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Ack
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Gender gaps and pay disparity in the game industry.

by Ack Thu Apr 04, 2013 5:36 pm

Game Developer Magazine has recently released some statistics on wage data within the video games industry, and there's a large gap between both the numbers of men and women working and the pay made based on gender. There are some issues with the way the data is presented, but I think it makes an interesting read:

http://borderhouseblog.com/?p=10567

What I would like to know is how are both genders represented across the years of experience. For instance, audio development has a massive disparity between men and women, but it also has a large gap between the average pay in each category of experience. So if there are only a few women in the lower two experience brackets and entirely men in the highest experience bracket, this may have caused the massive issue between the two we see. So a breakdown by gender of the three experience categories would be exceedingly beneficial.

It would also help by revealing if certain fields have begun accepting more women in recent years(which should skew pay data lower for them), used to accept more women(which should skew it higher), or have a smattering of women working in the field across experience levels. And there is also no gender breakdown for the "additional income" category to see whether women are receiving less pay but earning more benefits in their respective age categories.

So...yes, lots of elements to question about the data. But it still shows how starkly some of these areas are dominated by men, almost entirely so in areas such as programming and audio.
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Re: Gender gaps and pay disparity in the game industry.

by MrPopo Thu Apr 04, 2013 5:41 pm

Male domination in programming is not just in the game industry; it's pretty much across all software development areas.
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Re: Gender gaps and pay disparity in the game industry.

by Ack Thu Apr 04, 2013 5:42 pm

True. It was the audio developers stats that surprised me the most.
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Re: Gender gaps and pay disparity in the game industry.

by dsheinem Thu Apr 04, 2013 5:49 pm

This looks like it skews the same way that we see these fields skew in education, so not shocking. The unstated experience to pay factor Ack pointed to is a vital missing stat.

I'd like to see all tech industries become more inviting to women and think gaming is an industry that can be at the forefront of such a shift (and should be). What would interest me is a comparative study of this data with similar data from other fields that pull on similar skills.
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Re: Gender gaps and pay disparity in the game industry.

by o.pwuaioc Thu Apr 04, 2013 5:53 pm

Ack wrote:True. It was the audio developers stats that surprised me the most.

It was that women programmers made more than male programmers that surprised me the most. I would like to see further breakdown of the numbers. The oft-quoted "75c to the dollar" has long been a shouting point, but I really think there needs to be more precision in the make-up of these numbers.
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Re: Gender gaps and pay disparity in the game industry.

by Ack Thu Apr 04, 2013 5:59 pm

o.pwuaioc wrote:
Ack wrote:True. It was the audio developers stats that surprised me the most.

It was that women programmers made more than male programmers that surprised me the most. I would like to see further breakdown of the numbers. The oft-quoted "75c to the dollar" has long been a shouting point, but I really think there needs to be more precision in the make-up of these numbers.


The lady who writes the blog I linked and the folks at RPS think it's some kind of pay to retain them, though that is speculation on their part. The counter to the "75c to the dollar" comment I hear is usually that women supposedly opt for better benefits at lesser pay, though I have never seen data to confirm or deny this point. Hence why I'd also like a gender breakdown of benefits!

Heck, more info is better! Break it all down by gender!
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Re: Gender gaps and pay disparity in the game industry.

by o.pwuaioc Thu Apr 04, 2013 6:02 pm

Ack wrote:
o.pwuaioc wrote:
Ack wrote:True. It was the audio developers stats that surprised me the most.

It was that women programmers made more than male programmers that surprised me the most. I would like to see further breakdown of the numbers. The oft-quoted "75c to the dollar" has long been a shouting point, but I really think there needs to be more precision in the make-up of these numbers.


The lady who writes the blog I linked and the folks at RPS think it's some kind of pay to retain them, though that is speculation on their part. The counter to the "75c to the dollar" comment I hear is usually that women supposedly opt for better benefits at lesser pay, though I have never seen data to confirm or deny this point. Hence why I'd also like a gender breakdown of benefits!

Heck, more info is better! Break it all down by gender!

My point exactly. Better info is always better. Also, I don't quite buy the "better pay for retention" argument, because it isn't present in any other of the smaller numbers. I'd need more reasoning than just that.
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Re: Gender gaps and pay disparity in the game industry.

by MrPopo Thu Apr 04, 2013 6:14 pm

o.pwuaioc wrote:
Ack wrote:
o.pwuaioc wrote:It was that women programmers made more than male programmers that surprised me the most. I would like to see further breakdown of the numbers. The oft-quoted "75c to the dollar" has long been a shouting point, but I really think there needs to be more precision in the make-up of these numbers.


The lady who writes the blog I linked and the folks at RPS think it's some kind of pay to retain them, though that is speculation on their part. The counter to the "75c to the dollar" comment I hear is usually that women supposedly opt for better benefits at lesser pay, though I have never seen data to confirm or deny this point. Hence why I'd also like a gender breakdown of benefits!

Heck, more info is better! Break it all down by gender!

My point exactly. Better info is always better. Also, I don't quite buy the "better pay for retention" argument, because it isn't present in any other of the smaller numbers. I'd need more reasoning than just that.

I don't buy it based on the nature of programmers. Programmers aren't usually swayed by extra pay for retention, at least not the good ones. They drift around based on what interests them; a large company can keep someone for a long time because they're diversified enough that he can work on the kernel for a few years before changing and working on office productivity software.
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Re: Gender gaps and pay disparity in the game industry.

by Curlypaul Thu Apr 04, 2013 8:34 pm

MrPopo wrote:I don't buy it based on the nature of programmers. Programmers aren't usually swayed by extra pay for retention, at least not the good ones. They drift around based on what interests them; a large company can keep someone for a long time because they're diversified enough that he can work on the kernel for a few years before changing and working on office productivity software.


I agree there, I've been working at below average pay for years now because I like the product that I work on.

At the risk of being accused of sexism, is the lower numbers of females due to a natural disinterest in the field? Coding takes a certain kind of mind to be able to do well, people with aspergers tend to excel at it and that condition is almost exclusive to the male mind.

That does not however, excuse the lower pay that females get
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Re: Gender gaps and pay disparity in the game industry.

by o.pwuaioc Thu Apr 04, 2013 8:45 pm

Women coders get more, not less, and there's nothing natural about it. The first coders were women (cf. Ada Lovelace), and it was seen as a "woman's job" for a while (men were managers, not coders). I'm not actually sure when the shift happened, but probably, I'd imagine during the period when computers increasingly were seen as a "boy's toy", while girls kept getting barbies.

I suspect the higher pay might be related to the fact that in an industry dominated by men, and where being female means you get strange looks or increased unwanted attention from male peers, peers unaccustomed to female peers, this environment would keep out the mildly interested or generally not talented ones, thereby keeping the best and brightest women who fairly earn their wages while, while flocks of mediocre male programmers who make lower wages bring the general average down. This is merely a guess, but it would predict that the highest earners are still male, but that there are way many who have depressed wages.

Once again, this guess can't turn into a working hypothesis without more data. (Note, nor does it account for its anomalous position with respect to similar fields where women still make on average far less than their male counterparts).
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