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UK Game Industry Only 4 Percent Female, Study Claims
UK Game Industry Only 4 Percent Female, Study Claims
September 9, 2010 | By Simon Parkin

September 9, 2010 | By Simon Parkin

The number of females employed in the UK video game industry has fallen from 12 percent in 2006 to just 4 percent in 2009, claims a report highlighted by the British Sociological Association.

The report, based on research carried out by University Of Liverpool PhD student Julie Prescott, attributes the decline to the industry’s long working hours and dissatisfaction with companies and their working environments.

450 women were surveyed for the report, with 43 percent claiming the industry’s long hours and crunch culture had a negative impact on their well-being. Of those surveyed, 32 percent reported they worked an excess of 45 hours per week, 22 percent between 46 and 55 hours each week, while 10 percent claimed to have worked over 56 hours as a normal work week.

Prescott argues in the report that "flexible working practices would not only improve the image of the industry as a family-friendly working environment, but could also assist in retaining more women, especially those with or considering having children."

"Changing workplace structures, as well as improving childcare provisions, would enable both genders to have active careers," she adds.

The report found that 21 percent of women in the industry had children, while 69 percent polled were under the age of 35. In contrast to TIGA’s claim in 2009 that the number of UK developers with degrees is 60 percent, Prescott’s report found only 35 percent of women in the field had a degree.

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Frank Smith
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Four percent? We'll get by.

james sadler
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The game industry is a tough sell for many people, men and women alike. Many roles of the company end up working very long hours when it comes to milestones or releases, it is just the nature of the beast. The same can be said for other industries as well, but we just see it more in the gaming industry because it is a forefront in today's culture. I really doubt we will see the crunch mentality change anytime soon or ever. I am sure most of us would love to see more women in the industry in every role available, so I doubt it is an issue of bias. Women already are in many, or all, of the roles needed in the game industry, we just need more. You would be surprised by how many hard core gamers there really are amongst women. Its also dumb to think that all people in the game industry are hard core gamers, or grew up that way.