Despite women currently making up around half of UK gamers, a survey published by Creative Skillset (2016) suggests that the game industries are actually the most imbalanced of all our creative industries for employing women. A study published in 2005 by IGDA suggests that only 5 per cent of programmers and 11 per cent of artists were women, and more recent studies haven’t proven IGDA much different.
Gender balance is a complex issue with any number of factors feeding into it and no golden solution. In order to gain some clarity on the issue, Aardvark Swift sat down with Marie-Claire Isaaman, the CEO of Women In Games, a not for profit organisation which works to recruit more women into the industry and to support those that are already there, to get her view on the current landscape of gender imbalance within the game industries, where we should be focusing our efforts, and if esports can catch up any time soon.
What do you believe are the main causes of the gender disparity in the games industry?
There is no single factor, rather a complex set of issues. That makes things difficult to change because there is no simplistic silver bullet solution.
Some causes are historical, some cultural and some more organizational. For example, the mainstream industry spent years targeting a ‘hardcore gamer’ demographic of primarily young men, with consoles and games designed and marketed heavily towards this audience in the 1990s and 2000s.
You can read the full article by Aardvark Swift on the Develop website!