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IGDA Diversity Report Highlights Pay Inequality in Game Dev

The International Game Developers Association released the results from their Developer Satisfaction Survey, which highlighted the pay inequalities between men and women, and between white workers and workers of color. It also shows the gap between white workers and workers of color in positions of authority.

One striking gap was between women and men at the highest end of earnings. 10% of men reported that they made $150,000 annually or more, while only 3% of women reported earning that much money. Workers of color occupied the lowest earning bracket, with 26% saying they earned less than $15,000 per year, while only 17% of white workers reported the same.

Most women reported their earnings in the middle income bracket. For the $40,000-$75,000 bracket, 41% of female workers and 29% of male workers reported this income. And of those who said they earned more than $75,000 were 44% male and 35% female. As for freelancers, 81% of workers of color reported that they made less than $40,000 a year, compared to only 66% of white freelancers. Even more striking of a gap, only 3% of freelancers of color reported that they earned $75,000 a year, while 18% of white freelancers reported that income.

As for management roles, there was some parity between women and men, with 37% of men and 38% of women reporting they work in senior management. There was a huge gap between workers of color and white works in those who held senior management positions: only 3% of workers of color reported that they were in senior management positions, whereas 23% of white respondents reported that role.

While its obvious from the survey results that there is still a lot of work to be done to increase equality both in pay and in management positions for women and workers of color within the gaming industry, IGDA Executive Director Kate Edwards told GamesIndustry.biz that this is an opportunity for games companies.

“I think there’s an opportunity for the game industry to actually show some level of leadership, being an artistic-technical kind of industry that we are. We can actually make changes that better model those who are playing our games and using our products. I think the industry as a whole needs to do even more and do a bigger push to try and attract more people of color, more women, and more people who should be a part of this industry. We want them to be a part of this industry because we know the more diverse our workforce, the more diverse our game types and content and gameplay can potentially be,” Edwards said.

Caylie Sadin
Caylie is a writer and all around nerd. She started reading fantasy novels when she was 8, which naturally led her into playing DnD. Her favorite video game series is Dragon Age and her favorite book is “The Name of the Wind.”
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Caylie Sadin
Caylie is a writer and all around nerd. She started reading fantasy novels when she was 8, which naturally led her into playing DnD. Her favorite video game series is Dragon Age and her favorite book is "The Name of the Wind."

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