Game Developer Magazine has published the findings of its annual survey into employment equality in the games industry, and the findings underline the need for significant change.
You can see the full results of the survey here, as published by Border House. They show that the percentage of females working at studios is tiny compared to men, and that there is still a disconnect between gender and wage.
Broken down by employment roles, the survey found that “Producers” holds the highest amount of female staff at 23%, “Business and Legal” at 18 per cent, “Artists and Animators” at 16% and finally “Game Designers” with 11%.
“Audio Developers” is the area with the least female presence at just 4%, and across the board there is a strong case that the games industry needs to approach the issue of female employment with fresh eyes, and that perhaps roles in the sector are not marketed well enough to female professionals and graduates.
But the problems don’t end there, as females are almost unanimously paid lower than men in almost every area of the industry. Again, “Producers” came out on top with the smallest level of difference at an average of 78k per year, which is on-average 8.3% less than males in the same role.
But similarly, “Audio Developers” proved to be the worst-case role, with males earning 65% more than women at 83k a year, compare to a typical female wage of $50. “Business and Legal” comes next with males earning 31% more than females at 108k and 82k respectively, “Artists and Animators” sees males earning 29% more than females, while male “Game Designers” earn on-average 23.6% more than females.
The figures raise difficult questions about the rationale behind such a chasm of difference. Why does this exist in the first place? What justification – if any – could large publishers and studios give? Regardless someone should be asking these questions. You could bet that the answers would be awkward and embarrassing, and perhaps that’s rightly so.