International Women’s DayPosted: 8 Mar 2023
Today is International Women’s Day, and we want to use today to highlight the change that we need to see within the games industry to better uplift women.
Women make up almost 50% of gamers across the world, yet account for just 30% of game developers internationally, according to the International Game Developers Association. While this is an increase from 22% in 2009, it’s evident that this industry remains male dominated.
In a Future Class Project in 2021, it was found that 90% of participants in a survey had experienced some form of harassment or discrimination due to their gender.
Women In Games (a non-profit looking after a global community) is here to build and maintain a fair, equal and safe environment empowering girls and women in the global gaming ecosystem.
Let’s Talk About Money
According to GIBiz in 2022, there is a gender pay gap problem.
Since 2017, UK companies of more than 250 employees have been legally required to publicly report on various aspects of gender pay data. In 2022, GamesIndustry.biz used this public data to reveal that the games industry had a 17.1% median pay disparity favouring men.
In around 23 games companies in the UK, every single one had a gender wage disparity. In over half the companies, women made up less than 10% of highest paid jobs, which is the industry median.
There needs to be more transparency surrounding pay within our industry to help close the pay gap. For example, when jobs are posted without a salary listed, women (or folks of minority genders) are far less likely than men to ask for a higher wage.
Menopause & Menstruation
A huge issue women face in the workplace is around menopause and menstruation, which is rarely spoken about and much less often supported. Research shows that the majority of women feel unable to raise menopause-related health problems at work and wouldn’t feel comfortable asking for adjustments that they may need.
At Safe In Our World, we’ve curated a number of resources for our Level Up Partners, including a menopause toolkit for employers to better understand and support their employees experiencing menopause.
It is no secret that the games community and industry can be an unsafe space for women online. We’ve seen #MeToo movements within the games industry specifically due to gross mistreatment of women at work, and examples of predatory and manipulative behaviour in high profile companies.
This is not just limited to development, but extends into content creation as well, with concerning numbers of women being harassed and abused online for simply existing.
A study from Reach3 Insights and Lenovo revealed that 59% of women who play online, mask their gender to protect themselves.
We must do more as an industry to create safe spaces for women online, and create more inclusive environments for gamers worldwide.
We must do more as an industry to allow women to flourish and succeed in this industry – existing is not enough.
We want to see more companies in games hiring women in senior and high-paying positions. We want to see companies enforcing policies to protect women at work from misogyny and harassment. We want to see games commit to safety measures and policies to protect their playerbases from toxicity within their communities, and take responsibility for fostering inclusivity.
A reminder: if these policies are not inclusive of trans women, then they’re not fighting misogyny. Trans women are women.