        That's way cooler anyway (personal, biased opinion). :)

          I agree. I was super interested in networking when I studied it, and quite enjoyed it too, but I enjoyed designing and building websites much more so luckily got a job doing just that. Then the iPhone became a big thing so I got to transfer my skills to doing apps and games too. :)

        Did you then tell those girls to stop living in the 50s?

          Man, I don't know who is programming kids this way, but I watched a 'Kids react to...' video on youtube about XBone/PS4, and I swear to god, one of these kids actually said, "Why would I care about games? I'm a girl."

          It's STILL going on, and it's going on young. Like she was 10 or 11 or something.

          (I swear, no daughter of mine would EVER utter such words.)

          Last edited 16/04/14 10:43 pm

            I have a feeling it's how they've been brought up. I was in Toys R Us a few weeks ago and there was a girl, around 8 - 10 years old, looking at some toy cars. Her mother pulled her away and said "No, they're for boys."

            ..Ugh.

      I find it the same, a few of my work colleges have degrees in IT (from communications to programming) but are employed in administrative rolls (from data entry to executive admin support). One put it down to discrimination, saying that it seemed most places did not want to hire the new girl straight out of uni, the others said after all that study they decided it was not for them or they wanted other experiences first - family, travel etc.

      This is the real issue. For years and years, the STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) have had issues attracting women. Overall, less than 25% of people in those industries are female, and there's an enormous amount of work going into figuring out why that is. Especially given that, in the US at least, on average women in those fields generally earn more than they do in non-STEM fields, and there's much less wage disparity between men and women.

      I agree with this, but the reasons the degree isn't attractive (generally) to women is explored very well in Vikram Chandra's book 'Geek Sublime'.
      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/scienceandnaturebookreviews/10636409/Geek-Sublime-Writing-Fiction-Coding-Software-by-Vikram-Chandra-review.html

      He really nails why women aren't in the computer programming industry, (the nasty warrior-coder ethos that devolped) even though women were pivotal in its creation. A lot of what he posits would also apply to the games industry.

      Similarly, the maleness of geekdom is now taken for granted. But, the author points out, in the early days most coders were women. Only when it was professionalised were women shunted aside.

      Last edited 16/04/14 11:31 am

      Yeah, I found the same thing. Only 10 or so females in a class of 200 doing an IT degree.

      However, in my 3rd year graphics programming unit, the class was 33% females. (2 out of 6)
      Those 2 girls worked harder and longer than any of the males in the class and generally had better results. I think the few that do get in to the industry generally have something to prove and put out some amazing results.

      That was only 5 years ago. I know "time are changin" and whatnot, but you need to let the generation mature and perhaps the industry will change in time.

      Wow. Ok. You seriously think that the people producing these figures are so stupid that they can't take into account other variables and eliminate them while doing studies.

      For starters, your article effectively says that women do make less than men, because they choose the 'wrong' jobs to make money. The absolutely shallow analysis of why those choices are made (hint: powerful society wide expectations and pressures) is not an answer.

      Secondly, it is simply wrong to say that women make the same as men in the same jobs. There are many detailed studies confirming that men get paid significantly more than women in the same jobs in the same fields. I'm from Australia, but the situation would be no different in the US.

      Example (http://www.smh.com.au/national/gender-pay-gap-widens-even-in-sectors-boasting-female-majority-20130902-2t13j.html):

      The health care and social assistance sector has the biggest gender pay gap in the country even though women outnumber men by four to one. Full-time men in that sector are paid 32.3 per cent more on average than full-time women, up 1 percentage point in the past year. Two other sectors - finance and insurance and professional, scientific and technical services - also have an average pay gap in favour of men of more than 30 per cent.

      Here's a study (http://www.natsem.canberra.edu.au/storage/AMP_NATSEM_22.pdf) which goes so far as to eliminate differences such as working more hours in the same sector - even then, if you have a man and a woman with comparable education working the same hours, men consistently earn significantly more than women.

      Thirdly, you know what is absent from that story you linked to? Any actual stats which compare the earnings of men and women doing the same job in the same industry. You know why? Because those stats destroy the assertion made in the headline completely.

        See, this is what puzzles me when people say that women getting paid less for the same job as their male counterparts. How? How is that happening? It's illegal in Australia to adjust payment by gender. Those shouldn't be relevant stats if they're talking about illegal practices. What actually needs to be done, here?

        The law is already there. No pay discrimination by gender or anything else. So something else is at play, here. Is it only looking at industries as a whole, but not roles within those industries, where technical/managerial (traditionally higher male representation) are better paid? Is it an industry that has adopted individual contracts instead of collective bargaining, where males are traditionally more aggressive in seeking higher pay? Is it an industry that allows higher pay for living in remote areas not conducive to family-raising? Is it an industry that offers hazard pay? (Last I saw, over 97% of all workplace deaths are male.)

        Edit: I just genuinely have difficulty understanding what else can be done other than writing laws saying that you can't pay someone differently based on their gender or not hire someone based on their gender. That's about as clear-cut as it gets.

        Last edited 17/04/14 11:25 am

          How is that happening? It's illegal in Australia to adjust payment by gender.
          Simple - it's one of those things that is virtually impossible to prove on a case by case basis, even though it's obvious from the statistics.

          Why does one lawyer get paid more than another at the same firm? The firm will tell you it's performance related, or potential related, or because they need to pay one more than the other to stop that person leaving for a competitor. If the real reason is gender, or more likely, if gender is subtly influencing the end result, how are you ever going to prove it?

          When I finished uni I started work as a graduate lawyer. I know, for a fact, that out of 8 of us who started at the same time, at the same firm, having gone to the same uni, I got paid more than several women who had better uni results that I did and were probably better lawyers than me. Anecdotal, sure, but it does happen. There was no logical reason for that outcome.

          Basically it's something that has to be addressed at an industry and society wide level - it is not going to be possible to resolve this by individual court cases.

          Is it only looking at industries as a whole, but not roles within those industries, where technical/managerial (traditionally higher male representation) are better paid?
          Nope - the links above are from 2 seconds of googling, if you dig you'll be able to find stats from people doing literally the same job in the same industry in the same location.

            Basically it's something that has to be addressed at an industry and society wide level - it is not going to be possible to resolve this by individual court cases.

            Soooo.... never? Or maybe after another 50 years of strongly-worded Internet activism.
            Fantastic.

    I'm telling you... it's the beards.

    Some beards can look good on some men, but most of the dev beards you see look like the unkemp sort you'd find on your average homeless person.

      Yeah, beards just don't look as good on women ;)

    give me a break. why are there so few females in the trade industry? why are there so few men that work in administration? Here's something statistics can't prove: men and women are different and there are jobs that are better suited to one and not the other. that's not to say women (or men) can't do this or that, anyone should be able to do whatever job they want. Here's some stats that may explain the results - Percentage of men I know that would love to work in the gaming industry: 100%. Percentage of women I know that would love to work in the gaming industry: 0%. Shocking, right?

      While that may be a valid observation, the thing you have to consider is that over time, the gaming industry has grown a reputation for being a male-dominated field that tends to be hostile towards a female presence. Unless they have a burning passion for games that supercedes that, most women aren't really going to willingly submit themselves to that kind of environment. It's the same with men and childcare. Most men aren't interested in childcare, but that's also due in part to the fact that a lot of people don't trust men with children because of the fear they might be pedophiles or a bad role model (since men are generally thought of as being rowdy and boisterous).

        so where's the articles about the lack of men working in childcare?

        I'm 100% for equal rights - so long as it's equal. Notice how many commercials on TV these days (just for one example) make men out to be absolute morons while women roll their eyes? I once heard a radio ad where the company actually promoted having an all-female staff. Can you imagine the shitstorm if a company advertised that they only hired males?!

        My wife and I get along so well because I treat her as an equal. We both work, both cook, clean, do shopping etc. etc. ... I don't stereotype her at all. We, regardless of race, sex, or anything else, are all EQUAL and it's articles such as this that cause issues. No one should be stopped from having any job they want if they are qualified to do it.

      I don't know if that's right right attitude to have. That sort of thinking is generally used as an argument against most types of progression in society. It wasn't that long ago that women weren't even allowed the same jobs as men because "men and women are different". Sorry, I don't buy it.
      Gaming and the culture around it is so focused on males and their enjoyment. There's not a lot of room for women to have a voice at the moment. So of course you know more guys that would love to work in the industry. We're "trained" to like this stuff and we're constantly told that this hobby is something "for the guys". If the industry was more inclusive, maybe you would know more females that would want to work in it.

        I think u missed my point because I actually agree with u... or maybe I didn't make myself clear... either way. basically i was trying to say, are women being held back and/or bullied or is there just a lack of interest by females in this particular industry? My guess is the latter.

          Do you think the childcare industry is missing out on something because there aren't more male childcare workers?

          Do you think the gaming industry is missing out on something because there aren't more females working in games development?

          Thing with minorities is that unless they are promoted - and not just half-hearted "yeah, we support and include x", things won't change. They need a voice and representation to make a difference. Once there IS equality, things like quotas or all-female coding groups etc aren't needed because people won't even notice the 50% of women in the room.

          By the way, you mentioned knowing 0 women who were interested in working in the gaming industry. Make that +1. Pleased to meet you :)

            Good for you mate, wish u all the best. I just hope you don't take the job of a more deserving person based solely on the fact that you have a vagina.

              Oh and as for the males benefitting from working in childcare comment? it would be nice actually, maybe then people wouldn't just assume a male around kids is a pedophile.

      Here's something statistics can't prove: men and women are different and there are jobs that are better suited to one and not the other.
      Here's another heads up: people with your attitude are one of the major reasons women don't do certain jobs and men don't do certain other jobs.

      Unless a job actually requires you to have a penis, there are pretty much no jobs that men or women are "better suited to". That is not, of course, the same thing as saying that there aren't jobs where men or women would cop constant, active discrimination if they tried to succeed in them.

      I find it really sad that people still cling to this Venus/Mars stuff.

        Get your head out of the sand, mate. It'd be lovely to live in a fairytale world where everyone is exactly the same but they aren't. as i said, that's not to say there are exceptions to the rule, and again as I said no one should be stopped from doing what they want to do based solely on gender, but the reality is males and females are different. females excel in fields like nursing and childcare as a result of being the predominately more nurturing sex. does that mean men can't or shouldn't do it? no, of course not.
        men and women are better suited to certain jobs and that, for better or worse, is just reality.

      The ol' "it happens in other industries too, so let's not discuss it" angle ... makes me groan every time

    Was really interested by the tidbit that not having a sister was a significant factor!

    "Part of the issue is (bullying)"

    And the other parts? Lack of interest? Competing interests? Women not living near that university?

    Oh, but those reasons don't suit the Kotaku narrative.

    I would've been more interested had she talked to those that attempted to join the industry, but ultimately didn't.
    Mark, can you ask her about her research methodology in analysing the interview data? Thematic analysis, interpretative phenomenological analysis etc. Specific approaches will have ramifications on findings and interpretations.

    As someone who has worked in the Australian games industry for over 10 years, all I can say is that yes, it is predominantly male. There are obviously many females too, but they are almost always in either art, animation or admin type roles, and some in QA. Very very few programmers...in fact in 10 years I've worked with just 2 female programmers. And even in the fields of art, animation, design or QA, you still see a higher ratio of males to females.

    My best guess is that it's just not an industry that typically attracts women, though I don't know why that is exactly.

    Last edited 16/04/14 10:22 am

    I am not sure how constructive this "research" is. So, the conclusion is that men (generalisation) can be condescending. Or perhaps it's just that certain women interpret things differently than the other 8% of women working in the field? I don't know. But all this does is further the "the industry is filled with men and THAT'S why there are so few women" rhetoric, when, really, everyone of both sexes is faced with the prospect of condescending asses in every and all workplaces. Certain fields are more demanding and competitive than others. Why are these fields dominated by men? Is it because women are intimidated in these environments, and interpret the criticism as sexism, or is that they would rather compete in women-dominated fields? These are controversial questions that are buried because they offend people. I feel that all these critiques and research achieve is the tiring rhetoric that X industry is sexist, and X group can't get a job because X group is treated poorly. Generalising about an entire sex is similarly as abhorrent as said perceived sexism.

    The reality is that this will always be the case in competitive environments. You can educate, but really, the only way to address these issues -- which in turn would rely on applying a non-objective interpretation of interaction (which is perceived sexism) -- is to legislate policy that dictates quotas and discourages free thought, which in turn takes feeling, interpretations and emotions that are subjective from person to person, and creates an objective definition of them. This is dangerous in a creative environment.

    I don't think the number is small BECAUSE of the high number of men, and I reject the notion that sexism drives women away. I just perceive that those intimidated by competitive environments might interpret things in the wrong way, and being part of a minority may lead to the belief that the treatment is based on their sex or race.

    I just think that some people don't like the competitiveness of the industry. This is not the reason why (at least I don't think it is) women don't work in games (generally), but rather that men and women compete in different ways, interpret things differently, and appreciate, approach and create things in different ways. I studied PR and was the only male in a 30-person course. I felt left out and unable to communicate and interact with my classmates, which I admit made it difficult for me to compete, because the reality is that you're always competing against someone for a better position, no matter how centralised or "equal" the workplace may appear. Men and women are different, and perceiving these differences as sexism I think is an abhorrent way to address the disparity between men and women working in the industry.

    The women I know that have high positions (one of my sister's a partner at an accounting firm, another will soon be one at a law firm) are my heroes: not because they're women that have made it, but because, when they were at a crossroad to becoming a coward or a wolf, both became the wolf.

    I am not sure how we address true sexism collectively, but as individuals, the best way is to compete as best you can, and never allow someone to perceive your quietness, shyness or individuality as being that of anything other than a wolf in waiting, waiting to pounce on the opportunity you know you'll absolutely tear to shreds.

    There's one thing I know about condescending doucebags: it's that they only fear and challenge those they know they can't beat. Knowing and understanding that fact will take you places, no matter who you are, where your from, or how you do things.

    It is NEVER the colour of your skin, what's between your legs, or how you look: your character will always define you. Will you be defined by how people treat you, how you treat others? Will you be defined by your failures or your successes?

    I know all of this sounds really shallow. I hope it's not interpreted in the wrong way :P

      I am not sure whether I agree with you, but for taking the time to eloquently state your point, have an upvote.

      The women I know that have high positions (one of my sister's a partner at an accounting firm, another will soon be one at a law firm) are my heroes: not because they're women that have made it, but because, when they were at a crossroad to becoming a coward or a wolf, both became the wolf.
      What's interesting about this comment is that the "coward or wolf" metaphor is pretty much (IMHO) saying "women had to choose to either compete in an inherently male psychological manner, or go home as failures".

      I work in a professional industry and it is sadly true that women feel the need to emulate the most aggressive 'alpha male' style approaches in order to succeed.

      But all that this really means is that the culture and systems we have in place in these industries rewards male competitiveness - NOT that women are "cowards" or worse at what they do.

      I am not sure how we address true sexism collectively, but as individuals, the best way is to compete as best you can, and never allow someone to perceive your quietness, shyness or individuality as being that of anything other than a wolf in waiting, waiting to pounce on the opportunity you know you'll absolutely tear to shreds.

      With respect, this really sounds like "women, act like men or get lost". There's a lot of evidence that women and men do operate differently in group environments - my point I suppose is that this is not the same thing as saying "women are worse at this stuff". There is nothing about being an accountant, lawyer, or any other job that requires you to be an ultra-competitive jerk to those you work with (nb: with, not against).

      I'm studying to be a teacher and the gender disparity is about 1:3 in favour of women. I definitely see a similar defensiveness in women to what men display when they're challenged about their gender roles, we aren't all that different. There are a lot of factors that go into why and how this happens but i can tell you it's a much more complex issue than "they're all sexist".

      If you look at the numbers behind gender and the transition between secondary and tertiary education, you start to see some pretty nutty patterns. For starters, male satisfaction in schooling is incredibly low, with females being generally happier. Females then tend to finish with better results whilst far more males drop out. This is what causes males to dominate trades, simply far more men are attracted to apprenticeships because they aren't happy at school. You could say it's due to rampant sexism but that would be an entirely subject and judgemental assertion based on very few facts.

      On the other hand, women basically have no option to leave . Whilst they're happier, women have almost no opportunity to sustain themselves with full time work unless they have a degree, so they tend to go for more practical careers. It's less to do with perceived sexism of individuals or MEN and more to do with the inherent sexism of a system that doesn't support social change.

      Last edited 16/04/14 2:43 pm

      Ah jeez,

      Let me play devils advocate for a bit. There are some good points with what you've written and hopefully Mark will apply himself if/when he gets the chance to do an interview. Shame on your unsubstantiated click bait Mark!

      Whilst you can validate your POV from personal experience ask some more questions. If you went in depth at a decently sized software company you could ask things that would reveal more. Out of all applicants, successful or not, how many were women? Which roles do they apply for? Graphics, production, dev, marketing, community management etc. Are these roles, by and large, the greatest concentration of staff within a software company?

      What percentage came from hard sciences? how many women started their own studios? does the information between start-ups created by women correlate to women in the gaming industry, and what may cause that?

      We can all boil it down to simple factors that work for us, but as has been pointed out prior our industry locally is incredibly small. depending on how you run a business this can be a blessing or a curse. But lets say it does link back to study.

      If most start-ups are formed by "Friends"who share ideas, labour, and setup costs. (when you're a start-up that's all you bring to the table.) Is it more likely, that when your are forming relationships with these kindred spirits, who become your partners. That typically gamers/engineers/artists/students may be doing this at a stage of life where they may be considered socially awkward, and lacking in the acumen that is required to run an actual business with all of the complexity that this brings?

      I'll leave it to you to find more concrete examples but you needn't look to deep into successful start-ups in the last 10 years to identify some of the reasoning. I'm also not discounting base immaturity but the "Boys will be boys"" adage tends to halt discussion rather than present an opportunity for investigation of root causes.

      And yes, sometimes you just need that passion that keeps you awake at night. Be the wolf, and be prepared to pay the price for being one. But, be mindful that it is not the only way.

      Cheers,
      Masterfie

    I work for a game company in Australia and considering that the content we produce is largely targeted at a gender neutral audience (we play in the online/mobile gaming and education space), we hardly receive any female job applicants for production jobs.

    It's a shame, really. We would really benefit from female influence in the game design and development process, especially considering the typical end-user demographic of our content.

    So i guess it would be similar as to why there are much more women than men in the fashion industry? Not that that's a bad thing, it's just the way it is because generally speaking men and women have different interests.

      Well maybe, but that's not entirely true either, I dont know the exact statistics but i would wager the percentage of men in the fashion industry is great than the number of women in the gaming industry.

        Maybe, I'm not sure of the exact statistics either, but my point still stands. Women are more interested in fashion than men, generally. It's not a bad thing, it just is.

        I suspect that you'd also find similarities in regards to upbringing and environment as well, ie: men brought up in an all female household, particularly with a parent who is already in the fashion industry (in some form) would be more likely to go into fashion.

    Have you seen the comments on the internet when it comes to women?

      Yeah, even the strongest of women i think would get beaten down after a while of abuse. Its such a hard issue to fix as well because its a ingrained culture amongst people who frequent gaming news websites. Even the people who say those things jokingly are part of the problem. The behaviour is just "accepted" as what people on the internet do. The other thing is, it isn't easily fixed, you can block trolls and ignore comments but it will still happen. It just sucks to be a woman in this industry.

    Because the Australian Games Industry is tiny and insignificant.... Zing

    Last edited 16/04/14 10:40 am

      I also hate these stock images of male and females playing games... Why are they always furrow browed and suffering from apparent poor eye sight squinting at a screen?

      And why is the controller always so close to the face? Is there some controller that requires input with your nose? Do you have to lick it?

      WTF MAN! WHAT THE FUCK!

      Edit: Well played @vigwala... Well played indeed

      Last edited 16/04/14 11:12 am

        Some people just don't understand moderation...

        I find it sort of funny that they have this article about why there are no women in the gaming industry, on a gaming site, and they use a stock image of a super hot woman playing games with an average looking guy.

        There might be a clue there, yes?

    Worth pointing out the major Extra Credits answer to women and games:

    Point and click/hidden object adventures are almost exclusively played by women. Vast, vast numbers of women are playing a very specific subgenre of games that are almost completely overlooked by these sorts of industry analytics.

    I wonder if the same would be true of developers as of players, in that there is in fact a large female developer population, but they are simply not 'counted' because they aren't working on the same kinds of games as the analysis focuses on.

    Odd are if the gamer demogeaphic is mostly males, then males will also dominate the gaming industry.

      Although there are likely more males playing games than females, the ratio isn't as insane as 91.3 : 8.7

      Actually as at 2012, the ratio of female to male game players was 47:53

      "In the seven years from 2005 to 2011, the proportion of gamers who are female has increased steadily from 38% to 47%. Female representation equal to males among gamers is imminent"

      According to Bond University in 2012 - (Page 9)
      http://www.igea.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/DA12FinalLinkVideo.pdf

      Would you be surprised to hear that almost 50% of gamers are female?

      I didn't look too hard for the reference, it's here on kotaku: http://www.kotaku.com.au/2014/02/australias-gaming-habits-in-infographic-form/

      Having said that... I think it's that perception that all gamers are male that makes it seem like such a male dominated part of the industry.

        That said, their definition of 'gamer' was pretty broad. I think the perception of gaming as a male hobby is probably geared around gaming enthusiasts. If there's a gender disparity among people who are ultra-enthusiastic about gaming, people who self-identify as 'gamers', that's going to have a definite influence on who's going to be making them.

        Everyone enjoys listening to music. Not everyone enjoys it so much that they produce music. The problem with that study and the relation to self-identified 'gamers' is like trying to learn something about the people who produce music by polling people on the street who claim to be a 'muso' because they always have their earbuds in and have a thousand songs on their iphone.

    I know this concept has been touched on in other comments, but I think a better way to word it would be "Why are there so few male florists out there?" Simple... Men and women are (as a general rule) attracted to different fields.

    It's been this way since the beginning of time and will continue to be this way forever more. What we need to do is stop looking at it as some sort of personal vendetta against women, 'cause it just isn't!

    Providing equal opportunity is the key here. Expecting an equal outcome is folly. We are all free to make our own career choices.

    I'm actually more concerned about the revelation that Australia employs less than a thousand people in the gaming scene.

    While I wouldn't for a moment downplay the need for more women in the local industry (along with the rest of the world), I would suspect the ABS stats on the scene are almost certainly wildly inaccurate due to the fact that it's mostly made up of tiny bedroom operators nowadays.

    Funny, I posted a comment suggesting that the selection of a particularly hot woman as the stock photo image for this article might give a hint about why women don't choose to work in gaming, but it appears to have vanished...

    One word - meritocracy. Game development isn't a platform for some idiot social justice warrior to walk through studios with a clipboard making sure that there's an Asian and a Jew and a black and a lesbian and a Mexican on the team. Some of us just want good games made, ok? Without the interference of a slobadon like anita sarkeesian, possibly the worlds most unjustifiably loudmouthed bitch.

    I understand there is alot of descrimiation that happens at the work place and at schools that need to be addressed but it's not just that it's also the at home attitude.
    I have wanted to be involved in game development since I was very young I even tried to get work experience at a game developement company but due to lack of support from family and schools I gave up. Especially due to the lack of support from my family and being told that I needed a "secure job" rather than follow something that had "no future". As the generations change I believe more female game developers will appear we just need more support!!

    The main reason, in my personal experience, is that girls are often actively discouraged from going into STEM fields, either at school or by parents and relatives. The idea is that "games are for boys" and "science is for boys" and generally this can turn girls away from pursuing careers in STEM and games design. There's not the support that girls need to keep them on their path to games design, because there are so many girls who do game, but there's just such a lack of support to encourage them.

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