If you thought the case of equality for women in the gaming industry was limited to professionals themselves, then Labour MP Chi Onwurah’s comments in British Parliament recently will change your mind.
Speaking to the House of Commons, Onwurah stated that, “It is certainly the case that the video games industry is a modern one; one would hope that it would be reflective of society, including those who play games, but it is not.
“My figures show that only 6 per cent of those who work in ICT in the UK games industry are women, despite the fact that they make up 50 per cent of those who play the games.”
Rather hilariously (and sadly), two major companies that refused to provide information on their percentage of female employees on confidentiality grounds are Microsoft and Google.
“That is rather strange, because it suggests either that Google and Microsoft do not know how to aggregate and anonymity such information – which, given that they are leaders in big data management, is worrying – or that they have so few women employees that giving the figure would necessarily identify individuals. That is also very worrying.
“I am worried that Microsoft and Google, which are role models in their own right, do not appear to want to let anyone know how well – or how badly – they are doing.”
Onwurah spoke about doing more than just providing “mere warm words”. “As well as improving the image of ICT, we need to look at the working environment of women in ICT, and at higher, secondary and, very importantly, primary education, which my hon. Friend mentioned, and careers advice. We also need to look at our culture, which socializes girls to think that ICT is not for them.”