Women in Games (Conferences)

by Darius Kazemi on February 22, 2007

in gdc,women_in_games

I was inspired by a post on kottke.org this morning in which he counted out the percentage of female speakers at various web/tech conferences. Eyeballing it, it seems like the average of those conferences was about 12% female speakers.

So I went to the list of speakers for GDC 2007, and counted. This is an approximate number, as it’s a hand count. The site lists 739 speakers, however, some of them are entities like the Serious Game Advisory Board and Speaker TBD. So I skipped them, and counted a total of 735 human speakers. Of those, I counted 73 that are female. Which means that 9.93% of speakers at GDC 2007 are women. (Again, I’m not claiming accuracy. I’m sure there were some gender-ambiguous names I screwed up, although I did bother to check on the bio of the people I wasn’t sure about.)

Anecdotally, many of those female speakers were students or professors, which is really great, but at the same time they’re not professional developers. That means that while the future of women in the game industry might be brighter, it doesn’t reflect on the current reality.

On a related note, consider that, according to CMP’s 2006 Game Developer Salary Survey, women in the fields of programming, art, and production make about 10% less money than men (in design they were reported to make 5% more).

Anyway, the 9.93% seems to put the game industry about on par with the rest of technology in terms of gender diversity. On the other hand, the game industry is not just a tech industry: it’s also part of the entertainment industry. And while my Google-fu was not able to dig up any studies on gender diversity in Hollywood, I am pretty sure that the numbers close to 50%, at least industry-wide.

{ 1 comment }

Benoit February 23, 2007 at 5:51 pm

Those number seems to reflect the current reality (Game Developer Demographics Report shows 11.5% of female game developer in the industry)

But with the industry focussing on trying to get more women in the industry. The future certainly looks brighter

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