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.