UK video game trade bodies UKIE and TIGA have both said that now is the time for games companies to act on the gender pay gap data released this week to create an "inclusive and diverse workforce".
Speaking to PCGamesInsider.biz, the heads of both organisations emphasised how important workforce diversity is to the games market. UKIE CEO Dr Jo Twist OBE (pictured) said that this was absolutely crucial for the UK maintaining its position as a market leader for games development.
13 games companies were included in the gender pay gap data, the deadline for which was this week.
On average, there was a 69 per cent disparity in mean hourly wage between men and women. Among the worst offenders were Grand Theft Auto maker Rockstar North and Sheffield-based work-for-hire outfit Sumo Digital.
“We welcome this transparency which highlights gender pay gaps," Twist said.
"Importantly, businesses now need to be proactive and ensure they are taking the right steps in their policies and approaches so they can create the best opportunities for people and therefore an inclusive and diverse workforce, especially in senior leadership and management roles.
"For the UK games sector to remain world class and innovative, we need to attract a diverse range of people from all walks of life and have teams that are representative of society and our players.”
TIGA CEO Dr Richard Wilson OBE said: “Businesses should use these figures as an opportunity to address the gender pay gap. Diversity is good for business and we should do all we can to recruit, retain and promote talented women.
“We need to increase the supply of female students studying STEM subjects so that there is a larger potential pool of people which games businesses can recruit from. We also need to encourage more applications by women to work in our industry. We additionally need to retain and promote skilled women in our sector.
“Employers can narrow the gender pay gap by exploring measures such as flexible working, recruitment targets and reaching out to young women and girls to encourage them to consider careers in our industry.
“Our video games industry provides creative, fulfilling and innovative work. Our sector is growing at seven per cent per annum and we need more highly skilled people to join and pursue careers in our sector.”
Steel's B2B team has also spoken to the CEO of Women in Games, Marie-Claire Isaaman, who described the figures as "depressingly unsurprising", going on say that more research needs to be done to see why more women - 19 per cent of the workforce - are in the lower quartiles at major games makers.