Labour MP calls on parliament to address lack of females working in UK games industry

Thursday, 25 April 2013 12:20 GMT By Dave Cook

Labour MP for Newcastle upon Tyne Chi Onwurah has called on the Tory government to address the lack of females working in the UK games industry, and feels it should better reflect the diversity of those playing games today.

MCV reports that Onwurah called for action ahead of the yearly International Girls in ICT Day, taking place today. The event invites females from schools and universities to spend time in the offices of ICT companies, as a way of raising awareness of related career paths.

In the Commons, Onwurah heard from the Tory MP for Swindon that 17% of the UK games industry workforce is female, but argued that the percentage is actually much lower, and that action has to be taken.

Responding to the claim, Onwurah said, “It is certainly the case that the video games industry is a modern one. One would hope that it would be reflective of society, including those who play games, but it is not.

“The figures I have for females in the video games industry are even worse than the honourable gentleman’s 17 per cent. Half of the UK’s co-educational state schools send no girls at all to sit A-level physics.

“In 2012, 2,400 female students from the UK went on to full-time undergraduate computer courses, as opposed to over 15,000 men. Between 2001 and 2011, the percentage of technology jobs held by women declined from 22 per cent to 17 per cent.

“My figures show that only six per cent of those who work in ICT in the UK games industry are women, despite the fact that they make up 50 per cent of those who play the games.”

What do you feel about the above? Should games industry roles be marketed in a more diverse way? Does the games industry currently act as if its jobs are just for males? What can be done? Let us know below.

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