UK Games Industry Census report: high representation of LGBTQ+ workers, low representation of women and BAME

Ukie has today released the UK Games Industry Census report, the most authoritative analysis of diversity in the UK games workforce to date. The findings from the census are somewhat mixed, reflecting the need for the new industry-wide diversity pledge, #RaiseTheGame, which also launched today. The census will also be conducted regularly, with the intention to run it every two years to track how the industry’s diversity profile changes over time.

The findings are somewhat mixed – With areas to celebrate, such as the extremely high representation of members of the LGBTQ+ community, with them constituting 21 per cent of the industry in the UK. This is enormous when you consider that national data indicates that the LGBTQ+ community makes up between three and seven per cent of the UK population. 

Of the community, the industry has a two per cent representation of non-binary people in the workforce, well above the national average of 0.4 per cent. Trans people meanwhile make up 3 per cent of the industry, triple that of the national average at an estimated 1 per cent. 

However, the census also points at areas in need of improvement. Just 10 per cent of the games industry are from a Black, Asian of minority ethnic (BAME) background. This is slightly above the national working population, and higher than both the overall creative industries and specific sectors such as music, publishing and film/TV. However, it is lower than the equivalent figure for IT and software, and also below the average in the working-age population. BAME workers are in broadly all job roles, with a slight lean towards non-sector specific roles (ie. job roles that are also found in other sectors, such as office manager). They are less well represented in senior positions. 

Looking at gender, the UK industry is 70 per cent male, 28 per cent female and has 2 per cent non-binary representation. Obviously, the proportion of women in the industry is significantly below the national average, as well as the average in cultural and creative roles, but is similar to the percentage of women working in Film and TV, and above that of the general IT and software sector. 

The UK Games Industry Census was completed by over 3,200 game workers (around 20 per cent of the entire UK industry) between September and October 2019. Both open and targeted recruitment methods were used in order to ensure a truly representative sample of the sector. 

These results came alongside the launch of the #RaisetheGame pledge, an industry-wide initiative founded by EA, Facebook, Jagex, King and Xbox, which seeks to improve equality, diversity and inclusivity across the sector. 

Its ambition is to sign up 200 UK game businesses, covering 50 per cent of the workforce, by 2021. Companies signing up to the pledge are commiting to champion diversity and inclusion within their organisations across the three pledge pillars:

  1. Recruiting fairly and widely to create a diverse workforce
  2. Create more welcoming places to work by educating people to take more personal responsibility for fostering and promoting diversity and inclusion.
  3. Reflect a greater diversity within games at every level, from game design and development through to marketing and community engagement. 

Those supporting the pledge will be asked to provide information on how they match up with the pledge pillars on an annual basis. 

“By taking such a frank and honest look at our industry through the census and committing to the #RaiseTheGame pledge, which we encourage all businesses to sign up to, we can lay the foundations for the creation of a truly diverse and inclusive sector for all,” said Twist.

You can find out more about pledge and sign up to it at www.raisethegame.com

About Chris Wallace

Chris is MCV/DEVELOP's staff writer, joining the team after graduating from Cardiff University with a Master's degree in Magazine Journalism. He can regrettably be found on Twitter at @wallacec42, where he mostly explores his obsession with the Life is Strange series, for which he refuses to apologise.

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