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Gender wage gap: How the game industry compares to the U.S. average
Gender wage gap: How the game industry compares to the U.S. average Exclusive
July 22, 2014 | By Kris Graft




The gender pay gap is once again a hot topic in the world of U.S. politics, and in the world of video game development, the issue has reared its head.

According to Gamasutra's Game Developer Salary Survey 2014 [PDF], men working U.S.-based salaried jobs in the game industry made $85,074 on average in 2013, whereas women made an average of $72,882 (excluding students and educators).

That means on average, women made 86 cents on every dollar that men made in the U.S. game industry.

While it’s still an issue that needs to be fixed, the game industry gender wage gap is smaller than the national average: In the U.S. overall, women make 77 cents on every dollar that men make, according figures from a 2012 Census Bureau survey.

The chart below shows the pay gap in various game industry positions. In 2013, game design had the smallest gap, with women making 94 percent of what men do on average in the U.S. Audio professionals had the largest, with women making 68 percent of men on average.

Research beyond the realm of video games has examined possible causes for the gender wage gap. One of the prevailing theories, reported by Pew Research, is that women are more likely to experience career interruption than men, as a higher percentage of women take time off to care for family. Such career interruptions could have an impact on longer-term earnings.

More flexibility in working conditions and hours could hold the key to further closing the wage gap, and perhaps have a greater effect than employee revolt or anti-discrimination laws, experts say.

Harvard University labor professor Claudia Goldin said in a recent paper [PDF], “The gender gap in pay would be considerably reduced and might vanish altogether if firms did not have an incentive to disproportionately reward individuals who labored long hours and worked particular hours.”

The government this year has made the gender wage gap a sticking point for U.S. politics. In April, President Obama backed directives meant to help close the wage gap by signing legislation that would make it easier for workers to sue companies for disparate pay.

Check out the full report!

Conducted in May 2014 for the period between January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2013, Gamasutra gathered well over 4,000 unique responses worldwide, with help from market research company Audience Insights.

You can download the full PDF here, and check out Salary Survey highlights all this week at our special Salary Survey page on Gamasutra.


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Comments


Lars Doucet
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Hypothesis:

If the main cause of the gender wage gap is that women are more likely to experience career interruption, and are thus punished by corporate cultures built around inflexible work schedules and long hours:

Then -> There is probably a similar wage gap for disabled employees.

Kenneth Blaney
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http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/10/23/disabilities
-wage-gap-cornell/3172729/

People with disabilities seem to be paid 10% less. So no where near the 23% gap that women face. There is clearly more to it than career interruption and inflexible work schedules.

Lars Doucet
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Thanks for the data. So that hypothesis accounts for only part of the gap (but it still does account for nearly half of it, which is significant)

Aaron Cole
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I made a reply to a post below but think it is also relevant to place it here.

Here is the male female break down of this study:

Programmers: Male 95% | Female 5%
Artists: Male 91% | Female 9%
Game Designers: Male 87% | Female 13%
Producers: Male 78% | Female 22%
Audio: Male 91% | Female 9%
QA: Male 88% | Female 12%
Business: Male 79% | Female 21%

My hypothesis: The gender wage gap in this study is because there are a lot less females working in the games industry than males. Plus they aren't taking into account any other variables like seniority, job position, or productivity.

John Maurer
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Exactly. The authors of these survey's need to re-examine statistics. The sample's must be comparable, the criteria of which can greatly skew your results.

For example, if your doing something like gender comparisons, and you have 40 male "elements" in one sample, and your got 5 female "elements" in another, result == sciencefiction

It's called even distribution

nicolas mercier
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I thought it was called denial. My bad.

David Richardson
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There are well-established statistical methods to deal with that issue.

Wendelin Reich
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You cannot compare wage gaps within a profession/industry to wage gaps in the entire population! The reason is that social groups (gender, race etc.) arent distributed evenly over all segments of the labor market.

Example: If the male/female ratio among nurses were 99%/1%, but among physicians 1%/99%, and if both professions had fully equal pay, there would still be a gender income gap (almost) the size of the earnings differential between nurses and physicians.

Women are vastly underrepresented in the games industry, which is an industry where AFAIK people earn above the US national average (even though they earn less than in other software industries). In other words, "86%" does not indicate that the games industry is somehow more equal than US as a whole.

Katy Smith
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From what I understand the population data is looking at the wage gap in careers and then averaged. So if the wage gap between nurses is 0.77 and the wage gap between engineers is 0.79, the average wage gap is 0.78.

Wendelin Reich
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In the article, the 86%/100% gap within games is compared to the 77%/100% gap for the US as a whole (unstratified). That's what I'm objecting to. People who mention this article (on Twitter) seem to conclude that the games industry is "8% better" than the US as a whole, and that conclusion is false.

Katy Smith
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Oh, I see what you are saying. I was interpreting the sentence about average differently because I had a reading fail :)

Lukasz Zawada
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You're right, Wendelin. Another thing to also note is how many years on the job the person has. Being a historically male dominated industry, a lot of people are senior level, and even if they aren't, they either got raises or had some career changes that benefited them financially like a higher salary at company B as opposed to A.

We can't expect women to catch up overnight if majority of them had just entered the work force (assuming most entered in last 10 years).

Jana Sloan van Geest
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I find it interesting to note that female QA employees earn slightly more than male. I wonder why that is? Also, the article says that visual arts represent the largest gap, though the attached chart shows the largest gap in audio ($0.68 to $1.00). I haven't looked at the study itself yet.

I'd say another contributing factor to the wage gap is that most senior positions in the industry are held by men, as well as a larger percentage of the specialist positions. Hopefully both of these things will change as women enter the industry in greater numbers.

Kris Graft
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Hey Jana! Yes, the audio category does have the biggest gap. I updated the article. Thanks, and sorry for any confusion!

Teressa Wright
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This is entirely conjecture, but as a female who has worked in gaming QA for 8 years, I tend to find women who work in QA are quite outspoken and to a degree less 'girly' than in other areas of the business. As such, they tend to make more noise about their achievements and ask for raises based on good performance, even more so than the guys at times. It takes a certain kind of woman to work in QA, by and large they're pretty bad-ass and able to stand toe-to-toe with a room full of a majority of male gamers.

Matt Boudreaux
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These ratios seem meaningless without more context. For example, are you comparing equal levels of expertise when comparing male/female salaries (i.e. a female creative director vs a male creative director)? Or are you just taking the average salary for a sex within a discipline and comparing it against the other? I would imagine the majority of senior level positions are still vastly male so there's obviously going to be a pay skew towards that direction.

Also this quote struck me as asinine:
Harvard University labor professor Claudia Goldin said in a recent paper, “The gender gap in pay would be
considerably reduced and might vanish altogether if firms did not have an incentive to disproportionately reward individuals who labored long hours and worked particular hours."

As someone who has worked those long hours, I enjoy my work being recognized. Not only do I help the product be better in the end, but I get some monetary boon that I can then use for my family - and it's all voluntary.

Lars Doucet
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The main issue is when a corporate culture is created in which those who work long hours (even voluntarily) receive special treatment from the powers that be, and those who *are not able* (or do not wish to volunteer) to work long hours are punished by that culture.

Ie, people who have the responsibility for childcare, the disabled, etc.

The pressure is real, even if it's never stated outright (and often it just happens despite good intentions otherwise).

Now, if your company doesn't have such a corporate culture that's great! More power to you. But it definitely exists in other places, and it sucks for those of us who aren't able to volunteer to put in extra hours without great personal cost to our health and families.

Matt Boudreaux
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Sure, but what you just described sounds like crunch to me (or just a completely corrupt corporate culture - as you point out). The quote in the report comes off more like "don't reward people who put in extra effort because it's not fair to those who don't", but maybe I'm reading too much into it.

John Paduch
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@Matt - The same thought had occurred to me, as well. It seems like this report could use some serious proofing and re-writing to be more specific, re: context, methodology, etc.

Emeka Enubuzor
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@Lars - What are some examples of the punishments that people receive for not working extended hours for tending to children or being disabled?

Kyle Redd
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The idea that someone who works 10 hours a day should get no more pay than someone who works 8 hours a day so they can go home early to take care of their kids... Can someone educate me as to why that should be the case?

Put into practice, this would be rather unfair to team members without children, if they had to do not only their own jobs, but also cover the work that the people who have kids *would* be doing if they didn't have to leave early. Is this the goal we're supposedly working towards? Because this would be effectively punishing people for not having kids.

Lars Doucet
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What happens is it creates a culture of "Work Heroism"[1] where you are encouraged to visibly have your butt in a seat for as many hours as possible, despite evidence that a > 40 hour work week does not aid productivity, and in fact decreases productivity [2]. You may be working harder or spending more time, but you are not getting more done.

In short, this favors people who are able to offer themselves to the grindstone of work, and creates a culture where those people are praised, and puts social pressure on those who cannot make similar personal sacrifices (despite the higher cost because of their situations), or risk the stigma of "not pulling their own weight." This despite the fact that those putting in more than 40+ hours a week are not actually increasing productivity.

[1] http://lifehacker.com/dont-be-a-work-hero-1027440507
[2] http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/content/169/5/596.full

The argument that those who put in more hours should be favored is contingent on the verifiable hypothesis that they are accomplishing more work, when all the data I have seen on the topic points in the exact opposite direction: overtime, paid or unpaid, has sharply diminishing returns, and even results in "negative work." This effect is particularly pronounced for knowledge workers.

Kyle Redd
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@Lars

I guess Work Heroism is unique to salaried positions then. I come from the perspective of a team-based hourly employee with a set work schedule so from my point of view it's more black and white - People who work less are paid less, and that's the way it should be because the rest of the team has to do their own jobs plus the jobs of those who are absent.

Heroism aside though, even salaried positions have people who aren't doing the job they were hired to do. At what point does "Not being a Work Hero" become "Not pulling your own weight"? If clamping down on the former is the goal, I don't think one of the solutions should be to ensure that male and female employees (or those with children and those without) are receiving the same salaries. Surely there is a better place to start than that.

For instance, If someone were to propose a law that mandated no more than 8 hours of work per day for all salaried employees regardless of position - No overtime, No crunch, No exceptions - That would essentially solve the problem you're talking about, correct? Obviously a law like that would have little chance of passing in America, but do you agree that it would be a better approach to the issue?

Emeka Enubuzor
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@Lars,Thanks for the articles! Though, i'm pretty sure "work heroism" would effect both men and women. So if paid equally, things would balance out a bit more, i'd imagine. So i think that there is another issue at play here - like maybe men are just in higher up positions, or something.

I'd love something a bit more comprehensive than just raw numbers

Matt Boudreaux
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That Oxford Journals link seems to be based around sustained overtime - which I would agree has diminishing returns. That's why crunch is so despised within the industry (and rightfully so). Personally I have no desire to ever work for another studio that has sustained crunch periods.

However, voluntary extra work born from passion rather than necessity should be recognized and rewarded. Obviously there is a very thin line there.

Kris Graft
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Hey Matt B: The key word in Goldin's quote is "disproportionately." She is not saying more work should not be rewarded with more pay.

Here's my main takeaway from her paper: She found that industries that place a high emphasis on long work hours have the largest pay gaps, while industries with a lower emphasis on long hours and have more flexibility in work hours have the smallest.

She uses an example with the pharmacy industry: If a pharmacist (man or woman) works 20 hours in a week, he or she makes about half of someone (man or woman) who works 40. That makes pharmacy a profession with a very small gap, as the time/pay relationship is linear.

However, in an industry such as law, which values very long hours, the pay gap is wider, and people are paid *disproportionately* for their long hours. For example, if a lawyer (man or woman) works 100 hours, he or she makes _more_ than double of someone (man or woman) who works 50 hours. The long work hours are rewarded disproportionately. The time/pay relationship is nonlinear.

This affects people on a gender level, especially if you are a woman who has family time commitments as well as work time commitments. And typically, it _is_ women who take on more family time commitment, and not men, leaving men to reap the benefits of disproportionate earnings.

That doesn't fully explain the pay gap in the video game industry specifically, where there are a lot of young people who don't have kids and families, but that's where Goldin is coming from. You should check out the paper I linked. It's really interesting.

Kyle Redd
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@Kris

The issue of employees getting paid disproportionally for working longer hours has solutions that are gender-equitable. It could be pushing to have men and women share equal duties in caring for family members (a trend that is already underway in the U.S.), or simply implementing policies or regulations that would discourage employers from paying a disproportionate salary based on time employees spend at work.

Both solutions would be preferable to what I think is being suggested by some, which is to pay women more just for being women, regardless of whether they have family responsibilities outside the office or not.

Matt Boudreaux
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@Kris

Thanks, I'll give it a solid look over this evening when I have some quiet time (just finished reading something so I needed some new material anyway). If your explanation is correct, then does that quote really belong in study about the games industry? We're not the pharmaceutical or law industry, so what works/causes problems for them may not apply to us.

It feels a bit shoe-horned, if I'm being completely blunt - but maybe that's just because it doesn't have any context. Like I said, I'll read it through tonight so I can better understand where you're coming from.

Christian Nutt
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I read this, from a New Yorker article, just this week:

"... studies show, womens do the lion's -- or better yet, the lioness's -- share of the housework: between 70 and 80 percent. If they have children, the bulk of the child care also falls to them."

This is in an article about why people are feeling generally overwhelmed and in the context of a discussion of working, not stay-at-home, women.

(The article in question is called "No Time" and is by Elizabeth Kolbert, if anybody wants to look it up, from the May 26 issue of the print magazine.)

Luis Guimaraes
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@Kris

Demand and Supply.

The difference between 20 hours a week and 40 hours a week is meaningless since both fall under the 8 hours a day for 5 days "default" international work schedule, so all hours under that spectrum are valued equally.

Working 100 hours a week is working from when you wake up to when you go sleep for all 7 days of the week, with a couple more hours used to drive to and from work, which are not counted as "work hours" but are compromised for work anyway. Once you break the 40 hours/week barrier, the value of each hour value is increased exponentially.

It's not disproportionate to get paid exponentially more to work the entirety of the time you're awake and having no life, in comparison to work only half of it, with two spare days every week.

Here in Brazil the labor laws rule that extra hours have to be paid 150% (first two extra hours in a week day) or 200% (weekends on the 3rd hours and further on week days), and the hours between 22:00 and 05:00 get an extra 20%. Sometimes people do arrangements around the law to get paid extras, even though the basic system doesn't support negotiation beyond the base salary.

In a country without such laws, the bonuses are subject to, again, the laws of Supply and Demand. Companies pay what they need to pay that or nobody will work that much, and employees work that much because they're getting paid proportionately for it. And lawers, more than anyone else, are expected to know how to get well paid for their work.

Aiden Eades
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I'd like to say I agree on the lack of context, and my first though was "Are they comparing senior designers to senior designers and working out an average based on that? Or are they just going "We have 10 men 2 of which are senior, and 1 woman" wherein the woman may be on equal pay to the men (as it should be) but would be disproportionately represented in terms of the chart where it would display men as higher earners based on the 2 senior designers higher paychecks.

I'd be much happier if the chart were split into job roles, as that would also help display the leanings of women so far as job titles are concerned. I'm also unsurprised women earn slightly more than men in QA, from my own experience they deserve it, women I've worked with have generally been much better at these roles than their male counterparts, eye for detail etc.

I would also agree on the quote being a little odd. It almost seems as though she's saying those who work longer and harder don't deserve to be paid extra for that work which I believe is somewhat unfair. I may be misinterpreting the quote however.

Curtiss Murphy
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What is the take-away? I see the data, and yet... no idea what to do with it.

John Maurer
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That's why I've stayed away from the gender part and focused on the data in my comments, which I think is the real problem here. It's one of those topics where arguing the merits of the symptom are easy but reasoning root cause and potential solutions gets vague.

It's not black and white, but variable shades of grey. You couldn't just apply one grand solution and expect a fix. It's one of those things that must be handled on a case by case bases.

If there is a take away, I would say to just be aware of it. If your situational assessment/awareness per capita leads you to believe you are in the green, then run with it.

Or you could subscribe to the notion that there is one segment of the human population that can be described with an adjective and either a noun or the plural form of the same noun that has been and will continue to marginalize/victimize everyone else until they are utterly destroyed, which is as politically correct as I can get on a public thread.

Benjamin Quintero
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The take-away that few are getting is that the gender wage gap has nothing to do with men sitting around in their smoking jackets, reading their leather-bound books, building an agenda against women. The issue is a cultural one that has prescribed statical evidence against the handful of women who have chosen their careers over a family life. Both men and women have their sufferings and men are paid more because, statistically, they work more years of their life which makes them a greater asset. When you speak in generalities there are the vocal who scream, "well that's not me". Maybe it's true. Maybe those vocal people are not in the majority percentage, but guess what; it doesn't matter. Life is not tailor fit to the individual, it's one-size-fits-all that you hold up with a belt.

I've never gotten a traffic violation in my life or even a parking ticket, and my sister and wife are a walking pile-up and yet their insurance is lower than mine. How is this possible? Easy, the statistics don't work in my favor. Those are the breaks. #dealWithIt =(

When you look at the numbers it gets less personal, but people don't know how to not take it personal when an underwriter tells them that they have a 73.2%* chance to take a 5 year sabbatical for child care, or 48.6%* chance of long term disability for breast cancer treatment, or a 82.4%* chance that when they return to work they will likely not be as productive as they once were or they will quit within 6 months. There are cold hard facts about why stuff just doesn't add up in our favor sometimes.. It sucks, but we can't have our cake and eat it to.

Life isn't always about what is fair.

* numbers are just random examples. I'm an engineer not a risk analyst.

Jen MacLean
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@Kyle, I don't see any suggestion that women should get raises simply for being women.

However, as both Lars and Kris point out, there are industries where long hours are disproportionately rewarded (such as law and investment banking); and because of a lack of societal support, women carry a larger burden of responsibilities outside of work and are often unable to work very long hours. This is a generalization, of course, but the statistics back it up on average. See http://business.time.com/2012/06/28/more-women-are-in-the-workfor
ce-so-why-are-we-still-doing-so-many-chores/

To me, there are a few key takeaways:
-Make sure you reward output, not hours. For a professional job, basing compensation solely on hours worked is foolish. The real measure of productivity is outcome, and by rewarding outcomes you're both incentivizing the best behavior choices as well as not penalizing the employee who may only ever be able to work 40 hours a week but does more in his time than two other people combined.

-Be aware of biases. We tend to mentor, promote, and compensate people who are most like us. When making compensation or promotion decisions, be aware of your bias and actively look for ways to counter it (like asking for a neutral salary review, setting salary guidelines, or getting the input of another leader).

-Accepting that more diverse companies are more profitable, actively look for ways to encourage diversity, including leadership development programs, retention programs, and mentorship.

-Put programs in place that support your people outside of work. To me, work/life balance isn't a gender issue, it's a people issue. Everyone will have some situation when they need flexibility. It may be picking a kid up from school, taking a parent to the doctor, caring for a sick pet, recuperating from an illness.... If a business invests in an employee's wellness and balance, those results pay off in retention, productivity, and profits.
http://www.awlp.org/awlp/library/html/businessimpact.jsp
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/arianna-huffington/big-business-fin
ally-lear_b_5559758.html

Aaron Cole
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There are way too many observational studies these days that are trying to be passed as real science. I agree with all of your points, but still think that even if every company in the game industry did them, you would still see a "gender wage gap".

If you look at the study, here is the male/female break down:

Programmers: Male 95% | Female 5%
Artists: Male 91% | Female 9%
Game Designers: Male 87% | Female 13%
Producers: Male 78% | Female 22%
Audio: Male 91% | Female 9%
QA: Male 88% | Female 12%
Business: Male 79% | Female 21%

I'm not sure you can look at this data and come to the conclusion that females make less than males because the game industry is misogynistic and doesn't pay women as much as men for the same work. I think at most you could say that women are extremely underrepresented in the games industry and we need to make an effort to hire more.

James Yee
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Okay I've got to do the snarky comment:

"I'm going to start a company and hire only women. It'll cost me only 80% of what a male filled company would."

Bob Johnson
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Why didn't they break out the gender gap between experience groups in each category? Unless I missed it. They had that data.

Johnathon Tieman
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Because when you publish that data, the pay gap disappears? They've done this with the national average, and shown that the gender pay gap is actually a myth.

Basically, the pay gap is really a reflection of the type of economic system some people desire, not of reality. We live in a society that is driven by a capitalistic economy, which compensates people by the number of hours they put in at their place of business, with more hours equating to a higher salary and/or rate of pay. Those talking about this "pay gap" are comparing it to a kind of socialistic society, one where people are paid not based on the work produced but based on the needs of the individual to survive. (Mind you, these are general categories, with lots of variance in both).

In this case, because the gender comparisons lack that necessary context, this isn't an accurate reflection of our society as it is currently, but rather against an ideal that some people desire. Even worse, because so many people are so bad at statistics, its one that frequently goes unnoticed, and instead reported as scientific fact when it isn't.

Tanya X Short
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All controllable factors (experience, etc) account for a large percentage of the wage gap, but not all of it, leaving the remaining chunk mysterious.

Whether the remaining gap is due to discrimination and/or "personal choice" and/or other factors is a matter of belief. not science.

http://www.nber.org/papers/w7732

The gap becomes larger and more mysterious when race comes into play. White women are still generally paid much higher than women of color, even when experience and labor are taken into account.

Ginger Smith
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I would also love to see the pay gaps between experience vs. gender vs. pay; to a certain extent it actually makes sense that women should be making less IF we're going off of the assumption that the industry is and always has been male-dominated (definitely supported by the survey), and that there are possibly more women entering the field at the bottom, and more tenured male employees at the top.

To compare any gaps amongst similarly-tenured employees would be a better use of the data, in my opinion, but we don't have the raw data to analyze...is there any way to get a follow-up for this?

Ian Griffiths
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The gender pay gap is simply unacceptable. It is an affront to our values as a society and show a huge level of disregard towards women and the work they do. I'm also fed up of it as a man, getting paid more means that it makes more financial sense for fathers to stay at work and have less time to spend with their children.

I think there is a way to help fix this using social pressure - companies should be forced to show the pay disparity (men get paid X% more on average) in the 'Careers/Jobs' section of their website. This way companies that underpay women would have to explain themselves to consumers and the public at large and those that don't would get the praise they deserve.

Derek Robbins
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Is there a way to get the additional information that was excluded from the report but could easily be computed from your collected data? Example: To provide more clarity to the gender gap issue can we see male and female average broken down by experience levels? You appear to be just comparing average male and and female income which is comparing apples to oranges unless the average experience in their field happens to be the same (unlikely as the industry used to be even more male dominated). Regardless--thanks for the report, it was interesting.

[User Banned]
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This user violated Gamasutra’s Comment Guidelines and has been banned.

John Maurer
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^
|
this

John Owens
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It wouldn't work anyway. You would leave to go to a company that paid you the same amount as people on your level.

Companies aren't charities. They pay you as little as they can get away with which is why you have to fight your case and if both the employee and company do that then you normally come to a fair amount.

There is an argument that woman aren't as aggressive as men in this regard but frankly in my experience woman can be every bit as aggressive getting what they want as men. I think there's a lot of old world gender stereotypes that are used today by both sides of this debate which I think no longer apply.

Michael Wenk
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Not meaning to be rude, but the Gamasutra survey was voluntary, and as such not necessarily encompassing the whole industry or even a part of it. You can't really use it for generalizations or even testing of conclusions.

Salim Muhammad
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I find it curious that the graphic at the top is of a "brown" guy. A whole other can of worms.

John Maurer
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Only to the presumptuous and pessimistic

Salim Muhammad
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I'm not suggesting some hidden agenda. I'm pointing out the fact that there is another group of people who suffer from wage inequality. And they put it next to (presumably) a white women. Simply an interesting juxtaposition.

John Owens
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Women take time off to have children and even when they return to work they normally still want to either work part time or do less hours.

I have a friend and both him and his wife are doctors, she now works 3 days a week as they have young kids and probably will do for the next 5 years (she's already been doing this 4). In that time my male friend has risen to become a senior consultant.

Until they had kids they where both paid the same.

It's that simple and no-ones fault. In fact there isn't even an issue. If women want to focus on their career then they should discuss it with their husbands and have him stay home instead. It has nothing to do with discrimination but rather just the different priorities of both genders.

John Owens
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If the solution is to regulate the amount or work everyone does so everyone can have a good work life balance then I'm all for that.

Men and woman choose different priorities but it would be nice if we didn't have to.

Milo Wi
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I have no figures specifically for the gaming industry; I have read up on this extensively for the general population. The Department of Labor was commissioned by the Obama administration to investigate the causes of the wage gap. The results indicated that there was effectively very little, if any, gap caused by discrimination. They found the gap closed to 96% once accounting for certain constraints.

The largest contributor to the gap was hours worked. Fully employed men, on average, worked about 14% more hours on average than fully employed women. Further, fully employed men worked, on average, more than twice the number of hours of overtime.

Another large contributor was experience. The career interruptions mentioned above do more than simply cause a break in their career; they cause the women who take such break to be statistically less experienced than a man of the same age. Further, prolonged breaks of this nature generally will cause skill atrophy; this is especially true in the dynamic tech industries. A woman returning to work could easily lose months returning to where she was before the break.

Job choice was another factor, although a notably smaller one. Women tend to be less willing to take the riskier jobs or jobs that require relocation. While not relevant for the specific comparison being made here, women also tended to choose fields that were not as difficult to get in to or to do.

Finally, women tend to care more about benefits and less about salary than men do. They would often choose employment based on proximity to their child's school, daycare center, etc.

While there is still a 4% pay gap in America after accounting for the variables checked by the DoL, there is no inherent reason to assume it's caused by societal sexism.

If the disparities in incomes are caused by career and life choices, does the gaming industry really need to change its practices to address it? Equality of opportunity does not mean equality of outcome. Disparate choices will cause disparate outcomes.


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