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Sexism not the only reason for lack of women devs, says Pratchett

Sexism not the only reason for lack of women devs, says Pratchett

Mon 06 May 2013 3:54pm GMT / 11:54am EDT / 8:54am PDT
Development

Poor work-life balance conditions, dearth of creative diversity also dissuade women, says Tomb Raider scribe

There's been a lot of talk about sexism in the games industry of late, but Rhianna Pratchett thinks that might not be the only thing keeping women from choosing a career in development. Speaking with Rock, Paper, Shotgun, the writer behind games like Tomb Raider and Heavenly Sword offered some alternative reasons for a lack of gender balance in the industry.

"[M]y gut feeling is that, by and large, it isn't necessarily male attitudes which keep women out of games development or cause them to burnout," Pratchett said. "Instead, it's a combination of a poor work-life balancing conditions, a lack of awareness of the opportunities out there, and dwindling creative diversity. And these are problems that have a huge impact on the industry as a whole."

To remedy the situation, Pratchett suggested improving working conditions for all developers, reducing the burnout rate, and increasing awareness in the industry. Even so, she added that it was still important to talk about the overt sexism in the industry.

"Companies need to witness the sales and customers they're losing out on before they'll actually start changing anything," Pratchett said.

38 Comments

Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.

2,287 2,507 1.1
Popular Comment
I think one of the biggest factors is simply lack of interest in the industry.

You can raise awareness and enhance working conditions (all things that need to be done anyway) but if the interest isn't there, you'll never achieve any semblance of gender headcount parity in the workplace.

Posted:A year ago

#1

Jade Law Senior concept artist, Reloaded Productions

72 291 4.0
She sounds sensible about the topic.

Posted:A year ago

#2

Dan Lowe 3D Animator, Ubisoft Montreal

46 68 1.5
I'm always kind of confused when people talk about poor work-life balance. It's true that at every company I've worked at that a lot of people do a lot of overtime, but in my experience it's almost always self-imposed. In 7 years in the industry I think I've only ever been directly asked to do overtime twice. I also work with plenty of people who refuse to do overtime. It hits the end of the day, they get up, they leave, and that's that. There's no negative consequences for these people for doing this and I don't feel as though anyone thinks any worse of them, especially if they have families at home.

Perhaps I've just been lucky to work at companies with this kind of culture, or perhaps I've only worked at companies where the employees are passionate enough about their work that they choose to do overtime without being asked. If people have experienced something different then I'd be interested to hear about it.

Posted:A year ago

#3

Sam Nicholls Web Developer, University of Kent

4 4 1.0
With regards to "raising awareness", it's hard to actually go about doing that in a way that isn't easily ham-fisted or perceived as patronising or belittling.
https://twitter.com/ameliahumfress/status/328065788810506240

I think the reputation of the industry of being a hard place to work is a factor, but ultimately when you look at the gender balance of related degrees such as computer science, there's a huge imbalance there. My take on the situation is a lot of guys get in to the industry because they played games growing up and so were aware of the industry as an option to begin with. When we're younger our ambitions are based more on what we enjoy rather than what we're actually capable of, but that capability then becomes somewhat self-fulfilling (this also explains us not being particularly concerned with hard crunches in the past. When your job is also your ambition, a few long days won't really stop you.) Oddly enough, it seems mobile & tablets & casual are what's getting women interested in gaming, I wouldn't be surprised if CS & the games industry sees the gender balance even out within a decade's time due to this.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Sam Nicholls on 6th May 2013 10:39pm

Posted:A year ago

#4

Ruben Monteiro Engineer

84 201 2.4
Some women may be interested in the design department, but the hardcore code monkeying side of game development is likely to remain a guy's thing for now. Women are simply not into it.

Posted:A year ago

#5

Dave Herod Senior Programmer, Codemasters

528 788 1.5
I'm not really sure what work-life balance has to do with it. It's a problem but that affects men just as much as women, so it's not really a reason for imbalance. Plus, when it comes to young girls considering education options that could lead them to a career in game development, work-life balance is probably a long way from their minds at that time of their life.

Posted:A year ago

#6

David Thornhill Studying Journalism, University of South Australia

8 25 3.1
Popular Comment
Are there truly no other photographs of Rhianna Pratchett?

Posted:A year ago

#7

Nick McCrea Gentleman, Pocket Starship

222 459 2.1
Popular Comment
I do think there's a very good point in there somewhere - the industry is chronically unstable, leading to a kind of up-or-out process that means it's staffed largely by a kind of itinerant, unattached, group of 20-or-30-somethings (generalising, but still...). The industry is not conducive of family life, and I do think if you look at the kinds of careers women pick, family friendly careers are often very attractive. This obviously affects men too, though as women take more of the childcare burden (on average) I think it tends to affect them far more.

Posted:A year ago

#8

Sandy Lobban , Noise Me Up

319 231 0.7
I've worked with quite a lot of women in the industry over my 16 years. I've never heard any of them complaining about any of these things in the industry. I wouldn't mind knowing who it is that actually thinks its an issue? Any women I've worked with were simply interested in what they were doing. Its one of these things that seems to go round in circles in the press to me, but I could be wrong.

I don't think hours have anything at all to do with it. Many other jobs require shift patterns and personal demands for your time. If you're not contracted to do crazy hours then you've got to ask yourself why you're doing it. Its a completely personal choice. As a creative its your responsibility to balance the time you spend engaged with work tasks and your life outside of it. If you're going to offer your services for free to a corporate games company and their shareholders however, then don't be surprised if the line manager lets you away with it.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Sandy Lobban on 7th May 2013 11:31am

Posted:A year ago

#9
@Sandy - Just because the women in the games industry don't mind it doesn't mean it's not an issue. The chances are the women who would have minded would simply have avoided a job in games in the first place.

Same for some men, I know of both women and men who have avoided the games industry for this reason. It is an issue. It's just not a "women's issue" although it does have the effect of putting off a greater percentage of women than men.

Posted:A year ago

#10

Helen Merete Simm Senior UI Artist, Codemasters

53 276 5.2
Popular Comment
I agree. Personally the main reason I am considering leaving the industry is because of the pressure to work overtime even when it should be possible to plan around it. Bank holidays being "cancelled", late nights requested even when you've finished your tasks but because "everyone else on the team is working late"...
It is hard to deal with. I can only speak for myself but as a creative, I find it hard to consistently churn out quality work when it seems that its not about how productive you are when you are there (which to me should be the main goal) but about how late you stay and how much you sacrifice for the game.
Add to that the lack of incentives outside of monetary (creativity considered too risky which leads to lack of self fulfillment) and its not great.
An endless grind of iteration kills creativity. People need time to recover from a hard days work or else they burn out.
It does often seem that the industry lacks humanity.

And honestly it seems to me that when people know they are staying late, they tend to kinda sit on their tasks a bit, and spend a lot more time socializing around mealtimes. The later they work the more the productivity suffers during their working hours.

I guess one instance where working late can be helpful is if your day is full of meetings to the point where you physically cannot get around to your tasks, but is that really the way to get a game made?
People need rest, Creatives need time to let their brains rest.

Posted:A year ago

#11

Jade Law Senior concept artist, Reloaded Productions

72 291 4.0
Popular Comment
I think the women in industry who don't complain about this stuff are the ones content with games industry, because there are always exceptions to the rule.
But generally women prefer to work fewer hours than men.
Women who work for themselves are more likely to do so to meed the needs of their preferred working hours and work less. Whereas self employed men actually work more hours.
Several studies have shown women are happier working part time.. not because women are lazy but we're predisposed to focus on family life.

I wish more people would realise the reason not many women work in games isnt because its sexist but because it simply doesnt interest women. Just like you see more women doing secretarial jobs than working on oil rigs. Games industry usually requires you to move for work (especially in the uk), tends to lay people off quite regular, often requires overtime and doesnt leave much room for raising a family. I dont think I've ever worked with another women in games who has had children, we generally dedicate ourselves to the job at hand, which most women do not want to do to the same level.

People need to realise men and women are not the same, we have different needs that help us choose our career paths. But for those exceptions who do choose to work in male dominated industries treat us with respect and equality, which, comparatively i would say we've been relatively successful with in games.

Posted:A year ago

#12

Tom Keresztes Programmer

700 354 0.5
Some women may be interested in the design department, but the hardcore code monkeying side of game development is likely to remain a guy's thing for now. Women are simply not into it.
There are exceptions (based on personal experience)

Posted:A year ago

#13

Adam Campbell Associate Producer, Miniclip Ltd

1,216 1,050 0.9
Good points raised. I've been speaking a lot about the career choices of women with regards to work/life balance lately...

Posted:A year ago

#14

Helen Merete Simm Senior UI Artist, Codemasters

53 276 5.2
"But generally women prefer to work fewer hours than men." Would be great to see a study where this is backed up, really curious about this.
Personally I am very happy to work 40 hours a week, which is my working hours, but after work, I want to have a life.
I want to be more than just my job.
And as a creative that time away from the work, helps me to recharge my batteries, making me a better worker.
I would actually be interested to see if the divide in opinions is not actually gender based, but discipline based, ie artists vs programmers?

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Helen Merete Simm on 7th May 2013 1:56pm

Posted:A year ago

#15

Sandy Lobban , Noise Me Up

319 231 0.7
I'm not sure about the women like to work less than men idea. Trust me, when kids come along, regardless of sex you will soon be leaving the office on time, and you will realise just how much time you had on your hands previously. Kids go to bed at 7pm' ish. That means parents leave the office at 5.30 or don't see the kids. Your job will take a back seat to this no matter how much a line manager tells you otherwise, trust me. Running a business that's out of sync with these family demands is counter intuitive in the long run. You will only lose the experienced staff.

Luckily, the still young games industry is getting to that age itself where a good number of people who work in it are parents themselves now. This alone will make the industry a more family friendly place to be. Its just not a women only thing, as other dads will tell you.

@John We probably agree on most points about this. I'm just not sure it puts women off more than men before entering the industry. I've never seen any evidence of that personally.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Sandy Lobban on 7th May 2013 2:26pm

Posted:A year ago

#16

Jarret Redding Executive Editor, Mash Those Buttons

8 2 0.3
Doesn't the path to anyone working in a creative field like games start with interest? Things like being overworked (which effect everyone) and sexism are things that someone would deal with after they are in the industry. There seems to be a lack of interest from women when it comes to working in the games industry in general, so shouldn't someone be looking into why interest is so low in the first place. I highly doubt it's because of the reasons given here since you need to be in tune with the industry to even know these problems exist.

Posted:A year ago

#17

Edward Buffery Pre-production Manager

149 96 0.6
I think a more accurate way of explaining the 'women like to work less' idea is actually more to do with how in general (of course there will be many exceptions), men feel more comfortable focusing single-mindedly on 1 thing whereas women feel more comfortable keeping several things in balance. In terms of work, men are more likely to not mind making their job the sole focus of their life for extended periods, whereas women are more likely to draw a line before putting the rest of their lives on hold. The games industry has traditionally been particularly demanding in terms of seasonal crunch time and so on, but hopefully that's changing slowly as the industry stops becoming all about pre-holiday AAA releases and becomes a little more diverse in many senses.

Posted:A year ago

#18

Panagiotis Kouvelis Founder & CEO, Blueface Games

7 10 1.4
The Games Industry should clean their names and start enforcing proper working hours, also business ethics should change.

For all I know and witnessed over the last 2 decades, working in games mean that:

1) You work a lot more than you should be
2) A team is working and a producer or designer gets all the credit
3) Lately a lot of interns are working for nearly free just to get a portfolio done, and all this as the schools and related education says that if you enroll you're gonna be a pro. Then why you should do internships later?

All of the above and other reasons, shows bad ethics, poor management skills and a "project uber alles" way of working that already drown the music industry and now is doing the same with the workers in the films industry... Games are next...

People up stairs have to realize that you are like everybody else and don't burn our your opportunities in having good projects and good people working for you.

Posted:A year ago

#19

Jade Law Senior concept artist, Reloaded Productions

72 291 4.0
@Helen
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1563943/Women-happier-if-they-work-part-time.html
http://www.employersjobs.com/news_article.aspx?NewsId=742&NewsArchive=Employees-admit-they-would-prefer-part-time-work

And many other studies on how women make up 70% of the part time work force in america etc etc.. it feeds into all sorts of studies done about working hours, pay-grades between genders and lots of other things.

Your have to look beyond yourself as an individual as the few women working in games are the exceptions. There hasnt been any studies specifically pertaining to roles beyond sciences generally being more male orientated and creative arts attracting more women. But this all becomes related to so many other things far beyond games that anyone willing to put the time in and research it can see the reason there are few women in games is not because it is a massively sexist industry. If anything we're one of the most evolving and accepting industries in the world thanks in part to working culture we have obtained from being an internationally successful industry.

Posted:A year ago

#20

Cori Myers CEO/Owner, Gameinatrix.com

20 1 0.1
@Jim Webb That's in fact NOT an issue. That's why we have so many organizations like Black Girls Code popping up. The thing me and my girls have been harping on is yes awareness. It's an overused word but it has some implications I'd like to point out. While we're all human, women do tend to think and problem solve a little differently on occasion. Awareness comes in understanding and respecting those differences.
Too many times this year I've read of instances where men are disrespecting women in the industry and then blaming the woman for being too emotional. It doesn't matter if she is, a lot of us gals are (and some aren't) either way, it should not be used to insult, belittle or used as an excuse not to work with women. Just like you expect the world to treat you with the respect as a man, you should treat women with equal respect, no matter how emotional you may think she is. There are obvious instances where emotional responses from men or women should not be tolerated in the work place. But to use it as an excuse not to hire women is ridiculous and honestly if it's perceived that women are not interested in the industry, it stems from this very type of situation. Women (and I don't speak for all, just my own opinion) like to be a part of a team and not feel threatened, that their input is valued..you know...like a human being. When we are devalued and 'put in our place' by men who think it's ok to say overtly sexual things or make comments in reference to the person being female in an attempt to devalue her opinion or demean her..you're damn right we'll shy away from that field. And it's the industry's loss, because sometimes the differences in the way we think can make for beautiful collaborations.

Posted:A year ago

#21

Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.

2,287 2,507 1.1
Cori, if I may request that you read my post again, I think you'll find that I suggest women largely have a lack of interest in the video game development industry.

I said nothing about respect.
I said nothing about emotions.
I said nothing about capability.

I agree with practically everything you just said in your post but I'm at a complete loss why you targeted it towards me.

Posted:A year ago

#22

David Radd Senior Editor, IndustryGamers

359 78 0.2
Surely everyone can agree that a raise in working conditions for the industry would benefit them. This is an ongoing battle and would likely bring in more parents (both moms and dads) for the industry and help retain them, as opposed to having to choose between their family and their job.

Posted:A year ago

#23

Murray Lorden Game Designer & Developer, MUZBOZ

203 72 0.4
I don't want to sound like some medieval brute, but I do believe in a certain biological and cultural difference between men and women, in general, not specific to every case.

And I think that men, especially when young, have a bit of a mindless warrior mentality, and seem to be able to spend countless hours sitting at their desks, rowing tricky projects across risky waters, to meet the changing demands of feature lists and publisher requests.

I know I did, many years ago, throughout my twenties. It was hard, and we did our share of complaining at lunch time, the lowly troops gathered in the mess hall. But you power on through, and bring that boat safely home, through rain and muck and the occasional fallen comrade.

(I think I'm going somewhere with this...)

It's not always pleasant, it's certainly not a cosy job with set hours, leave it at 5pm and head home to relax. We'd be working until 2 or 3 in the morning to meet milestones, that sometimes dragged on for weeks.

Some women like to geek out, and go the hard slog too. But when I was in my twenties, working with about 30 men on these games, which seemed to be designed mostly for men to play, I certainly didn't feel like I was working in a space that was appealing to women. Women were by no means not welcome - I ended up leaving my industry job partly because of the couped up feeling of living in an unreal world made up only of boys in their twenties and thirties- but I always had the sense that women generally had different values, and wouldn't dream of wanting to sit in front of a computer all day, working on something as pointless as computer games until 3 in the morning, while not getting paid overtime to be there. That was my sense of the situation.

And yet, all those guys, through a compulsion to get that project finished - the dream of working on computer games (an artistic medium that served them so well during their own formative years) - and through a sense of comradeship, all put in the hours and dedication to meet those milestones, to make those games the best they could. I really think it's a bit of a soldier mentality. A mentality that perhaps doesn't resonate so strongly with women and older men. Am I being all sexist saying that? Maybe. I can't tell. It was just a sense I had of the industry in the late 90s and early 2000's.

Working in the late 2000's was different for me. I was older. I felt "over" doing over time. I took a job at a great studio, and basically refused to do overtime (in my own head). I did in fact do some overtime, on a project I was in charge of, because I wanted it to be great, because I was the producer and game designer, because it needed me. It was my child, and I was responsible for it. But I would sometimes burn with a fever when doing overtime. It can be infuriating. That you're sacrificing your time... your life, your health, to be there making sure this thing gets over the line. And it can be frustrating when other people with active bugs or unfinished features go home. Those left behind have to pick up the slack and carry their weight. Again, the soldier mentality seems to fit the metaphor. But when you upload the build, and spend the time to double check everything, and go home know that you and whoever else was working alongside you got the job done, and done well, that's really satisfying, you get a rush from that, like winning a battle, surviving another day... It might very well be midnight. It may be 2am or 4am. You lock up the office, go back to your car in the dark, drive home on quiet streets, it might be a Friday night, or even a Sunday morning... you get home and fall into bed, and you might feel rather satisfied, and yet you must get up again the next day and continue the march onward to the finish line!

It was easier when I was in my twenties. No girlfriend. No obligations. I belonged to the army, and we served, we learned a lot, and I'm glad for it all, despite the fact that we were often not in charge of the schedule, not in charge of managing feature requests, extensions, deadlines.

But now that I'm older, I want more room in my life for my life. You start to look ahead at your life, and seeing it in an office for another 40 years just doesn't make sense. That's work, not life. Life is about sunshine, good food, good conversation, enjoying your friends, enjoying your home, loved ones, getting to spend time with your parents and family.

I think these are things about life that many women come to understand and appreciate in their teens, while men often start to appreciate these things in their 30's. And maybe that's part of why the games industry is more predominantly filled with men in their twenties and thirties. I don't think that many young men yet fully appreciate their mortality, and the world outside, or at least, they are willing to wilfully sacrifice those things to serve their desire to make games.

I don't know what my point is really. Just felt a need to let that write itself out. :)

Murray
www.muzboz.com

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Murray Lorden on 8th May 2013 4:00am

Posted:A year ago

#24

Murray Lorden Game Designer & Developer, MUZBOZ

203 72 0.4
What I'm saying, I guess, is that it's great to see Rhianna - who has a ton of experience making great games - coming out with such a simple comment about the lack of gender diversity in the industry, and that it's maybe not as insidious as many of the current news stories are purporting. It might just be a lifestyle thing.

I think times are definitely changing, as a whole.

When I was growing up in the 80's, it was very rare for girls at school to talk about their favorite computer games. Some did, but it seemed very rare (or at least rare for them to talk about it in public?).

But nowadays it's very commonplace for the next generations of girls to be totally into games, playing on consoles, home computers, Facebook, mobile devices, everywhere. Games have opened right up, and with it, the desire to make games is also spreading like wildfire.

All around the indie development scene in Melbourne, there are tons of women, at all ranks of involvement. The head of our local indie games community is Giselle Rosman, and she's really bringing everyone together. She's passionate about games, and passionate about people. And the meet-ups and game jams and seminars like Freeplay have a really high percentage of women in attendance and making games. So I think the younger developers, those coming up the ranks, coming out of schools, and those involved with startups is really skyrocketing, at least here in Melbourne.

The numbers in the industry seem to be slowly expanding. But I think the inspiration and excitement amongst women playing and making games can be more immediately seen outside of the industry. And that'll certainly be merging into the industry more and more over the coming decade. And I do think that the industry - from my experience at least - has become one that feels more inclusive, more welcoming, and more moderate in terms of the working conditions. So that's great!

Posted:A year ago

#25

Adam Campbell Associate Producer, Miniclip Ltd

1,216 1,050 0.9
Surely everyone can agree that a raise in working conditions for the industry would benefit them.
Indeed.

It starts with interest but long term working conditions and life-style are a big factor in people staying and making it their living. I think this is something we should consider for everyone's benefit and as a result it will also benefit women who wish to work in games but also lead a good family life and have children.

Good working conditions, hours, benefits etc can work in the games industry, I've experienced it and the companies seem to be better (generally) and more successful as a result. Lets see this become the norm.

Posted:A year ago

#26
@Jade - I take your point that men and women are "generally" not the same however not all individuals fit into stereotypes and men shouldn't be expected to work more hours for the same money just because they're men or receive less parental time off because they're men etc.

For three reasons 1) It's simply just not fair 2) It makes hiring women more risky as an employer and 3) It leads to discrimination for women because it feeds the stereotype that women should be home looking after the family or can't handle the extra workload that people who get to the top need to do.

Employers should be forced to give EVERYONE enough time off to have a decent work/life balance and Helen is right most men over 25 don't want to be slaving away doing over 40 hours a week either.

It's no surprise that the corporate machine love minority rights groups although maybe I'm just an anti-establishment conspiracy nut thinking we're all fighting for the scraps from the table and not realizing the fat bastards are eating all the food.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by John Owens on 8th May 2013 3:44pm

Posted:A year ago

#27

Helen Merete Simm Senior UI Artist, Codemasters

53 276 5.2
@Murray "But now that I'm older, I want more room in my life for my life. You start to look ahead at your life, and seeing it in an office for another 40 years just doesn't make sense. That's work, not life. Life is about sunshine, good food, good conversation, enjoying your friends, enjoying your home, loved ones, getting to spend time with your parents and family."

I think this may be it for me then, its not the fact that I am female, its the fact that I am in my 30s. It doesn't make sense to me to sit in an office until midnight every night, and then for the designers and producers to get all the rewards, and all the credit.
Again, financially I am not complaining.

But yeah its the kind of thing younger people are perhaps willing to do rather than older.
And maybe women are in the mindset of making time for family earlier on in life, whereas men tend to assume traditionally that they can wait until their 40s for kids etc.
I just also think its awful when I see my male colleagues, missing out on family life because of lack of time management. Working until midnight decreases productivity for the reasons I mentioned in my above comments! Work smart. Be productive. Being tired causes errors.

I think the industry needs to reconsider the work culture, because its not effective, its not efficient.
Whether you are male OR female.

Sure if you are younger and you've never known anything else maybe you are willing to deal with it?
But should you?

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Helen Merete Simm on 8th May 2013 4:37pm

Posted:A year ago

#28

Helen Merete Simm Senior UI Artist, Codemasters

53 276 5.2
@Jade The thing is, its not just me:)
I have many female friends in the industry and we often discuss these issues.

All I want is for the industry to evolve so that the working culture is more human.

Posted:A year ago

#29

Tom Keresztes Programmer

700 354 0.5
I would actually be interested to see if the divide in opinions is not actually gender based, but discipline based, ie artists vs programmers?
There are considerably less woman programmers than artists, but it is also a cultural issue.

"Even though these numbers a bit dated, and in some cases they only studied one or two institutions, we can compare North America’s numbers from the 1990s and early 2000s — in Canada, 12% in 1997 and 24% in 2000, 26.7% in the United States in 1998, and 20.4% in the United States and Canada in 2000 — to these numbers and get a fairly good understanding of a fundamental idea: the differences in CS graduation rates track cultural boundaries."

"41% of Iranian CS graduates were female in 1999."

"In 1996, females in India were 11.3% of the IT related graduates; in 2002, they were 20.3% of the IT related graduates (nearly doubling in six years)."

"Also, girls are inundated with headlines, news stories and by imagery of celebrity, and their debauchery and antics, that is often what today’s girls are emulating. The “coolness” or “hip factor” is currently not associated with computer programmers or developers."

"I feel like the economic wealth in the United States plays a large role in allowing “coolness” to influence these decisions. Looking at the countries with a lot of female developers, they tend to be poor or developing countries: the Middle East, South America, Eastern Europe, and Asia. The places with lower rates of female developers are the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, and other wealthier nations. In a poor or developing nation, when there is a chance to do better for yourself, you might be more likely to go for an IT career, regardless of how hard it might be or what other people think. In the United States, for example, people are much more likely to be able to take a “cool” or easier path than IT and still do well for themselves."

Source is here.

Edited 5 times. Last edit by Tom Keresztes on 8th May 2013 5:08pm

Posted:A year ago

#30

Nic Wechter Senior Designer, Black Tusk (MGS Vancouver)

33 69 2.1
Are women more prone to mismanagment induced burnout than men? I would think that it would be unlikely to be the case.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Nic Wechter on 28th May 2013 4:56pm

Posted:A year ago

#31

Edward Chang Director of Product Management, NCsoft West

3 2 0.7
I think males in the games industry suffer from a horrible sense of narcissism. Since we find the work desirable and are passionate about it we assume that everyone else, in particular the opposite sex, will also find it so.

When in reality the work, the lifestyle, the actual image of those in the industry is not so great. I have a suspicion that deep down in the heart of nearly every male in the industry we feel that OF COURSE everyone should envy / be awestruck at / worship what we do. We work in VIDEOGAMES for goodness sake! Women just simply have a more objective view of it than we.

There are industries where the reverse of the videogame gender gap occurs of course. (For me that would be the shoe industry) Not sure why the gaps exist though. Could be hard-wired or could be socialized.

Posted:A year ago

#32

Aleksi Ranta Product Manager - Hardware

292 154 0.5
I think we should also discuss why there are very few:
1) famous women composers
2) world famous women cooks

Posted:A year ago

#33

Bruce Everiss Marketing Consultant

1,692 594 0.4
There is a vast gender gap in maths. A core skill for a programmer.

And then there is parallel parking. :-)

Posted:A year ago

#34

Iain McNulty Software / Game Developer, Yanxen

40 64 1.6
@Helen: I do not intend on going into the games industry after my degree course because of this any more. I quite like working 40 hours weeks, and then in my spare time making my own games in my own time, at my own pace. I quite like the idea of having a life outside of whatever job I have.

Personally, I think a lot of people do "voluntary" overtime due to outright peer pressure, (on some level) emotional blackmail, and their need to fit in to their company (and/or department's) culture.

If the industry does not evolve then it will find itself with their only employees being young and fresh out of uni, or old hats who have progressed to management level for the most part, with small amounts of devs/artists on the floor with any real experience.

Posted:A year ago

#35

Iain McNulty Software / Game Developer, Yanxen

40 64 1.6
@Bruce: Really? I thought we were beyond making such jokes in this day and age.

Posted:A year ago

#36

Helen Merete Simm Senior UI Artist, Codemasters

53 276 5.2
"I think we should also discuss why there are very few:
1) famous women composers
2) world famous women cooks "
@Aleksi No, we should not. Because this is a gamesindustry website, and the topic here is games development.

@Bruce Off topic like Aleksi, but you want to talk about how bad female drivers are, when its been proven that younger men are more reckless drivers (ie historically had to pay higher insurance premiums)? Yeah. Thats what I thought.

Posted:A year ago

#37

Andrew Ihegbu Studying Bsc Commercial Music, University of Westminster

473 182 0.4
I do believe Aleksi was trying to highlight parallels between Game Development and other industries. He could have a point, I don't see the National Hairdresser's association campaigning to hire more straight men. Nor do I see campaigns to get more white people into the NBA. Whilst it is generally believed that 'the games industry wants more women', I see the forest for the trees. The fact is they don't give a donkeys. They want more skills, male or female doesn't matter. The best wins in the vast majority of cases, and in the cases that don't, the effect they have on the overall statistics is negligible. In other words, there's much more good male programmers, level designers, and staff in general on offer than there is female. Granted in most of the establishments I've been to (not many) I'd be lucky to see one female programmer, yet there would be much more females working in the spaces for character design, UI, and concept art.

There's also much less viewer bias in those industries. Most games tend to be played by men. That's changed in the mobile and Facebook spaces but otherwise gaming is mainly a man-thing atm. I know many women who see a 30 year old fat neckbearded man when I say middle aged gamer, and due to their conceptions, still look down on games. You can argue that mobile and facebook is huge but many people still don't see that as 'gaming' because it's so casual. (Think of comparing 'biking' with 'riding a bike', the former implies a much more serious approach and almost implies getting on gear and doing a long journey)

That's not so for composers, but composition of the classical sort is a lot more metric and pattern based. I should know, I study music atm (to soundtrack for games). This plays back into Bruce Everiss' point about the deficit of women in maths.

Bruces other point however, was completely off topic and safely seats itself in the realms of unsavory urban legend. Also bad and reckless are not one and the same. Young men pay higher premiums because they have zero no-claims bonus, not because they are intrinsically bad drivers.

Posted:A year ago

#38

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