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Percentage of women devs "not good enough" - ESA CEO

By Brendan Sinclair

Percentage of women devs "not good enough" - ESA CEO

Thu 18 Feb 2016 9:01pm GMT / 4:01pm EST / 1:01pm PST
EducationAdvocacyDICE 2016

Michael Gallagher says industry is on a positive trajectory for diversity, says women make up 31% of enrollment in college game programs

The head of the Entertainment Software Association wants to see more women in the games industry. When asked during his DICE Summit session today about the fallout of GamerGate, the president and CEO of the US industry trade group avoided discussing the group directly, instead speaking more generally about the need for greater diversity.

"On this subject, I'm so encouraged about the growth trajectory and the positive trajectory of this industry when it comes to diversity," Gallagher said. "If you look at what our industry currently represents, we have 22 percent of the jobs in our industry held by women. Now in other parts of tech sector, it's dramatically lower. It's in the mid-teens. Now that's not good enough and we know it's not good enough."

Gallagher noted that within the 180 institutions of the Higher Education Video Game Alliance, 31 percent of the students enrolled in their video game programs are women.

"So we have 31 percent more that are coming," Gallagher said. "That's helpful. It's nowhere near that for engineering. When you look at most other major universities, they're operating around 15 percent, 16 percent. So I see the pipeline looks much brighter when it comes to the diversity issues of today."

He went on to say that every one of the major game releases in the fourth quarter of 2015 had playable female characters.

"These are all coming from very competitive companies, but they're all seeing the same direction, the same need to address the entire marketplace," Gallagher said. "And I think we can be very encouraged by that.

"This is a cultural medium. Those elements of entertainment and culture will pull us in that direction faster than other forms of technology or the tech sector. It's going to be a lot harder for chips and spreadsheets to be able to attract and retain women than it will be in our industry, because of that creative energy we share."

From GamesIndustry.biz Recommendations by Taboola

31 Comments

Andrew Watson Tools Programmer

192 479 2.5
Popular Comment
Not good enough for... what, exactly? What problem is it trying to solve again?

As long as there aren't any barriers or discrimination for anyone in the workplace, I don't think an imbalanced gender ratio is a problem, especially one that needs to be fixed as quickly as this. These things take time to change, and forcing it through will just create resentment. Virtually every other job in the world has an imbalanced gender ratio and they all seem to be doing fine.

Why does this industry in particular get so much flak for being lopsided?

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Andrew Watson on 19th February 2016 7:19pm

Posted:6 months ago

#1

James Brightman Editor in Chief, GamesIndustry.biz

299 558 1.9
But there ARE barriers and discrimination, Andrew. That's the point. Women in the games industry have been treated differently and unfairly in many cases. The misogyny and sexism is driving some women out of the games business or persuading them not to enter it at all.

Posted:6 months ago

#2

Barrie Tingle Live Producer, Maxis

472 348 0.7
"every one of the major game releases in the fourth quarter of 2015 had playable female characters."
Wow, saying Just Cause 3 wasn't a major game release is just harsh.

@Andrew I agree with your point but I don't think we are necessarily getting any more flack than other industries. It is just we are in it so see more of the news around it. I'm sure other industries out there are seeing the same diversity discussions going on.

I wonder what the measure of completion is, is it 50/50 ratio of men to women in the industry?

Posted:6 months ago

#3

Andrew Watson Tools Programmer

192 479 2.5
@James
You missed my point. I don't believe that throwing more women at that problem is going to fix it. Or are you implying that sexism simply disappears as soon as there's a nice balanced gender ratio? It's not that simple. Like I said, this is something that takes time. We've made good progress in the past but I feel like trying to eliminate it at this breakneck speed is only going to cause more problems further down the line.

Posted:6 months ago

#4

James Brightman Editor in Chief, GamesIndustry.biz

299 558 1.9
Not saying sexism disappears if there's a balanced ratio. That's like saying racism is dead in America because we have a black president. Yes, getting more women into the industry takes time. I don't see anyone "throwing women at the problem." It's not like people are forcing women to study game design and to enter the industry. But what I am saying is that many may feel like it's not an option for them because of toxic environments.

Posted:6 months ago

#5

Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic

2,013 2,345 1.2
As long as there aren't any barriers or discrimination for anyone in the workplace
Broadening the definition of workplace ever so slightly, this is worth a read: "Subtle" Sexism - "Do You Even Play Games (Aside from Candy Crush)?"
This is a cultural medium. Those elements of entertainment and culture will pull us in that direction faster than other forms of technology or the tech sector.
I'm uncertain of this, but would it be useful to look at, say, women in the comics industry or book publishing (both writing and not)? Could the games industry learn from them, considering they share some similarities? The perception of male-dominated for a male demographic, and inherent sexism (pen-names and such like)? Or does it just confuse the issue?

Posted:6 months ago

#6

Brook Davidson Artist / 3D design

339 780 2.3
Popular Comment
@James
But there ARE barriers
No .. there are not any "barriers." There is absolutely nothing preventing women from getting into the game industry. The issue is they simply don't do it. Also, I am sorry, but "Oh I wanted to join the game industry but I felt like I wouldn't fit in as a women" is there own problem. Maybe they should just give it a try instead of complaining and giving up before they even start.

I am a transgender women, and let me tell you this ... I don't care what anyone thinks about me, and I certainly am not going to be too scared to even try. The only thing stopping those women from entering the industry is themselves. Then they blame it on sexism, when that sexism never even happened to them.

Now, do keep in mind I am not saying sexism isn't out there, of course it is. However, it isn't an industry problem, it's a people problem, and there isn't anyway we are going to entirely get rid of these people. So of course you will find examples of sexism happening ... just like you can anywhere else. Show me undeniable proof it's an industry wide problem, that it is happening so often to nearly all females in the industry.

@Morville
Reading through it and it already sounds pretty stupid. Ok first of all, who on earth says “Do you play any games, you know, aside from Candy Crush?” to some random women? Women have been in game development for a long time, it makes no sense. Let's just assume there was some stupid person out there that said that and she is telling the truth. Who cares! Don't let one stupid idiot ruin your time.

However, it goes even further. Apparently it happens all the time too her. Really? It's that rampant and yet ... not every women experiences these sorts of things? She must have some pretty crappy luck that everyone just happens to go to her specifically to ask that question. I am fairly certain she is over exaggerating how often it occurs.

The next beef I have with this is she didn't even stick up for herself and then she goes on to say how it's other peoples job to stick up for her.
Remember, even if a comment bothers her, she may not say anything because she doesn’t want to be the one who “took an innocent comment or joke too seriously” (especially if she’s still trying to “make it” in the industry).
Like, are you serious? How do you expect anything to change if you can't even stand up for yourself? It confuses me too, because this is the whole damsel in distress card here and they claim it's one of the more sexist kinds of stories. That women are just as capable as men and shouldn't be looked down on, as if they can't do anything and always need saving. Make up your mind! Do you, or do you not need saving? XD

Another beef I have is this.
Are you an artist?
It's not sexist. Just answer the dang question, yes .. or no. It's not hard.
It's what I would consider a somewhat accurate stereotype. When you have a large group of people who maybe a specific gender, race, orientation or what have you, and you notice a pretty big pattern where the majority happen to be into something, that is where stereotypes come from. If you notice most women happen to be artists in the industry, it is not sexist to ask a women if they happen to be an artist.

"well just because I am a women doesn't mean you should assume ..."
Why? Why not? What is wrong with it? How exactly is it sexist? You can't just answer the question?

Let me put it this way, let's say you get people to stop asking you. That doesn't stop them from thinking you are an artist because the majority of women in the industry happen to be artists. The only difference now, is people are going to steer clear from you because they don't want to be afraid of saying anything that might offend you.

Sorry for my long winded rant, but I am sorry. I think it's nuts. I already, know there will be quite a few here who highly disagree with me XD.

Posted:6 months ago

#7

John Owens CEO, Wee Man Studios Ltd

1,024 1,343 1.3
It makes sense that game development should have a higher ratio of women than other tech jobs given the proportion of production, art and design roles there are. However as we are seeing with the trajectory it will take time as the current players become tomorrow's developers and as games technology rivals and overlaps with TV and film.

I just hope that bigoted divisive sexist steps aren't implemented to either speed that process along or in the areas that frankly I suspect will always remain male dominated like coding. Ultimately if that happens all you are likely to see is token hires and an increase in sexual prejudice and toxic environment that will ironically then put women off although I suspect that doesn't matter to the activists who will go on continuing to collect their protection money.

Also America voting for a black president does show that institutional racism is dead.

Edited 4 times. Last edit by John Owens on 20th February 2016 12:10am

Posted:6 months ago

#8

Kirill Steshin Studying Computer Science & Games Technology, CUNY Queens

5 7 1.4
Again? Do we really need to force everybody to solve that imaginary "problem"?
Look at Science in 60s' in US: it was plain and fair game, and it was balanced. But then we had feminists who screamed "Science is Sexists!!!", and by 90s' STEM in US got significantly lower on woman.
Same will happen here. Do we Really need that? No. So, let's just leave that discussion in the trash can - where it belongs.

*Look at comments*
"Barriers"? Point me, please, to ANY sufficient evidence that STEM(which, btw is 68% of all develops' demographic) has policy of discriminating against female students, and preventing them from applying to any STEM major, or graduating with Master of Science. What, are dept. staff looking through the students list of newcomers, and crossing all ladies out?

Posted:6 months ago

#9

Darren Adams Managing Director, ChaosTrend

510 1,209 2.4
Popular Comment
The misogyny and sexism is driving some women out of the games business or persuading them not to enter it at all.....But what I am saying is that many may feel like it's not an option for them because of toxic environments.
And this is one of the reasons I no longer come to post here anymore. There are far too many agendas, social brownie points and narratives pushed by staff at this advertising agency (ooops, I mean games website) for me to stomach these days. Like IGDA before it, Gi.biz is not what it used to be.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Darren Adams on 20th February 2016 9:38am

Posted:6 months ago

#10

Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic

2,013 2,345 1.2
And, again, broadening the definition of "toxic" slightly
I walk into industry events and, because of my gender, I am assumed to be the least common denominator - the smallest sum of experience of anyone in the room. I am assumed to be the girlfriend, the artist, the casual game player.
(from the link I posted above)

I dunno... I don't see how anyone can say that agendas and narratives are pushed by the staff (or commenters like myself) here, when you have women actually saying stuff like the above on a competing industry website (and this was echoed by women on Twitter, so, yes, more than one woman has experienced this).

Of course, the comment will come that "Oh, she's reading too much into it. It's because she seems artsy or casual, or because she isn't nerdy, or..." And so it goes...

Posted:6 months ago

#11

Shane Sweeney Academic

503 597 1.2
Oh it's a silly argument, their is bias at every level. In experiments identical resumes with female names get fewer job interview offers, academic proposals with female names get fewer acceptance offers. Cultural stereotypes teach children very early what areas are easy and not easy to get into. No one is arguing the straw man of ramming women into any field but evidence that a bias exists in society is just a measured fact.

Software is one of those interesting professions because when it started it was a 100% female dominated field, so it's one of the few case studies we have where we saw systematic bias convert the entire demographic of an entire field. We understand very clearly how this field got this way year by year. Now if people aren't across that I'm not even sure why they feel the need to comment.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Shane Sweeney on 20th February 2016 11:13am

Posted:6 months ago

#12

Gary LaRochelle Digital Artist/Game Designer, Flea Ranch Games

105 141 1.3
Diversity (any kind of diversity: sex, race, age, nationality) will always be a problem as long as "they must fit in" is one of the most important reasons for hiring someone.

Posted:6 months ago

#13

John Owens CEO, Wee Man Studios Ltd

1,024 1,343 1.3
@ Morville
I walk into industry events and, because of my gender, I am assumed to be the least common denominator - the smallest sum of experience of anyone in the room. I am assumed to be the girlfriend, the artist, the casual game player.
No one doubts that what women experience however that isn't a toxic environment. It's simply the consequence because it tends to be the reality. A reality that is slowly changing with time. It however doesn't last for more than 10 secs after learning the role the person does.

What a toxic environment is when women or minorities aren't welcome and are discriminated against. Ironically if men are constantly on their guard for fear they may cross some sort of imaginary line that is what you will get.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by John Owens on 20th February 2016 3:32pm

Posted:6 months ago

#14

Aleksi Ranta Product Manager - Hardware

380 280 0.7
Why are most renowned orchestra conductors men? Why are most michelin star restaurant owners men? Why why why?
Like Andrew watson said, if there is equal opportunities for men and women to apply for the same job without any discrimination then there is no reason to go for a 50/50 split. The "market" will sort itself out.

Posted:6 months ago

#15

Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic

2,013 2,345 1.2
Why are most renowned orchestra conductors men?
Sexism is rife in classical music
How blind auditions help orchestras to eliminate gender bias
Where are all the female musicians?
Missing From Podiums: Women
Why are most michelin star restaurant owners men?
Sexism in the Kitchen

@ Andrew
Why does this industry in particular get so much flak for being lopsided?
Because the times are changing, and society is changing, but this is only what business and academia (and classical music, and restaurants, and the comics industry...) are going through. But the games industry also feels bad because there's a combination of factors that seem to make it particularly obstinate - people who refuse to see a problem, combined with perceived target demographic of boys (who seem to be afraid that "their" industry is changing), plus the issue of STEM take-up. In fact, if you take a look at the comics industry, you'll see the "boys are target demographic" problem with things like female Thor.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 20th February 2016 4:09pm

Posted:6 months ago

#16

John Owens CEO, Wee Man Studios Ltd

1,024 1,343 1.3
"But the games industry also feels bad because there's a combination of factors that seem to make it particularly obstinate"

It's because our industry can recognize bad science and faulty logic when we see it. :-)

Edited 1 times. Last edit by John Owens on 20th February 2016 4:10pm

Posted:6 months ago

#17

David Vink Game Designer

15 48 3.2
It's because our industry can recognize bad science and faulty logic when we see it. :-)

Also America voting for a black president does show that institutional racism is dead.
I don't think you have a very good eye for faulty logic there, Mr Owens. Unless I missed a sarcastic tone in your comment about racism.

I honestly don't understand why some people take such issue with articles about sexism (in the games industry). Are folks really just denying that sexism exists - in human civilization in general and in the games industry in particular?

Posted:6 months ago

#18

Adam Campbell Product Executive, Hopster

1,440 1,501 1.0
It doesn't matter how many people say there are no barriers, challenges, inconsistencies or whatever, there will always be people who disagree with you. Many of those people have or are experiencing it themselves.

You don't get to decide on behalf of others because you feel OK, fell into the right environment, or worse, want to prove there is no problem for the sake of image.

Gender, race, age and other factors are always going to cause issues for many people, making the topic about yourself won't change that and doesn't get any less tiring to see, especially on a board that has enough information to know better.

Posted:6 months ago

#19

Aleksi Ranta Product Manager - Hardware

380 280 0.7
Yes morville, i know, there is sexism there. And it is apparent. But on the flip side if there isnt an even 50/50 split in workforce doesnt it automatically mean that that given job or employer is discriminating or biased towards one sex or the other? I wouldnt go that far.

Posted:6 months ago

#20

Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic

2,013 2,345 1.2
But on the flip side if there isn't an even 50/50 split in workforce doesnt it automatically mean that that given job or employer is discriminating or biased towards one sex or the other?
Which is why, in these conversation threads, I tend to post links to articles or surveys about sexism. Because until there's a lack of such things to post, I don't believe it can honestly be argued that there's no discrimination. It can definitely be argued that there's less discrimination than the past, but not that that discrimination is no longer there (or never was there, as some would like to believe). :)

Posted:6 months ago

#21

Brook Davidson Artist / 3D design

339 780 2.3
@David
Are folks really just denying that sexism exists - in human civilization in general and in the games industry in particular?
No, sexism obviously exists, We all know this. That isn't the problem. The problem is that people who are sexist, are sexist. I know that sounds like a stupid statement, but it's the fact. Anyone complaining, isn't going to change that person, they are still going to be sexist.

I am not debunking that sexism exist, I am debunking the out cry that it's as much of a problem as people are making it out to be. The issue is we can't control people. You can only make laws and enforce them, but you are not able to control how someone views you.

Again, I always mention this, why should be done and how do you fix this so called "problem?" Is 50/50 going to fix it? No ... it's not. There will still be people who are sexist, and there will still be people who complain about it and claim it's some how a problem the entire industry is facing simply because they happened to meet one or a few of these sexist people.

Posted:6 months ago

#22

Brook Davidson Artist / 3D design

339 780 2.3
@morville
Which is why, in these conversation threads, I tend to post links to articles or surveys about sexism. Because until there's a lack of such things to post, I don't believe it can honestly be argued that there's no discrimination. It can definitely be argued that there's less discrimination than the past, but not that that discrimination is no longer there (or never was there, as some would like to believe). :)
I don't think most people who are disagreeing with this are saying there isn't any sexism. The issue is, I don't see any good reason to always be pointing sexism out as if it's some serious serious problem in the industry, when it really is not. Yes, you can link to as many articles as you like, it doesn't matter. We all know sexism occurs.

The only thing that matters to me, is if there are any barriers keeping them from actually joining the industry, and there isn't. As I explained above, them thinking they will not fit in, is NOT a barrier because that does not prevent all women from joining. It's an individual problem.

I really hate to use this example, but telling a person who murders, that it's a problem and they should stop, isn't going to stop them. We do not teach in our society that it is ok. In fact we teach the exact opposite, but you still end up with these sorts of people. It's the same with thieves. It's the same with racists, and it's the same with sexists.

You can't control people. The only thing you can do is ignore such behavior and don't make it into such a huge deal, which will cause you to be stressed over something that has no overall solution.

Now let me just say this. If someone is being sexist, I don't think there is any reason to not stand up for yourself or call the person out. But to take what one person says and act as if it's an industry wide problem is nuts. I get it has occurred multiple times, but that being so doesn't make it an industry wide problem. They are simply single instances that occurred in separate places to different people and at different times like you would expect with anything.

I can understand it being a problem is if it was an experience that happened extremely often, to at least majority of the females in the industry, all the time. I don't know if I am explaining myself well enough or if I am making any sense. Sorry.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Brook Davidson on 21st February 2016 2:16am

Posted:6 months ago

#23

Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic

2,013 2,345 1.2
I get it has occurred multiple times, but that being so doesn't make it an industry wide problem. They are simply single instances that occurred in separate places to different people and at different times like you would expect with anything.
And i think where we disagree is in this. To me (and others, too), past a certain point, those single instances are not just random occurrences, but are multiple points-of-failure that indicate an issue within the industry. Which is not the same as saying the entire industry (or all the people in it) are sexist, btw, (before anyone pounces on me for that. :) ).

Posted:6 months ago

#24

Eyal Teler Programmer

118 159 1.3
When it comes to women in high-tech, I feel that the reason they're not there is simply that unlike men they don't care to throw their life away. I comment that sometimes, and once got a comment of "yes, I'm in IT but tell my daughters not to go there". Game dev in particular, often mean 80 hour work weeks and other such ills that cause burnout.

I don't see why there's a particular need to make women suffer through this if they're smart enough to avoid it.

Posted:6 months ago

#25

Brook Davidson Artist / 3D design

339 780 2.3
@Morville
And i think where we disagree is in this. To me (and others, too), past a certain point, those single instances are not just random occurrences, but are multiple points-of-failure that indicate an issue within the industry.
I do not, because it's not unique to this specific industry from my perspective. Also, what point is the point you even mention? What is more than what you would typically expect? How do you choose a number for that or even know at what point to consider it a problem that is specific to the industry?

Obviously we should expect there to be sexism within the industry just as you would find in any industry since there are sexist people in the world. I just don't know how you can tell that it's a industry specific problem. There is no actual data to show that is the case. There is no data to show that the numbers are above what you should expect. In fact, there are no legitimate numbers at all because it's actually pretty impossible to get accurate numbers. Then you also have to assume that all accounts that have been mentioned in the past are even legitimate. I see many people claiming sexism in cases where sexism never occurred.

In fact, I think the term sexism is misused in the west these days. Most claims of sexism are not even really serious cases or are often misconstrued. They are more nit picky and assumptions if anything. Things that actually hardly effects anyone but they just spent enough time to think way to much into it. Turning ant hills into mountains.A good example is a female being asked if she is an artist because the person asking, assumed so, because most females happen to be artists. You really need to ask, is that really a big enough deal to really make a stink about it? Is it really something to be offended by? From my perspective, getting offended so easily is just silly.

Posted:6 months ago

#26

Andreia Quinta Creative & People Photographer, Studio52 London

265 756 2.9
Popular Comment
Again with these discussions, just throwing more fuel into the fire. Brook, however, makes all the sane points here.

The FACTS are:
- There are no barriers of entry to women into programming, software dev or game dev. Apart from possibly certain institutions conjuring barriers without need, like imposing a 50% women/men ratio for entry into a course.
- Sexism exists in the gaming industry... and every other industry that has males and females working together.
- Sexism will never cease to exist as long as there are two sexes.
- Sexism is born from geographic-education type and life experiences, creating contempt and disregard for the well being of the opposite sex. It will not change for the affected person after reaching adulthood, unless if bombarded with proper therapy, big if.
Said person can omit and restrain sexist remarks during office hours, but it will not 'heal' said sexism, and if given the opportunity, that person will always try to hinder the other sex's movements toward success if he/she knows they can get away with it.

__

Now, enticing more women to join the industry is all fine and dandy, but companies and education centres need to let the benefits and perks of said industry to talk for themselves, just like the bad points, and let women make that informed decision.

If a woman enrolls for a PA job, (a job mostly composed of women) they will have just about the same chances of being sexually harassed and/or discriminated as if she enrolls for a game developer or programming job. Because chauvinistic men in positions of power are everywhere.
Just like she might probably find a gratifying job in either one. The point here is that it's completely out of her control. The only thing she controls is if she wants to take that leap or not, and this depends on how badly she wants to join that industry, how much does she love or wants to be a concept artist for games, or a codemonkey. If you want it, then stop making up your own barriers and take the leap. Because logistically and on paper, nothing is stopping us from doing so. Not in the western world at least.

If someone asks you if you're an artist, answer the question, like Brook said. Are you, or are you not an artist? If not, politely say no and retort by saying what you actually are, programmer, marketing & sales, digital marketing manager. If you overhear someone saying your name attached to an insulting sentence, don't walk away because "you don't want to be that girl", confront!

One of the big problems with persistent sexism in any industry is that women who are in fact victims of it, frequently do nothing about it. If you don't want to be the damsel in distress trope, stop acting like one.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Andreia Quinta on 21st February 2016 4:58pm

Posted:6 months ago

#27

Todd Weidner Founder, Big Daddy Game Studio

511 1,279 2.5
Popular Comment
Ageism is even a larger issue I think. How many grey heads you see in corporate game dev office? The only difference is most of us our too wise and too talented to be bothered with the nonsense that is the corporate culture these days. So they dont want us and we dont want them.

Women should strike out and start their own dev studios. Start up cost are really cheap in this industry. Why work on some other person game and idea, most of them suck.

Posted:6 months ago

#28

Paul Jace Merchandiser

1,183 1,977 1.7
"If you look at what our industry currently represents, we have 22 percent of the jobs in our industry held by women. Now in other parts of tech sector, it's dramatically lower. It's in the mid-teens. Now that's not good enough and we know it's not good enough."
For an interesting perspective twist, let's suppose that the number he gave was reversed and that 22% of the jobs in the industry were held by men and the other 78% were held by women. And let's also suppose that it's been this way for roughly five years or so. In this case would people still think this number was unfair to men and thus the industry needed to hire more men to further balance out the job split? Or would people in the industry be ok with women having more jobs than men and let things continue to run their natural course?

Posted:6 months ago

#29

John Owens CEO, Wee Man Studios Ltd

1,024 1,343 1.3
@ Paul

That's the case in plenty of industries and is fast becoming the case in many others including very well paid industries like Medicine and Law. Personally I don't see why it matters. The places were there is probably discrimination against men like in education then I do think there is a problem. The solution I think is the same as it should be in tech which is to encourage more of the minority and to make people aware discrimination is wrong and police it however I would never advocate some of the more divisive and sexist measures that others seem to think is OK like all women short lists, quotas or making gender a factor in any way when to hire or fire someone. It's not a question of wanting to exclude women but rather not taking steps that are divisive - ultimately at the end of the day we all have to work together.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by John Owens on 22nd February 2016 9:26am

Posted:6 months ago

#30

Nick McCrea Gentleman, Pocket Starship

277 744 2.7
Sexism within the industry is not the cause of the lack of women within it. Tertiary education graduation numbers confirm this. Tertiary education enrolment numbers confirm this. Secondary education subject choices confirm this.

The decision not to make games is made *early*, and women in general are simply not choosing to make games. The games industry lacks the material and social status that pulled women into the professions when gender barriers started to give way.

Therefore, a much more interesting discussion is, does the industry have a special responsibility to shape its output to appeal to girls more, in order to create the kind of cultural attachment that drives men into the industry despite the modest pay and instability?

Personally, I think the industry has a strong commercial incentive to appeal to the broadest possible demographic. A nice secondary effect of this might well be to create a cohort of girls who grow up wanting to work here. Our job at that point is to make sure they aren't put off.

Posted:6 months ago

#31

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