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Game Industry Gender Wage Gap Is Horrendous

As if there weren’t enough #reasonswhy, recent figures published by Game Developer Magazine have shown that women in the games industry are routinely paid significantly less than men. As spotted by The Border House blog, the numbers show that men are on average paid around 25% more than women for equivalent jobs.

With the exception of programmers, where the ludicrously tiny 4% of positions filled by women show a very slight higher payment than men (less than 5%, and explained as The Border House points out likely by their being paid to retain them), the figures are terrible.

Of artists and animators, the average salary for men is $77,791. For women, $60,238. Because, er, women don’t draw as well? Making up 16% of all positions, women are paid 22% less. Then designers. Male employees average $76.6k, whereas female employees bring in $62k. 11%, making 19% less. For producers, men make an average 8.3% more. In audio, men are making an enormous 65% more. SIXTY-FIVE PERCENT. Even in QA, the 93% of male employees earn 25% more than female. And lastly, there’s business and legal, where the 18% of women are making 24% less than men, seeing their average number at around $82k, compared to men’s at $108k.

There will be factors, certainly. The hugely larger numbers of men in the industry means by nature there will be many more of them who have worked for longer, and thus secured ultimately higher salaries. But there are women who have been involved for a long time too, and this absolutely doesn’t explain away these massive discrepancies.

It’s despicable, and the only valid response is for those in senior positions at publishers and developers to not pretend it isn’t them, to look at their own figures, and to rectify discrepancies.

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John Walker

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