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#1ReasonWhy - The night Twitter took on the industry's sexism

#1ReasonWhy - The night Twitter took on the industry's sexism

Tue 27 Nov 2012 10:47am GMT / 5:47am EST / 2:47am PST
PeopleDevelopment

How a simple hashtag spawned a mentor movement for female game developers

Sometimes Twitter is just about what you had for lunch and why you hate Monday, but last night it became a forum for women and men who had faced sexism in the games industry. Using the hashtag #1ReasonWhy developers and other industry figures spoke out about some of the reasons there weren't more female game developers.

Mattie Brice pointed out one of the most basic problems: "I had to make my own game in order to see someone like me as a main character." While Austin Ivansmith's ‏contribution explained why that might be.

“Because 'It's too technical' or 'We ran out of time' to make a rig for a playable female character," Ivansmith wrote.

[Note: Ivansmith has contacted us to clarify that the origin of his tweet "was in regards to excuses made by publishers in the last few years as to their lack of inclusion of female playable characters (which I find to be a ridiculous excuse, as I pointed out in the comments of your website)."]

"Men like me are badasses, so cool and hilarious. I'm a disrespectful loud-mouthed bitch"

@leighalexander

LM Lockhart gave the difference in salary for male and female game developers as a reason, something echoed by other tweeters, whilst problems even getting hired in the first place were issues for others. People shared stories of potential employers losing interest when they found out an employee wasn't single, or questioning their abilities. And when they do get hired? Being accused of being doing so for their physical attributes alone.

There were darker stories too, of inappropriate behaviour from colleagues, of tips on how not to get stalked passed between female co-workers. And outside their offices, at industry events, the problems only became worse.

“Because conventions, where designers are celebrated, are unsafe places for me. Really. I've been groped,” said Filamena.

“Because I feel like I am not welcome at E3 even though I have been making games for 31 years,” added Brenda Romero while Irrational Games' Beth Beinke, a level designer, revealed she had been mistaken for a booth babe while representing the company at events.

And then there were the women who tweeted to say they were too scared to give their reasons, that they worried it would hurt their job prospects or simply attract too much abuse.

”Because you can't just be a 'game developer.' No, you will always be a 'female game developer'”

@reynoldsphobia

“I don't talk about the crap I've gone through in the indie RPG community so new women designers think they're alone. So I'm #1reasonwhy,” admitted Elizabeth.

Some of the tweets from men also helped to give wider perspective on the issues, with one of the bravest and most startling coming from Jace Proctor of San Franciscan developer Fifth Column Games.

“Because when we hired a female engineer at my company, I was skeptical. She's talented and awesome. I'm part of the problem. #1ReasonWhy”

In fact it seems that the source of the #1ReasonWhy tag was a simple tweet from Luke Crane, who simply asked “why are there so few lady game creators?”

Harvey Smith of Arkane thanked all those women who faced the problems highlighted by the hashtag for keeping going, while other men like Zach Brosz pointed out that they can face abuse simply for addressing sexism.

“Because just for sticking up for female gamers I'm seen as a "traitor" to the male gaming society. That or a white knight.”

And Remedy CEO Matias Myllyrinne used #1ReasonWhy to encourage women to join his company.

“More diversity will only help us all make better games. Please apply.”

”Because if I succeed, I'm exceptional. And if I fail, I'm proof that women shouldn't be in the industry.”

@sweetpavement

And with the confessions and debate came the backlash. While there's little point in feeding the trolls here, it's good to see a snapshot of what women experience when trying to make their voices heard on the issue.

“#1reasonwhy B/C some are derailing the discussion & engaging in the same misogynistic behaviour that originated the hashtag in the 1st place,” pointed out Regina Buenaobra, North America's community team lead for ArenaNet.

Dillon Paradis, a “game creator in the making”, was one of those who posted, apparently without irony, using the hashtag. ‏

“I look at #1ReasonWhy and I laugh at all the feminists who think they matter. If you were good in your field, you wouldn't be misrepresented”

But #1ReasonWhy has achieved more than just raising awareness among Twitter users. As the conversation continued another hashtag was born, #1ReasonMentors, which saw developers step forward to help each other.

Beinke was one who offering help to women interested in design, and Brie Code, a lead programmer at Ubisoft, also stepped up. (If you're interested in joining them, this link will take you a complete list of tweets using the mentors hashtag.) The list is growing, with more and more developers, male and female, from studios big and small, joining. It seems that as well as highlight the issues faced by this generation of female developers, it could change the future for the next one too.

79 Comments

Liam Farrell

66 13 0.2
Brilliant

Posted:A year ago

#1
The global clique of narrow-eyed old dudes who run gaming are busy driving it off a cliff into irrelevance. The mobile sector, clearly the future of the industry, has much higher count of women AND of brains. Coinkydink? I think not. The future is bright.

Posted:A year ago

#2

Jessica Hyland
Character Artist

237 793 3.3
Popular Comment
As a female PC gamer/developer, I sure hope mobile isn't my only future.

Posted:A year ago

#3
@Jessica I'm a PC man myself, for 'mobile' read 'anything not on console' including Indie & PC etc. Was just too lazy to type.

Posted:A year ago

#4

Robert Mac-Donald
Game Designer

58 45 0.8
I wonder what Roberta Williams would say about all this, and what her personal experience was.

Posted:A year ago

#5

Tom Keresztes
Programmer

632 238 0.4
It is fairly common in the games industry that you have to make your own game if you hope to fundamentally change the product you are working on.
We are not paid to implement our own games, we are paid to do what the marketing/publisher (etc) wants.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Tom Keresztes on 27th November 2012 4:38pm

Posted:A year ago

#6

Neil Sorens
Creative Director

17 48 2.8
Popular Comment
I certainly hate for any qualified and motivated people to avoid the game industry, whatever the reason and whatever their gender. At the same time, we have to realize that certain professions attract different demographics. We don't have Self-Flagellate day on Twitter over the paucity of male teachers in lower education or of Norwegian samba dancers. That's not to say that sexism - and, perhaps more commonly, weirdness and unwanted behavior arising from some geeks' inability to interact socially with women - doesn't exist in the games business - it does. I just don't think that the choir preaching at itself is going to have any practical effect, dramatic self-congratulatory headlines notwithstanding.

Posted:A year ago

#7
The sad thing was that I knew this would be Rachel's article before reaching the bottom. As soon as I read the headline and intro I bet myself it was not one of the main male writers on GI. This is in NO WAY a diss to Rachel (who I think is fab) but it echo's the fact of sexism: why is this article not coming from one of the male writers?

Posted:A year ago

#8

Jessica Hyland
Character Artist

237 793 3.3
Popular Comment
@Neil

I'm sorry you don't want to hear about this, I guess? Discussing the negative experiences many women who work in games have(and that is what the hashtag is for; provoking that discussion) is an important step in identifying the issues discouraging women from enriching our industry. The dismissive comment that 'certain professions attract different demographics' is just trying to shut down the conversation, it's not helpful.

Posted:A year ago

#9

Patrick Williams
Medicine and Research

93 61 0.7
Reminds me of what happened with Jade Raymond when AC1 came out.

Posted:A year ago

#10

James Brightman
Editor in Chief

221 248 1.1
@ Benn, you're reading way too much into it. I'm the US guy, but in the UK I know that both Matt M and Matt H weren't available and so it was between Dan and Rachel at the time it was spotted. It's merely staff availability. None of the male writers would have a problem covering it.

Posted:A year ago

#11

Richard Westmoreland
Game Desginer

138 89 0.6
It's shocking that some of this stuff goes on, in this day and age. It upsets me that the industry as a whole is getting tarred with the same brush. Most people I've met in the industry are great people who treat everyone equally regardless of gender, race or sexuality.

That said I have been witness to some pretty shocking behaviour, but not from people that I choose to associate myself with. I just can't get into the heads of the people who behave like this. Do they not have any common sense or guilt? More importantly, how do we stamp it out? A campaign of naming and shaming?

Posted:A year ago

#12

Ian Pickstock
Senior Designer

3 2 0.7
There was a documentary on BBC about women in business. It was presented by Hilary Devey. Amongst the various issues of equality, was a section on how studies have shown that teams with a good gender balance perform better than those dominated by one sex or the other. It seems to go across sectors (male and female dominated) and at all levels. So whether you're a board of directors or the factor floor, have a good mix of men and woman improves productivity, performance, efficiency etc.

If true, then it puts a reason other than simply establishing or maintaining equality in the workplace as a reason to get a good gender balance in your workforce. The challenges in achieving that are not simple, but one I think every industry will benefit by working towards.

Posted:A year ago

#13

Bonnie Patterson
Freelance Narrative Designer

155 422 2.7
@Neil - I've found a lot of guys make this assumption: men are the only ones who play games, so there can't be any women trying to develop them.

But neither of those things is true. There are HORDES of trained, talented women out there who have been beating at the industry's door for years and eventually crumple after the umpteenth time someone spends 2 hours interviewing their breasts and then dismisses them as "Not technical enough" - even when they didn't ask any technical questions.

It's improved massively over the last 5 years or so, at least in the parts of the industry I have contact with, but the memory of the early days still leaves me with an urge to scrub all my skin off in the shower.

Posted:A year ago

#14

Jim Webb
Executive Editor/Community Director

2,232 2,161 1.0
Popular Comment
Professionalism. Our industry is sorely lacking in this department. I feel a greater emphasis on professionalism will go a long way to benefiting all disparaged minority groups in the industry. It won't out right solve it them but it will help a lot.

Too many men look at the video game industry as an extension of their G.R.O.S.S. club when they were 6.

Posted:A year ago

#15

Neil Sorens
Creative Director

17 48 2.8
@Bonnie - Yes, my best friend, a female game developer, has had negative experiences that range from uncomfortable to unfair to shockingly vile. I know what it's like.

However, from my personal experience in the classroom and in the workplace, the biggest reason that there aren't more women in game development is that our culture - educational, professional, societal - steers women in other directions. (There's an argument that biology plays a part, but I'll skip that for the sake of everyone's sanity.) Progress on the cultural front will create a critical mass of female developers that inevitably causes the other dominoes to fall.

Like you said, it is getting better. There are more girls who grew up surrounded by games and technology, and thus more who decide to pursue a career in those fields.

I also think Twitter is a horrible way to conduct this kind of discussion. Since it's hard to provide reasoning, context, and details in 140 characters or fewer.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Neil Sorens on 27th November 2012 6:47pm

Posted:A year ago

#16

Darren Adams
Managing Director

221 376 1.7
As a man I obviously cannot comment on treatment of women in the games industry, but as an employer I can reflect on the way we do things at ChaosTrend and to us this has never been an issue. We hire people based solely on their current skills and potential.

There is no difference between male and female employees in my eyes; if someone isn't good enough then they aren't good enough. Being male or female should have no bearing on decision making, but I do understand that we are a small independent company and this is probably more of a problem with large companies (could be wrong though).

We have had female employees and they got on great with the team and visa-versa. If the job paid X amount then this was across the board, which does make me wonder why some companies pay women less than men. Surely if the employee is good at their job then they should be paid the same regardless of sex? I could never understand why this happens.

I will have to add though, I have had far less females applying than I have males and at the moment we are 100% male team simply because we generally don't get females applying or sending CV's. Maybe it's all the stories of bad treatment, lower pay etc.

Posted:A year ago

#17

Adam Campbell
Associate Producer

1,136 914 0.8
I never thought the issue of women being employed in games was an issue of sexism per se (not the employment part perhaps some public perception), I do think history and culture is the main issue.

There have been so many discussions, panel debates and questions over why there aren't more girls in games. But we're forgetting, its not that long ago in the grand scheme of things that the industry in terms of consumers were dominated by boys and men. A little bit before that, a lot of people viewed video games as a specifically male past time more so than something girls are interested in.

Thinking back to school, thinking back to uni, the number of girls actually interested in going into a video games career was slim to none depending on the scenario, and it was because they didn't have a high interest in the field or the subject matter. I knew almost none at (any of several) school(s) and there were a few (2-3) on my games technology course, despite the almost 50-50 number of girls to boys on informatics courses. Other female friends I have studying or looking for a career in games are a lot lower than the numbers I can pick out for males, and this is considering I have a very large proportion of female friends.

I've said before that women aren't a special case, they're 50% of the population they should not be viewed as a completely different species and shouldn't necessarily be singled out. HOWEVER, studying women is quite important in this context, and I really want to know personally, how we can get a much higher percentage of this 50% of the productive, working population into the country's number 1 entertainment industry (and a fantastic creative industry itself) from a careers perspective and find out the cultural or personal reasons preventing this from happening.

Right down to school age, why is it that the sexes may branch off into different fields? I do also wonder looking at the very high percentage of female gamers now, up to 50% depending on the statistics, if this will have a major affect on women choosing games as a good career path.


The Tec Guy ~AC

Posted:A year ago

#18
I'm sure lots of guys in the programming and engineering departments would be ecstatic to see the opposite gender around more often, espectially if their company don't have an art department (which is where the girls had gone to, most of the time). You also can't have a good well round game design without a female's voice of opinion. I'd of thought a girl should have gotten a higher pay, if slightly, in programming position. Seeing as there're so few of them around.

Posted:A year ago

#19

Austin Ivansmith
Director

1 0 0.0
Hi Rachel. I feel like what I added to the discussion last night might have been misinterpreted a bit, or at least is coming across wrong in the juxtaposition in the article.

I wasn't speaking directly to Maddie's point, or making an excuse as to why there aren't more female playable characters. I was actually quoting ridiculous claims by developers on some shooter games who only feature male playable characters. It isn't a valid reason to not have a playable female character in a game, as proven by Volition with the Saints Row series, and having gender neutral animations working on either male or female characters.

There were a lot of men responding last night and giving their own takes on why things are the way they are, I was making a satirical statement on things actually said by devs in the past.

Posted:A year ago

#20
The biggest issue for women (especially those that aren't single) today is the fact that smaller employers favour men due to the risk of having to provide for maternity leave. This issue effects the games industry alot as it's mostly made up of relatively young people people who would be at the age that would normally consider starting a family.

If society/government forced couples to split the paternity and maternity time equally then this issue would be negated.

Plus I think both men and women would benifit from having a healthier work/life balance.

Posted:A year ago

#21

Hugo Dubs
Interactive Designer

161 24 0.1
Not related so much but I would love to see an AAA game studio with only women working in it. See what they would come up with.

Posted:A year ago

#22

Robert Kist
Technical Art Manager

7 2 0.3
I've only seen two studios here in China, but the thing that struck me even at the first studio was that there were a lot more women working there than in any western studio I've been at, and these weren't mobile or casual games studios.

Posted:A year ago

#23

Andrew Ihegbu
Studying Bsc Commercial Music

436 146 0.3
In the public eye, a female programmer is seen like a male hairdresser (ignoring the public view created by personalities like Gok that they are all gay). Whilst there are a plethora of male hairdressers out there, they are both under represented and seen as a asset/trophy purely due to their sexuality and the relatively low ratio of males to females in that industry. I would be greatly surprised if any male hairdresser did not have at least a dozen stories about abuse/namecalling to tell simply due to the stereotypical outlook that hairdressing is a women's job and men that do it are 'Pansies'. I would say the same for a number of sterotypically/historically feminine jobs, like flower arrangement for example, but I could also say the same is probably true for women in jobs like smelting, carpentry and metalwork.

Prejudice happens in the games industry and it's not right at all, but the root cause of it is not just the blame of the industry you are in, but the state of society on a much wider scale. If you got groped at E3, don't blame E3, blame the pervert that's going around groping showgirls and mistakes you for one. If you feel you really can't bear it and it's as dire as you say, there must be many many other women in agreement. Make your own startup or join a female led company. It's great complaining about it on twitter and raising awareness, but it all has to come to a head sooner or later and I don't think even the most vocal feminists truly know where to draw the lines at what they want. It's like Duke Nukem all over again, all this talk 11 years later and nothing happens. It's a shame becasue if one decent female led AAA game studio came out and showed all the men how it's done in a way that allows them to access a female fanbase and makes sense to the suits, I'm sure the industry's attention to the matter would change overnight.

As much as this is a moral issue, money talks. Slavery proved that people have been more attached to profits than people's rights since forever, and even though that was abolished the point still stands and is shown in more subtle ways every day.

Posted:A year ago

#24

Murray Lorden
Game Designer & Developer

199 72 0.4
I love the idea of the mentors, and companies encouraging women to apply to improve the quality and breadth of their games. This acts as both support and encouragement for women wanting to get further involved in making games, and for everyone to continue to address and transcend the issues. Great stuff!

Posted:A year ago

#25

Jessica Hyland
Character Artist

237 793 3.3
I don't think even the most vocal feminists truly know where to draw the lines at what they want.
All we want is equality; to be treated and valued and respected the same as male devs. Judging by far too many of the comments on this subject both here and on other news sites though, that's way too big an ask for some people.

Posted:A year ago

#26

Nick Parker
Consultant

279 143 0.5
Not really an expert in human resources trends among developers but is it not a question of chickens and eggs? There is a smaller pool of qualified women to select for positions in dev because women find it tough to get into studios to learn the skills to become candidates.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Nick Parker on 28th November 2012 4:25pm

Posted:A year ago

#27

Sheri Ray
Studio Design Director

1 0 0.0
Where they in positions of leadership or in decision making positions? Team or discipline wise?

Posted:A year ago

#28

Adam Campbell
Associate Producer

1,136 914 0.8
@Sheri

Considering the lower % of women in games, I've seen them in leadership positions at all three games companies I've worked for and there are some more high profile out there in the industry i.e. Jade Raymond, Amy Hennig, Corrine Yu, Lucy Bradshaw.

I'm not sure if it was a question based on the idea you hadn't seen many or just a general question. As always, could be more I guess, but I honestly don't know the statistics relative to the the proportion of that gender within the industry to compare!


~AC

Posted:A year ago

#29

Andreas Gschwari
Senior Games Designer

555 607 1.1
I have worked in the industry for about 13 years now. I have obviously noticed the fact that there are far fewer women than men. Up until recently however i have never really considered that this might have to do anything with sexism or in-equality. I always expected that everyone smart enough to work in the industry would also be smart enough to see that equality is the only way to go. Yes i was naive.

Then i went to Nordic Games this year and in one Gala evening i understood why women might be adverse to a career in games. Why they would rather do anything else with their skills, even if they are in love with games. Because even industry leaders, people running major event and addressing over 600 developers in an awards ceremony, have nothing more interesting to fill their speeches with than booth babe anectodes and comparing breast sizes of games characters. There were a few people who, like me, thought this completely out of place and wrong. Obviously most of them were women, but there were quite a few men as well. But the sad thing was that more than half of the crowd cheered and laughed and clapped and nodded enthusiastically.

For many in this industry that's what it's all about. partying at game shows, booth babes and sexy in game characters. Anything from Lara Croft to Mass Effect - it plays right into that fantasy. Is it any wonder women think twice about joining the industry?

Posted:A year ago

#30

Bruce Everiss
Marketing Consultant

1,692 594 0.4
When we want someone to fill a job function we advertise on Gamesindustry International and post about it across the social media. Because employees are the most important thing in any company our CEO is totally involved in the whole recruitment process.
From the CVs and covering letters we select the best candidates and bring them in for interview. From these we select the best person for the job. Irrespective of gender, race, nationality, age, disability, sexual orientation or any other irrelevancy.
You can see the results here: http://www.kwalee.com/people/

If more strong female candidates applied for our jobs then we would employ more females.

Posted:A year ago

#31

Jessica Hyland
Character Artist

237 793 3.3
Bruce, please don't say 'females' unless you're writing a scientific report. It comes off a bit dehumanising; we're women.

I think the issue of women not working in games starts quite a bit earlier than the application stage, to be honest... Many game developers will tell you this is the job they dreamed of as a teenager(I certainly did), but I would suggest that it is at that stage that young people start really feeling the weight of societal expectations to fulfill their mandated gender roles. 'Nerdy computer stuff' like programming or playing core videogames is still seen as the preserve of young men - and thus they become developers and make games for young men who become developers who make games for young men because 'that's where the money is', ad infinitum...

Meanwhile, nerdy and geeky girls have to face not only the general disapproval that comes from refusing to toe the gender dichotomy line, but also find themselves forced to 'prove themselves' to the insular and often fiercely elitist and competitive communities they wish to join - simply because they're women. It's tough, and many give up and look for somewhere they don't have to fight so hard to be allowed into the clubhouse.

Basically it's a societal problem, rather than something unique and born of the games industry itself.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Jessica Hyland on 29th November 2012 10:25pm

Posted:A year ago

#32

Danielle Masek
Graphic designer/Illustrator

4 1 0.3
I would love to get into the industry. I was the only female in my graduating class (getting my SECOND BFA) in Game Art. Unfortunately two degrees and 29K (before interest) in debt doesn't cut it. (And of course that includes talent--I'm assuming that's a given). I used to think I wasn't up to par yet. I didn't even THINK it could be b/c I'm a woman. Gee I feel SO much more confident now...
Most guys I meet are ECSTATIC when they hear I'm into doing art for, and playing, games. So why when it comes to hiring, are they asshats (of course, NOT all--just the ones with no brain and are stuck in 7th grade)?
I agree with Jessica all the way.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Danielle Masek on 30th November 2012 4:25am

Posted:A year ago

#33

Bruce Everiss
Marketing Consultant

1,692 594 0.4
One of my friends has a female offspring who is very clever and very geeky. She has used a computer since she was a toddler and her parents are tech journalists. Video gaming is part of her life and she prefers things like Guild Wars to the current FPS obsession.
Nobody I know of thinks that this is at all unusual, just that she is a very bright girl. Who is pursuing a career in astrophysics.

Both my sisters got a science education way back in the 1960s. One went on to become a biologist, the other a doctor.
And my wife is a doctor who is currently doing a science masters. Many of her female friends have similar academic backgrounds and jobs. And nobody I know thinks that this is at all unusual. Just bright people following sensible careers.

But males and females are different and have different strengths. This is because there was evolutionary advantage in performing different roles. So for example females tend to have better interpersonal skills and manual dexterity. Males tend to have greater physical strength and spatial awareness.

Creating a game and bringing it to market takes a very wide range of skills. It is evident that males will tend to have an advantage at some of these skills and females will tend to have an advantage at others. This is a consequence of our evolutionary differences. And to deny so would be patently absurd.

Posted:A year ago

#34

Jessica Hyland
Character Artist

237 793 3.3
Creating a game and bringing it to market takes a very wide range of skills. It is evident that males will tend to have an advantage at some of these skills and females will tend to have an advantage at others. This is a consequence of our evolutionary differences. And to deny so would be patently absurd.
Really. And which game-making skills would you say men are just physiologically better at, Bruce? Because I'm pretty sure there'll be a woman out there who can do it better than a whole bunch of dudes.
a female offspring
Do you even read what you type? Or what I said in my last comment? You sound like you're talking about livestock or drosophila or something, it's damned creepy.

Posted:A year ago

#35

Jessica Hyland
Character Artist

237 793 3.3
Tom, it's absolutely true that getting into the games industry is hard work. But consider all the effort you went to, and think about a woman in your position who faces all that and the additional hurdles of some people not taking her seriously simply because she's a woman.

Posted:A year ago

#36

Bruce Everiss
Marketing Consultant

1,692 594 0.4
A developer would be stupid not to employ the best talent available regardless of gender, race, nationality, age, disability, sexual orientation or any other issue not pertaining to the job.

At Kwalee we have employed some very tall people, for instance.

Posted:A year ago

#37

Tom Keresztes
Programmer

632 238 0.4
People not taking her seriously simply because she's a woman.
This is not specific to the games industry.

Posted:A year ago

#38
Bruce @ post # 33, you say people can see the results of your recruitment on your people page. I see 22 people, only three of whom are women, and one of those is "in the family". I'm not sure what you were trying to get at with your comment, but whatever it was, I'm not sure you hit home.

Posted:A year ago

#39

Jessica Hyland
Character Artist

237 793 3.3
@Tom

But it does happen, and it's a bad thing. I'm having this conversation on several different forums right now so I'm starting to lose track of where I said what, but sexism is not a unique problem to the games industry. Nor even is the hugely unbalanced male:female employment ratio(I imagine truck drivers or similar industries have pretty bad ratios too) - but the point is that we should be looking for ways, within our industry, to encourage more women to consider working in games and to try and eliminate sexist practices and attitudes. More women means more diversity of experience and hopefully then a greater diversity of games being made.

Posted:A year ago

#40

Bruce Everiss
Marketing Consultant

1,692 594 0.4
Hi Jessica, maybe females evolved to be less good at maths, a key game development pre-requisite.
Look here for supporting evidence: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fields_Medal

Posted:A year ago

#41
Popular Comment
Jesus. Bruce, you're an idiot.

Posted:A year ago

#42

Jessica Hyland
Character Artist

237 793 3.3
My sister is studying for her Masters in Maths at Cambridge and graduated her theoretical physics(a subject involving a lot of maths!) degree at Trinity College Dublin after coming top of her class every single year and winning more awards for excellence than there are days in the week. I would hazard a guess that evolution had jack-all to do with her being better than all of the other men and women on her degree course.

Posted:A year ago

#43

Bruce Everiss
Marketing Consultant

1,692 594 0.4
@Jessica
There was this: http://www.essortment.com/bobby-riggs-vs-billie-jean-king-44759.html
But Wimbledon singles are still not mixed. :-)

Posted:A year ago

#44

Jessica Hyland
Character Artist

237 793 3.3
Danielle - don't give up! Despite some people seeming determined to live in the past and read more into physiology than sense, you are every bit as good as a guy and any company worth their salt will recognise that. I know quite a few ladies working in games, and we've all had our 'did I really just hear that??' moments, but most of the time this is the best job in the world. Good luck! :3

Posted:A year ago

#45

Bruce Everiss
Marketing Consultant

1,692 594 0.4
Oh look: http://www.leeds.ac.uk/news/article/2833/poor_self-image_cannot_explain_maths_gender_gap

Evolution has made females better than males at some things and males better than females at some things. It is true of lots of species.
And it is why there are no female players in the premiership. There is a whole science about it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sex_differences_in_humans

And no amount of political correctness will undo evolution. We are what we are.

Posted:A year ago

#46

Anthony Gowland
Lead Designer

166 476 2.9
I'm pretty sure you're just flat out trolling now. You're saying you completely believe the reason there isn't a single women in the Barclays Premier League is because every male player in it is better than every woman in the world at football?

Posted:A year ago

#47

Jim Webb
Executive Editor/Community Director

2,232 2,161 1.0
If more strong female candidates applied
Bruce, please don't say 'females' unless you're writing a scientific report
One of my friends has a female offspring
My sides hurt from laughter. My head hurts from Bruce.

Posted:A year ago

#48
I think pretty much everything Bruce says is trolling. I'm sure he does it on purpose - nobody could be that stupid for real.

Posted:A year ago

#49
I'm a bit scared to post this to be honest, but here goes (much of it has been said already, but I didn't really see any arguments to refute it):

I think the only statistics we can use to determine whether there is sexism in the gamesindustry as a whole is comparing the ratio of women applying for a job between the ratio of women in the workplace (is there any such study?).

I've been involved in some mentoring of students in game educations and application reviews in the company I worked for, and the amount of men far outweigh the amount of women everywhere I went. That surely must mean it's hardly surprising there are a lot more men in games than there are women? It must mean it's hardly surprising that there are more qualified men than there are women, not because of some biological differences or sexism, but simply because the sample size is that much bigger?

So even without any sexism whatsoever, the chance of finding a suitable male candidate is much higher than finding a suitable female candidate. Maybe the primairy thing stopping women from entering the gamesindustry is the preconceived notion of sexism, even if there isn't any? (I think an indication that this might be the case is if someone says female instead of women it's dehumanizing... I didn't read it like that at all and I doubt Bruce meant it like that, but you could read it like that if you want to read it like that. The dehumanization isn't in the statement itself, it's in the eye of the beholder.)

I'm not saying sexism doesn't exist, but maybe getting more women in games has to start by more women trying to be in games, instead of bringing up sexism. Maybe the glass ceiling isn't as high as it looks from where you're standing now? (Maybe it is, but how can we gauge it? Anecdotes are poor evidence, right?)

Everywhere I worked there were far more men than women and I'm absolutely positive - in my cases - it had nothing to do with sexism whatsoever. There is always someone better than you. The chances that the one who is better than you is male, whether you are male or female, is much higher than the one being better than you is female. Not because he's male, but because there are just a lot more males to choose from.

So, if I select my employees purely based on the skills I need, the quality of work they put forth and no sexism is involved, chances are I'd still end up with a lot more men than women. Right?

Posted:A year ago

#50

Jim Webb
Executive Editor/Community Director

2,232 2,161 1.0
Laurens, the problem isn't just sexism in the hiring process, it's sexism once they are employed too. It's not like it goes away once they do have their foot in the door. Many times, it becomes worse.

Posted:A year ago

#51
But how do you measure any of that, Jim? If something is perceived as sexist, does it mean it is?

Take the example I used above, with Bruce using the word female and Jessica getting upset about it. I don't think Bruce wanted to 'dehumanize' women when he referred to them as females, he just used a word that Jessica didn't like. There's nothing objectively sexist about using the word female. It is if you want it to be, but... it isn't when you don't.

Again I would like to stress that I am not saying sexism doesn't exist, but I would also like to stress that if you say there is, you should come up with more than anecdotes about you as a woman not finding a job or about some asshat who could only look at your boobs; things that can also be explained without invoking any sexism at all.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Laurens Bruins on 30th November 2012 8:21pm

Posted:A year ago

#52

Bonnie Patterson
Freelance Narrative Designer

155 422 2.7
@Laurens

One way of identifying sexist hiring practices is the "Blind CV Test": a bunch of CVs are provided to employers with identical academic qualifications and years of experience, but different sex of applicant. What such studies have found in nearly every case is that an applicant with a "feminine" name is universally regarded as less capable and offered a lower salary, despite the CV being identical in every material aspect to a more highly-rated male one. For an example (not from the games industry but from academic science, but it's the most recent one I have to hand): http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/2012/09/19/scientists-your-gender-bias-is-showing/#.ULkuSYOYneK

Such decisions don't even seem to be conscious; it just seems to be the world's subconscious default that a straight-acting white male gets a 25% perceptual bump to his capabilities (which I don't say with intent to insult - I'm sure you all *have* the skills, it's just that people see them far more easily).

As an aside, I also get why Jessica reacted to "females." It's a very common thing with some incredibly nasty sexists to use "females" like we're some bestial species. "Females are only interested in money." "Females are only good for one thing" etc etc.

Posted:A year ago

#53

Jim Webb
Executive Editor/Community Director

2,232 2,161 1.0
I will stick up for Bruce (it's blue moon kind of day) in that I don't think his phrasing was intentionally stated to be negative..

"If more strong female candidates applied"

If retyped as "If more strong women candidates applied", it would read odd. If he were regarding the opposite sex, the same would apply.

"If more strong male candidates applied" reads better than "If more strong men candidates applied".

Bonnie is correct that the term is often used intentionally to disparage women but I don't believe that was the case here given the context.

However, "One of my friends has a female offspring". Yeah, that was intentional.

Posted:A year ago

#54

Jessica Hyland
Character Artist

237 793 3.3
'Female' is fine as an adjective of course, but as a noun it's awkward and has dehumanising overtones - fine in a research paper, but in conversation/discussion like this it sounds either stilted or creepy. Hence my request that Bruce try and use a more human term like 'women' or even say 'one of my friends has a little girl'.

Bonnie, I read about that report when it surfaced a few weeks ago and it's dismaying reading :(

Posted:A year ago

#55
Thanks Bonnie. And you are right, there is sexism, but I can't help but feel it is made bigger than it really is, especially here. Your explanation of why Jessica reacted the way she did might be an indication that it indeed is. I bet Bruce doesn't know the customs of those nasty sexists you are talking about and by getting upset about him saying female, while I bet it wasn't meant as a derogatory term, you're making the issue bigger than it is.

I'm not denying it's there and I know I'm the typical straight white male, but where I'm from, I just don't see much blatant sexism, racism, or any other -ism. Especially in the, in my experience, very open games industry where I've met more crazy, weird, nerdy, funny and strange people than anywhere else.

Edited 3 times. Last edit by Laurens Bruins on 1st December 2012 3:06am

Posted:A year ago

#56
Sorry to refer to you indirectly, Jessica. Didn't see your reply.

Posted:A year ago

#57

Liam Farrell

66 13 0.2
Guys may not see overt sexim take place where they work, but the overall way woman are treated in gaming -especially by a vocal minorty of out right women haters- has to stop if we all want gaming not to be either a bland tide of dude-bro shooters or endless "tickle this bunny" mobile games. We only get diverse and original games if we have a diverse and original industry behind it. You only have to see some of the arse-backwards abuse some male gamers aim at female writers or developers (or dragon age script writer) . Idiots who will bully anyone not deemed worthy of being in the video game club, but play the victim card at the drop of a hat. In part the game industry has fed this with years of booth babes and ridiculous portrayals of women. The game industry has to lead the example. So when women in the industry have something to say, maybe we should actually listen?

Posted:A year ago

#58

Barbara Bernad
Trailer Animation Producer

7 6 0.9
Laurens, any time you need example of sexism in the games industry, i will provide you with one. For today the story is about my concept artist (female) friend who was told at work by the art manager that she should learn using Flash, because girls are not good at drawing and doing graphics design is simpler, even girls can do that.

Posted:A year ago

#59
To be honest Barbara, I doubt he said that. Please note that I'm not saying you or your friend is lying, I don't doubt your friend perceived it like that. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18489421 - See this for why that might be true, something I've pointed out earlier too. (If he actually did, it's time to get out of there and let them go extinct because of their ignorance. Reality will catch up with them soon enough. Apart from that I would seriously contemplate sueing.)

Anyway, if we're going to tell stories; I've grown up in a household with both my parents having full time jobs and my mother, quite significantly, bringing in more money than my father. She has been the CEO of a nationwide health organization since she was 26, has been on her own as an Interim Manager for 20 years, and as we speak is again CEO of a large network of care-homes for the elderly. Right now I am 'living my dream' of being an indie, while my wife pays my bills and my food. Her older sister is a lawyer, her younger sister is a doctor. All my wife's girlfriends have much better jobs than me. (Well, that's subjective of course, at least they are being paid a lot more. ;) I have talked about this issue with a few of them and they do not feel they are being held back to achieve anything because of the fact they are women.

I don't know where it is you are experiencing all this blatant sexism and it's clear not everyone is as enlightened as they ought to be, but when there's an issue being made about something specific, not sexism in general but sexism in the games industry, I would just like to see something more convincing than someone saying "I can't get a job", "boothbabes" or "this guy was an asshole".

I think the problems are much more culturally centered rather than games industry centered. A game studio in rural America or the Middle East where sexism is still a big problem has little to do with the games industry in general. So, I guess, maybe my issue with this issue is not so much the general issue of sexism itself, but the way it's being framed and the arguments that are put forth.

At the same time, I do not want to deny you your fight and I'll be right there with you when I see anyone treating someone unfairly based on any bullshit argument whatsoever. But the question that started all this was "Why are there so few women in the games industry?" and it turned into a sexism debate, which I honestly doubt is a very significant reason.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Laurens Bruins on 2nd December 2012 6:29pm

Posted:A year ago

#60
I'm not denying [sexism] is there and I know I'm the typical straight white male, but where I'm from, I just don't see much blatant sexism, racism, or any other -ism.
Maybe because you're a reasonably well-off white male, mate.

Just sayin'.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Tristram Defries on 2nd December 2012 5:49pm

Posted:A year ago

#61
Which I pointed out myself in the very part you quote. But what's your point? That I will never be able to assess any problem other than my own? That would make for a very subjective world, mate. The very opposite of a world I want to be part of. My posts are as long (and edited) as they are because I'm trying to be fair and balanced, as much so as I can be while being that straight white male that I am. I'm afraid I can't escape that, but did you read my last post?

Posted:A year ago

#62
My point is solely that a reasonably well-off white male (throw 'heterosexual' in there too), based in Europe or the USA, is unlikely to experience the usual -isms, and therefore won't have the same perception as someone who has experienced them. This doesn't mean you can never assess any problems other than your own, but rather that you shouldn't dismiss or actively doubt the evidence from those who claim to experience such problems.

You want to reach an informed opinion and you believe you can only do that with something more convincing than anecdote, e.g. a study or three, which is all perfectly reasonable - although you don't seem to hold your current view (that sexism isn't a significant problem) to the same standard. But why dismiss or actively doubt the personal testimony from women? It's symptomatic of what they are complaining about / commenting on!

Posted:A year ago

#63
I don't know mate, I feel you only read parts of what I wrote.

"This doesn't mean you can never assess any problems other than your own, but rather that you shouldn't dismiss or actively doubt the evidence from those who claim to experience such problems."

It seems to me you confuse evidence with someone saying something. I would never doubt evidence, but someone claiming something to be true is simply not evidence. I hope you agree with me on that. I would even hazard a guess that that kind of logic is at the basis of most real world problems, but let's not get into that.

I would not dismiss any claim of someone experiencing sexist behaviour and if I see it I stand up to it, because I'm wholly opposed to that, but that doesn't mean I would extrapolate that incident and couple it to any arbitrary variable that behaviour occured in or about.

Like I said earlier, it's not the fact of sexism which I doubt, which is supported by enough evidence (and varies significantly based on cultural factors.) I'm doubting the significance of sexism in this particular issue, namely, there not being a lot of women in the games industry. That is not at all the same as dismissing any evidence, so please don't confuse my point.

I'm afraid - very subjectively I feel I should add - that the kind of confirmation bias you see in this discussion and in the #1ReasonWhy tweets is not helpful and might even feed the problem of a lack of women in games by creating a sort of self fulfilling prophecy. I feel Danielle Masek's post is a good example of this. (Few posts up.)

"You want to reach an informed opinion and you believe you can only do that with something more convincing than anecdote, e.g. a study or three, which is all perfectly reasonable - although you don't seem to hold your current view (that sexism isn't a significant problem) to the same standard."

I don't see how I do not seem to hold my current view to the same standard, because I explicitely asked for evidence that sexism is a significant factor in the fact that there aren't a lot of women in the games industry - which is what we are discussing here, not sexism in general - which have reasonable explanations apart from sexism. You can convince me to take a different stance in this issue, but you are not doing that with anecdotes, and I can't say I'm sorry for that.

I'm a bit offended by you telling me my behaviour is symptomatic of what they are complaining about, because I feel you have completely missed my point. The cause of that could well be the fact that English isn't my first language, so I'm not really offended, don't worry. ;)

Anyway, let me be very clear: I really don't like any form of irrationality. Therefore I really don't like sexism either. Just as we have abolished most irrational ideas over the course of human history, but are far from there yet, I'm certain we will overcome this one too. And whatever my stance in this particular issue, I'm right there with you wishing we could all let go of crazy ideas that have no basis in reality.

And let me conclude with saying, if you are experiencing this kind of abject sexist behaviour and you are able to, come over here to Lalaland with me (The Netherlands in case you are wondering) and see for yourselves if the grass is as green as I think it is.

And with that, I am out. :)

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Laurens Bruins on 2nd December 2012 9:47pm

Posted:A year ago

#64
It seems to me you confuse evidence with someone saying something. I would never doubt evidence, but someone claiming something to be true is simply not evidence.
Someone saying something might be insufficient evidence on its own to reach a reasonable conclusion, but it's still evidence.
I don't see how I do not seem to hold my current view to the same standard, because I explicitely asked for evidence that sexism is a significant factor in the fact that there aren't a lot of women in the games industry - which is what we are discussing here, not sexism in general - which have reasonable explanations apart from sexism. You can convince me to take a different stance in this issue, but you are not doing that with anecdotes, and I can't say I'm sorry for that.
I think you missed my point there. It's my understanding you have the opinion that sexism is not a significant problem (you aren't sitting on the fence or holding a strong opinion either way). Did you reach that opinion after looking at a similar standard of evidence you requested from people in this thread?

If my understanding of your opinion is wrong, I'm sorry for misinterpreting your comments.

Posted:A year ago

#65
**** I recently switched phones with my mate for testing purposes, so I accidently posted on his account as I was on my phone.
Did you reach that opinion after looking at a similar standard of evidence you requested from people in this thread?
Well, indeed I didn't, but I'm not the one claiming there's a problem. I guess my main point is that I think emotions are running too high on this issue and emotion clouds people's vision. Anyway, I don't want to be a dick about evidence and whatnot, so let my and other's posts then be evidence to the fact that there are also people who don't think there's a problem where they are and can honestly say they don't see it happening, especially in the games industry. So it can't be that bad everywhere. ;)

Edited 3 times. Last edit by Laurens Bruins on 3rd December 2012 3:43am

Posted:A year ago

#66
Laurens, you say your wife's sisters are a doctor and a lawyer, and they don't feel as though they've been held back. I'm not surprised - both professions are very female friendly now, and the majority of young lawyers have been women for some time now. I'm not quite sure how what they think is really relevant to an industry that still has a lot of growing up to do.

Posted:A year ago

#67

Tom Keresztes
Programmer

632 238 0.4

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Tom Keresztes on 3rd December 2012 11:28am

Posted:A year ago

#68
Fran, please back up your claim that these professions are somehow special in their woman friendliness. Apart from that, I hope you see the irony of asking for relevance when so far, your posts have consisted merely of assumptions, sweeping generalizations and insults. ;)

Some further reading by the way, because I did some research:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2012/04/16/its-time-that-we-end-the-equal-pay-myth

http://articles.marketwatch.com/2012-07-26/commentary/32859540_1_gender-wage-women-staffers-higher-paying-fields


P.s. I would really like a preview comment button.

Edited 3 times. Last edit by Laurens Bruins on 4th December 2012 2:14am

Posted:A year ago

#69

Juan Vaca
Studying Interactive Media

1 0 0.0
Thanks for providing an article that properly sums up the #1reasonwhy movement from the cause, the voices, and the aftereffects. It is sad that such an important problem goes on unaddressed simply because it is the unintentional “way of the industry.” I really think that the primary way to fix the problem is by changing the way we make and perceive games. We, the game makers, are responsible for the products we make, and the games we create are what moves us forward as well as holds us back. I wish that we were in a better position to say that we respect girls and women as players, but the games that we make targeted towards the female gender clearly show that we are looking for an easy solution for a much larger problem. I think we damage the perception of women in games by either making them sexual objects or assuming that the demographic will be interested in pink, domestic gameplay. We are stuck in a cycle that lacks respects and understanding.

In order to change the player, we need to change the game. In order to change the game, we need to become better game makers. We have spent millions on research and technology to improve the quality of games but what good is it if we do not tap into the human element. We have the opportunity to use an interactive medium, literally at the peak of technology, to inspire and change the world. If we make better games, we will make better players, and that generation will learn and continue to spread the positivity that we as developers intend to share with our audience. We should not have to respect one another because of a twitter movement; it should be something that we do because we are decent human beings. I am proud to be a game developer, I am proud to move the industry forward, but more importantly I am proud to positively influence the next generation. Whether it is through my games or my actions, I want to leave a positive mark in this industry. As the world progressively evolves, games will eventually catch up and I hope that one-day will be able to look back in disbelief at the way we acted. I would like to clarify that I am not advocating that we change the business model, but rather the business practice. If games are supposed to be about creating inclusion, why don’t we follow that methodology while making them?

Posted:A year ago

#70
So, in light of having a rational discussion, of which some has expressed their concern of the lack thereof in this and other threads (including me), does anyone want to respond on the articles I posted in my last comment? You don't have to if you don't want to of course, but I feel I put genuine thought and energy into the subject in the hopes of coming to a rational conclusion, so I would like it if it was dignified with a response.

I feel the articles I linked to should make everyone feel a bit better about this subject. Doesn't it?

Posted:A year ago

#71

Barbara Bernad
Trailer Animation Producer

7 6 0.9
Hi Laurens, unfortunately the story I wrote down happened that way, although it was a Greman person speaking in English, but i have multiple people hearing it. I was also told in Denmark by a Danish person in English, that girls cannot draw, so he doesn't want to see my storyboards, which was OK, I was hired as an animator and I storyboarded for my own sake to help creating cutscenes.

The whole issue is this: There aren't many girls in the industry, because of many reasons, of which one of them that the industry as such doesn't have a good publicity when it comes to overall atmosphere around women.
And to make it worse, when you actually get in and have a job, you have a good chance in Western Europe to meet people, who are less the civilized when it comes to behaving in a work environment.
Now we can say that it is only because these particular individuals are not nice, and so this is not sexism, but rude people being rude. And sometimes that is true. And I also worked in places where men are great and polite and you know, all in all normal. But after 13 years in this industry I wonder if porn mags in the toilette, naked pin-up girl pictures in my mail box and the frequent mentioning of my or any other girl's monthly period can be taken as a humorous thing.
And you know what? Staring at my boobs instead of looking into my eyes is also weird. Even if I am told that my fellow colleague is a male and thereby it is not his fault.

Obviously all these things never bothered me enough to leave the industry, and I was told by other women that we shouldn't talk about these things, we should only talk about the 'good' stuff. Only these women were usually in positions, where they actually had very little interactions with the working developers.
But I am not going to act like it is not there and I am not going to let people belittle what sometimes you have to go through. And Laurens once again, maybe you are fantasticly polite and open-minded person. Good for you. Not everybody is like you. And I don't actually think you have the right to decide if sexism is a problem or not when it comes to women in the industry, because you are not a women, so you probably have no experience.

Posted:A year ago

#72

Barbara Bernad
Trailer Animation Producer

7 6 0.9
Oh and the articles.
I did start with lower salary than any of my co-workers. They were all males. That was also many years ago. All our salaries grew during the years, but because they started from higher, they always had higher salaries.
That is a kind of gender gap.
The other is that we talk about the games industry. I frankly don't care about teachers and doctors salary, that the their own problem to fight for. But all the women I worked with stayed the same long hours, sometimes even longer, than the men. And yes, sometimes people get families. And in the US, where the social benefits are not really beneficial, probably the women would stay home with sick kids, but as we all know, Europe is a bit different.
So blaiming the fact the women work less hours because they have family and so they should get less money is just stupid. Mostly because men cannot give birth the last I checked. So based on this, are we punishing women because they can?
I think those articles are not representative of the overall opinion of the female workforce.

So my article back to you is this:
http://www.gamecareerguide.com/features/980/game_developer_salary_survey_.php

and please don't tell me that every single one of those women work less and have families...

Posted:A year ago

#73
Hi Barbara,

Thanks for your response.

I can't say much about the German guy. Where I'm from, we have laws against discrimination, and I'm very positive there are laws against discrimination in Germany. If you are being denied something because you are a woman (or white, or black, or yellow, or small, or big, or whatever), you should sue your employer or get out of there.

[...]you have a good chance in Western Europe to meet people, who are less the civilized when it comes to behaving in a work environment.
Well, I too have met people who were less than civilized. That's not a unique thing to women. I'm afraid idiots are part of society. Many people don't have the manners I wish they had. They make stupid remarks about people's physical appearance or other shallow things, for example. It's unfortunate, but I'm afraid it's part of the game. Best thing to do is just ignore them, or even better, make sure you are not around them. That's what I do.

But after 13 years in this industry I wonder if porn mags in the toilette, naked pin-up girl pictures in my mail box and the frequent mentioning of my or any other girl's monthly period can be taken as a humorous thing.
I have never seen porn magazines in any workplace I've ever been. Honestly, has anybody else? And if that's normal where you are, where are you located?! I agree that porn in the toilet is not professional, and I'd say anyone with half a brain would agree too. I have no moral objections against porn by the way. I don't think porn is sexist either, but of course, it doesn't belong in the workplace. Even if it was only because it would be... very awkward.

And I don't actually think you have the right to decide if sexism is a problem or not when it comes to women in the industry, because you are not a women, so you probably have no experience.
I don't decide, I have an opinion which I try to back up with rational arguments. You are not going to deny me my right to have an opinion because I am a man, right? Because that would be very sexist. ;)

I did start with lower salary than any of my co-workers. They were all males. That was also many years ago. All our salaries grew during the years, but because they started from higher, they always had higher salaries. That is a kind of gender gap.
Or maybe you didn't bargain as much as your co-workers? Most of the time the employer wants the best employee for as little money as possible. That's not strange, because the employee probably wants to get as much money for as little work as possible. Salary negotiations can be a tense affair, and how good you are at that depends on the person. Where I worked there have always been mostly men, but not everyone was paid the same as their colleagues, even if they did the same work and were equally qualified. That's how it works. On what basis do you conclude you are being paid less, specifically because you are a woman? And even if you were, why would your experience be exemplary of the games industry as a whole?

So blaiming the fact the women work less hours because they have family and so they should get less money is just stupid.
No, that's fair. If you work less, you get paid less. That is not "punishing women for being women", but women tend to work less, so they tend to get paid less.

So my article back to you is this: http://www.gamecareerguide.com/features/980/game_developer_salary_survey_.php
What does that have to do with sexism in the games industry? Or did I miss the part where it says women are being paid less?

and please don't tell me that every single one of those women work less and have families
I'm not saying that. But on average, women work less than men. That's why on average, they earn less than men. You should really read those articles again. To make it easier for everyone, I'll copy the conclusions of these articles below.

Myths and realities — women and men grow up with them. Some myths teach us moral and ethical truths, and we are the richer for them. But when myths try to teach us something demonstrably false — such as women earning less than men for the same work — we are all the poorer. It is time to discard false myths about women. - Diana Furchtgott-Roth, The Wall Street Journal. See: http://articles.marketwatch.com/2012-07-26/commentary/32859540_1_gender-wage-women-staffers-higher-paying-fields

Feminists may protest, but American women aren’t the victims of a sexist economy. It’s time to declare an end to the Equal Pay Day myth. - Carrie Lukas, Forbes. See: http://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2012/04/16/its-time-that-we-end-the-equal-pay-myth/




Want Preview Comment button! Edit record.

Edited 20 times. Last edit by Laurens Bruins on 7th December 2012 4:19am

Posted:A year ago

#74

Barbara Bernad
Trailer Animation Producer

7 6 0.9
Hi Laurens,

i don't exactly know where to start, so lets get rid of the article question first.

I hope you understand that what people write down many times is only their opinion rather than a factual, objective thing. The lady in the Forbes is a known anti-feminist conservative republican (you know, they are the ones who say that women don't get pregnant when raped because their body shuts down). She belives (wrote a book about it) that women should stay home and be housewives because then everybody would be happier. So I decided, that while she has right to her opinion about how much women work in the US, I also ignore it as a factual thing. Especially, because in the Republican (Bible-belt) part of the US men don't really help with household duties, so the less-working wife after 8 hours of work can run home, pick up the kids, do the dishes, cook food, clean up and probably can expect no help from her 'better' half. Meanwhile in Europe we are better off as our better half actually help with the chores at home. I had no time to look into the other article's writer. But I have written articles before and I bloody hope nobody will use them as factual proof for anything.

Porn mags at work. Yes, it has happened in the beginning of my carrier, stayed with us for a couple of years, then after a while they disappeared. Same happened with the strippers at the Christmas parties.

In England I had very nice experience with everybody I worked for, meaning, it is not always that you run into people who have problems with girls or have bad sense of humour. Cos I want to believe that most of these things happen because some people try to be funny. Else I would have to believe that they are malicious, I that would be terrible.

I was molested by one of my former co-workers. It also happened many years ago. I didn't do anything about it that time for many reasons, to name a few: I was the only girl at the company and for a while the only foreigner too, I wasn't sure that they would have believed me. If they did and they lets say fire the guy, how would I have been able to keep working the same place with the same people when they knew that I spoke up about something like this? If they didn't believe me, I would have have had to leave, because I was 'false' reporting somebody. At that time this country (Denmark) had only one big company, which by the way I really liked working for, I would have had to move. To another country. Which is no fun, I did it a couple of times. Since then I wondered if I should have done it anyway, because this person is still in the industry doing God knows what to other girls. I know, it could have happened in any other industry, but that doesn't make it right.

Which you seem to not believe in. I worked for big companies with lots of people. In small companies I think people are much more visible and maybe mind their language better. Also I don't claim that it only happens in our industry, far from that. But I have learnt something from a guy, who used to be my lead for a while, which was this: What you feel is always true. Anybody can come logically explain that nobody hurt you and you are thin-skinned and you are misinterpret things. But if that is what you feel, nobody can make you not feel it. So it is the truth for you. If any person feel mistreated because of their gender, religion, skin colour or shorter left leg, then it is an issue, because for those people it is very real.
I spent 7 years working as a lead animator. So I can ask for promotion and more money too. Obviously as a girl, it takes me extra effort: [link url=""]http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2008/01/22/he-s-not-as-smart-as-he-thinks.html[/link]

My answer to your last article is that I totally believe that girls can make it in the industry. I was only reflecting on why we think the industry can get better attitude towards girls. But let me ask this: Lets say you have two equally qualified, talented and nice applicants both with family. One is a man and the other is a woman. Who would you hire? Cos what runs through most people's head is this: I can hire the girl and thereby make the procentage of the gender ratio better and I can use that to get more publicity. Or I can hire the guy, who will not stay home pregnant, and don't miss days because of sick family members. A woman with a family is liability. A man with a family is a settled and responsible.
Now lets remove the family from the equation... Does it get better? No. Why? Cos even if they are both single, people have the preconception that the guy is a nerd but the girl will have a family eventually.

Last thing is the article I sent you about the wages. There is a comparison between what men and women make in the same category. Lets look at the artists, as that is what I know most of. So by this somewhat at least factual survey, women make $13k less a year than men. So it can mean two things. Or actually three. One is that most women in the industry have less than 3 years of experience (in order to get the right numbers), two that they work almost 20% less than the guys. Which knowing a bunch of female artists and myself, sounds ridiculous. That would mean a whole day a week women don't work. Or three, they get paid less. Mostly what is possible, that it is a mix of all and some more. But the lower wage is still there.

Now we can go on forever bringing up articles pro and con. But I think the biggest problem is still this: There are fewer girls in the industry than it would be beneficial. And some part of the industry ( I guess this is where you belong too) simply doesn't want to accept the fact that it can be partly blamed on certain gender specific behaviour. And by not accepting, there is no change.

Posted:A year ago

#76
Hi Barbara,

Thanks for your long response. I've read it carefully and I'm very sorry you've had these bad experiences, but I don't think I should say much more on the matter. I'm afraid I can't agree with you on all points, but that's fine. There are probably two types of -isms, the conscious and the subconscious. Talking about all this might help cure the subconscious one, so that's nice. I just hope you know that not all men are assholes and that these stories aren't going to stop other women from pursuing a career in games, because that would defeat the point, of course. I will very much agree with you on one thing though:
I hope you understand that what people write down many times is only their opinion rather than a factual, objective thing.
Let's leave it at that. :)

Cheers and good luck!

Posted:A year ago

#77

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