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U.K. Games Industry Pledges to Improve Equality and Inclusivity


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Gears of War character Kate Diaz

The Association For U.K. Interactive Entertainment (Ukie) has launched #RaiseTheGame, a new diversity pledge for the gaming industry, and has released the U.K. Games Industry Census report, an analysis of diversity in the U.K. games workforce.

"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," said Jo Twist OBE, CEO of Ukie. "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."

The census, which was administered and analyzed independently by the University of Sheffield and supported by Ukie, accrued over 3,200 anonymized responses from people working across the U.K. games industry.

It posed a range of questions about the kinds of work that games industry workers do, their personal characteristics, and their backgrounds. Those answers were then compared against figures from other sectors and national datasets to understand where the industry is doing well and where challenges lie.

The main conclusions of the census were:

  • The games sector is a young industry, with two thirds of people working in the sector aged 35 or under.
  • 10% of people working in games are from Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds, which is slightly higher than the national working population and above that in the overall creative industries. Representation of BAME backgrounds is, however, notably less representative in more senior roles.
  • 70% of people working in the games industry 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.
  • The U.K. games industry is highly international, with 28% of the workforce having non-U.K. nationalities compared to 17% in the working age population. These workers are more likely to be European, with that breaking down to 19% from the EU/EEA compared to 9% from the rest of the world.
  • 21% of the games industry are LGBTQ+. This is an extremely high proportion, with national data indicating that LGBTQ+ people make up between 3-to-7% of the U.K. population.

#RaiseTheGame Pledge

Publication of the survey results coincides with the U.K. industry launch of the new #RaiseTheGame pledge which seeks to improve equality, diversity, and inclusivity in the games industry. Its ambition is to sign up 200 U.K. game businesses covering 50% of the workforce by 2021, aiming to inspire meaningful cultural and behavioral change in games companies.

Companies that sign up for #RaisetheGame pledge to champion and foster diversity and inclusion within their organizations across the three pledge pillars:

  1. Creating a diverse workforce by recruiting as fairly and as widely as possible
  2. Shaping inclusive and welcoming places to work by educating and inspiring people to take more personal responsibility for fostering and promoting diversity and inclusion
  3. Reflecting greater diversity within games at every level from game design and development through to marketing and community engagement.

Those supporting the #RaisetheGame pledge — including its five founding partners EA, Facebook, Jagex, King, and Microsoft — will also be asked to provide information on how they matched up against the pledge pillars on an annual basis. The census will also be conducted regularly, with the intention to run it every two years to track how the industry's diversity profile changes over time.

"By taking such a frank and honest look at our industry through the census and committing to the #RaiseTheGame pledge, which we encourage all businesses to sign up to, we can lay the foundations for the creation of a truly diverse and inclusive sector for all," Twist said.


 

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