Chi Onwurah criticises poor gender split in game industry

Just 15% of computer science applicants are women, claims MP

The Labour MP for Newcastle upon Tyne Central has spoken out on the lack of women in the game industy as a poor reflection of modern society.

In a parliamentary debate discussing girls and ICT careers, Chi Onwurah said that figures for the number of women in the UK game industry were as low as 17 per cent, if not lower.

The MP also stated that half of the UK’s co-educational state schools hadn’t sent girls to study A-level physics.

She also highlighted statistics that claimed only 2,400 women in the UK studied undergraduate computer courses in 2012, compared to 15,000 men. The number of women in technology jobs had also fallen from 22 per cent to 17 per cent between 2001 and 2011.

She also claimed that women only made up 12 per cent of professional engineers, and just 15 per cent of those applying for computer science degrees.

Onwurah added that just six per cent of those who worked in ICT in the UK game industry were women, despite women making up 50 per cent of the game playing audience on some platforms.

“It is certainly the case that the video games industry is a modern one; one would hope that it would be reflective of society, including those who play games, but it is not,” said Onwurah.

“I shall show a little later that the figures I have for females in the video games industry are even worse than the hon. Gentleman’s 17 per cent.”

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