Census finds UK games industry to be largely white and male
Xbox, EA and more launch #RaiseTheGame initiative to increase diversity
The UK games industry largely consists of young, white male workers, a new diversity census has found.
The UK Games Industry Census, which was carried out by the University of Sheffield and supported by industry trade body Ukie, surveyed over 3,200 anonymised members of the games workforce and compared the results against other sectors.
In Brief: UK Games Industry Census
- Two thirds of workers are aged 35 or under.
- 70% of workers are male.
- 10% are from BAME backgrounds.
- 21% of employees are LGBTQ+.
According to its findings, two thirds of games industry workers are aged 35 or under and 70% are male, compared to 28% female and 2% non-binary workers.
“Female representation is significantly under the national average, under the average of the overall creative industries and lower in senior roles,” according to the report.
10% of people working in the sector are from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds, slightly above the national working population. “Representation of BAME backgrounds is, however, notably less representative in more senior roles.”
While national data suggests 3-7% of the UK population are LGBTQ+, 21% of games industry professionals are LGBTQ+.
The industry also employs many international professionals. 28% of the workforce have non-UK nationalities, versus 17% in the working age population.
To coincide with the publication of the findings, several leading games industry employers have launched an initiative designed to increase diversity across the sector.
The #RaiseTheGame pledge is backed by founding partners EA, Facebook, Jagex, King and Xbox, and aims to sign up 200 UK game companies covering half the workforce by 2021.
There are three RaiseTheGame pledge pillars members will be measured against:
- Creating a diverse workforce
- Shaping inclusive and welcoming places to work
- Reflecting greater diversity within games at every level
Ukie billed the census as “most authoritative analysis of diversity” in the UK games workforce to date, and the plan is to run it every two years to track changes in the makeup of the industry.
The trade body’s CEO, Dr Jo Twist OBE, said: “Diversity isn’t a nicety; it’s a necessity if the industry is going to grow, thrive and truly reflect the tens of millions of people that play games every day in this country.
“A diverse industry that draws on myriad cultures, lifestyles and experiences will lead to more creative and inclusive games that capture the imagination of players and drive our sector forward.”