UK games industry is still dominated by white males, census reveals

By Sherif Saed
5 February 2020 11:43 GMT

According to a new UK games industry census, most game developers are white men.

The UKIE has published the results of the first UK games industry census focused on diversity in the workforce. The process was carried out by the University of Sheffield between September and October 2019.

Over that time, 3,200 game workers participated, about 20% of the UK games industry. The findings, shared by Dr. Mark Taylor, reveal that 70% of the workforce is made up of men, compared to 28% women, and 2% non-binary.

Although this ratio is similar to other creative industries like film and TV production, it is “significantly under the national average of those in work.” The results get worse when looking at the racial diversity.

Just 10% of the people surveyed were Black, Asian or other minority ethnicity (BAME). The UKIE said this is higher than the national average, and higher than other creative industries. More interestingly, this percentage is “below the average” for the working-age population.

“While BAME workers can be found broadly equally in all job roles, with a small skew towards more non-sector specific roles, they are noticeably less represented in senior positions,” the report found.

On a more positive note, 21% of games industry workers are LGBTQ+, with 79% heterosexual. “This is a significantly high proportion of LGBTQ+ workers, with other data sources indicating that heterosexual people make up between 93-97% of the national population,” it found.

Non-binary and trans people representation, at 2%, and 3%, are both also higher than the national average.

As for nationalities, the report found that international workers represent about a third (28%) of the UK games industry’s workforce. 19% are said to be from the EU, and 9% hail from the rest of the world. 88 different countries were listed as an origin by those polled.

The UKIE launched #RaisetheGame in response, a campaign to boost the diversity and inclusion levels at game development studios across the UK. The UKIE aims to sign 200 developers and publishers to the campaign by 2021. Xbox, EA, King, Jagex and Facebook have all pledged support.

The UKIE intends to run the same census every two years to track the industry’s progress on these matters. You can read the full report at the link.

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