More work to do to improve diversity in gaming: report

A new annual report on the state of inclusion and diversity in gaming has found that while the industry has made great progress, there is still much room for improvement.

The third All-Index report from the All-In Diversity Project, an industry-led, not-for-profit initiative measuring diversity, equality, and inclusion in the global gaming industry, found that while the number of women in senior-level positions is growing, the number of entry-level and management-level women is shrinking. The 2021-22 report was the first in three years.

One finding was that women made up 29.2 per cent of heads of departments roles, up from 25.8 per cent in 2019, and their representation in director positions increased from 23 per cent to 25 per cent. Meanwhile, the percentage of female CEOs and managing directors also rose three per cent to 18.5 per cent in 2021.

However, the overall percentage of women in the industry has fallen from close to a 50-50 split with men to 43 per cent versus 56 per cent for men.

A press release said that the biggest gap came at entry level and is “a real cause for concern when looking at long-term prospects for role models, mentors, and talent pools”.

Indeed the percentage of entry-level positions occupied by women fell from 48.3 per cent in 2019 to 45.9 per cent in 2021. It is not just entry-level positions that have seen a decline, though. The percentage of female managers fell notably to 32.1 per cent from 39.2 per cent, while the ratio of female supervisors dropped slightly to 33.3 per cent from 34.4 per cent.

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Wider diversity in gaming still an issue

Meanwhile, the report found that more than 85 per cent of participants in the survey identified as “white”.

“This lack of diversity is likely to have a negative impact on the industry if the key findings are an indication of a long-term trend,” the report added.

The report cited three possible reasons for the shift in numbers: life decisions made by Generation Z, “The Great Resignation” labour struggle, and “The Menopause.”

Research released in line with World Menopause Day found that nearly 25 per cent of women left their job due to their symptoms, with 20 per cent of those surveyed saying ill health because of menopause cost them a promotion or pay raise.

The All-In Diversity Project called on employers to be more aware of the impact of menopause on employee health both to protect affected employees and to avoid the gender imbalance in the industry worsening.

Companies looking to address the imbalance

The report did note that companies have become more active in trying to address diversity and inclusion in gaming, showing “a noticeable shift from passive policy to active awareness and practice”.

“Whilst the number of organizations with equal opportunities and anti-discrimination policies has dropped, the number providing practical training and guidance in these areas has gone up, together with an increased focus on addressing harassment/bullying, challenging behaviour/language, and cultural stereotyping,” said the report.

As part of the survey, All-In Diversity Project also assigns a numerical score to the top companies participating in the survey. This year’s report gave the top score to Sky Sports and Betting with scored 85 out of 100 points. In second place was Kindred with 79 points, and IGT came in third with 78 points. Concerningly, only 12 of the 40 companies surveyed scored above 50.

The 2021-22 All-Index Report assessed 40 organizations with more than 140,000 employees in total. SBC Global is a founding partner of the non-profit project.

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