We may earn a commission when you buy through links in our articles. Learn more.

Survey shows games industry’s stark gender divide: women underrepresented, underpaid


An annual survey conducted by Game Developer Magazine has again illustrated the remarkable gender gap that exists in the games industry, with women paid substantially less than men and accounting for only a small fraction of those who work in the field. Just 11% of games designers are women, while they make up a mere 4% of programmers. Women are most represented in production roles, where 23% of all producers are women, though this is still less than one in four.

However, the survey shows that a female producer will earn, on average, 8% less than her male colleagues, while in other fields the salary difference is even more substantial. Male game designers earn 23% more, male artists earn 29% more and those classified as audio developers earn an astonishing 65% more.

It doesn’t paint a positive picture of the industry. Feminist Frequency creator Anita Sarkeesian called it “depressing,” though Playforge director Tami Baribeau said there were likely “details that might make these numbers less damning.”

Posting on the feminist blog The Border House, she wrote that “We all know that games have been long dominated by men and the industry is taking small steps to change that. Many of the women who answered the survey might be new to the game industry, might not be in as senior of roles as the men who responded. However, I don’t think this changes the fact that we need to recruit and encourage more women at all levels of every organization — and we’re failing to do so.”

Amen to that.

Thanks to VG24/7 and The Border House.