According to a report from the British Sociological Association, the number of females employed in the UK videogame industry dropped from 12 percent in 2006 to 4 percent in 2009.
The decline was noted in game animation, coding, design, engineering, marketing and HR.
The report comes from a survey conducted by University Of Liverpool PhD student Julie Prescott, who attributed the decline to “long hours in the games business”.
Per the survey’s findings, 43 percent of 457 women surveyed claimed the amount of time at work made a negative impact on their well-being, with 32 percent reporting an excess of 45 hours worked per week.
Another 22 percent reported they worked between 46 and 55 hours each week, while 10 percent claimed to have worked over 56 hours as a normal work week.
“Reasons given for intending to leave the industry tended to suggest women are dissatisfied with their organizations and working environment,” noted Prescott in her study.
“Flexible working practices would not only improve the image of the industry as a family-friendly working environment, but could also assist in retaining more women, especially women with or considering having children.
“Changing workplace structures, as well as improving childcare provisions would enable both genders to have active careers.”
The survey concluded the negative impact had less to do with child-rearing, though, as 21 percent had children compared to the 79 percent who didn’t. Also, 69 percent polled were under the age of 35.
Females with degrees in their field came in at 35 percent, compared to TIGA’s 2009 finding claiming the number of developer degrees to be at 60 percent.
Prescott’s report didn’t touch on why the original figure was only at 12 percent, but it also discussed “skills shortages, work life balance and flexible working” in the games industry context, while touching upon “how gender disparities persist despite the industry in question being a new industry”.