Just one-in-seventeen UK games developers are women, who on average earn about £3,000 less than their male colleagues each year, according to a new Develop study.
Data published in the 2012 Develop Salary Survey – the most comprehensive in the publication’s history – shows that just 35 of 582 survey respondents were female. The revelation suggests there is a significant female skills shortage across games development sector.
Incorporating about 400 other industry respondents into the mix (publishing, marketing, retail) would bring female representation up to about 11 per cent.
Pay proportionality is another key issue for the sector, with British female game dev execs earning almost £3,000 less than their male counterparts. The difference is about £2,000 on a global basis.
Of all female developers surveyed, not one said they earned more than £90,000 per year – 18 men surveyed said they did. Despite this, the female respondents’ average industry experience was at three-to-five years, as opposed to two-to-three years for the males.
Forty-two per cent of games customers are women, according to recent ESA data.
According to independent developer Quinn Dunki, gender imbalance in the games industry is a problem too big to be solved within the sector itself.
“The only difference between me and my maths-inclined, game-loving friend, who does advanced needlepoint instead of engineering, is that she succumbed to the peer pressure,” Dunki said last year.
“The outreach needs to go down to the [early] school levels. That's where the research shows girls stop studying maths and science due to pressures from peers and other sources.”
In 2010, training body Skillset signed up to the UKRC – a government-led organisation for challenging the under-representation of women in science, engineering, technology (SET).