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UK games industry announces results of diversity census and launches #RaiseTheGame pledge to improve equality and inclusivity

The UK Games Industry Census report, the most authoritative analysis of diversity in the UK games workforce ever conducted, has been published today alongside the launch of #RaiseTheGame, a new industry-wide diversity pledge.

“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,” commented Dr 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 analysed independently by the University of Sheffield and supported by Ukie, accrued over 3200 anonymised responses from people working across the UK 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 UK games industry is highly international, with 28% of the workforce having non-UK 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 3-7% of the UK population.

The #RaiseTheGame pledge

The publication of the results comes on the same day that the UK industry launches a brand new pledge, which seeks to improve equality, diversity and inclusivity across the sector.

#RaisetheGame is a collaborative and high-impact pledge to improve diversity and inclusion in the games industry. Its ambition is to sign up 200 UK game businesses covering 50% of the workforce by 2021, aiming to inspire meaningful cultural and behavioural change in games companies.

Companies signing up to #RaisetheGame pledge to champion and foster diversity and inclusion within their organisations 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 Xbox, 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 continued.

You can find out more about pledge and sign up to it here: www.raisethegame.com

The executive summary of the census is attached to this release. The full report can be accessed here: https://ukie.org.uk/UK-games-industry-census-2020

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