Getting More Women to Work in Games Is Easy

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Getting More Women to Work in Games Is Easy

Having equal gender representation in the games industry is easy. You just have to change everything about your company.

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So what you are saying is that women have the ability to work in the "game" business but they ether don't know that they can or "invisible bias" (PATRIARCHY!) keeps them out.

"Having equal gender representation in the games industry is easy, you just have to change everything about your company."

If you are a successful business... Why? will that increase sales? produce a better product? Will it reduce overhead? will it make the stock price go up? Will having more women in the company help produce a product that plays to your core demographic?

Im sure all that comes off as im a sexist, but there have been women writing for games all the way back to the Atari so it looks like the barrier to entry is more ability rather then gender.

Easier said than done. I work at the IT department of a press agency & our department only has guys.
We never have a woman apply when a position is open.

When I started studying ICT a decade ago, there were 100 students in our first year.

Two of them were girls.

So there is definitely a lack of interest from women to work in the IT sector.

Is it bad that all I can think is.

Oh it this topic again.

I get it I'm a white male therefore everything wrong with the world. I swear it's getting harder and harder to pay attrition to the topic and not just drown it out like the ravings of a mad man erm i'm so sorry a mad man or woman.

You know the truth is that women will gradually enter the game industry more and more, and the attitude will change and so will the atmosphere within these companies. The truth I think tends to be more that years ago at many points, people who were really into games and now are the leaders of the industry, were not as popular. Their hobby was something that did not attract the right kind of attention and thus this feeling toward women as those who reject them lingers. Of course this doesn't apply to everyone but I think it applies to a great deal of people. Women are repelled by you until you are management at a company that you entered because your hobby was more then a hobby to you, and now the people who you associate with making you suffer for that hobby, are now telling you what a scumbag you are for not giving them a job.

Of course this is a stupid thought, but its not a conscious thought. Projecting your own prejudice on someone based on similar attributes and perceived relations is what gives us the 'patriarchy' that I as a man don't feel a part of any more then I do a slave owner for being white, or on the reverse side, a 'criminal' for being black, or any sort of 'inferiority' for being a women. while there is no equivalency in perceptions. They are all examples of subconscious labeling that we engage in based on very simple subconscious reactions to events that shape our perceptions. Right now a group of men are sitting on the top of board rooms in various companies (definitely not all) with many of these kind of negative subconscious perceptions.

I would say that the good news is that these perceptions are not shared by the younger generation and can not be transmitted to others who haven't shared the experience that causes the perception. So yeah the times will change whether or not these people change there businesses or not.

Having equal gender representation in the games industry is easy, you just have to change everything about your company.

Feminism in a nutshell. "We don't want to change, so you should." I will admit though, that "culture fit" is a bad excuse and prompts some selfevaluation. I absolutely get why some teams, especially small ones, are wary of change and having to deal with not being an exclusive boy club anymore, especially if this particular woman shows up on your doorstep, but frankly it's immature.

Resume scanning is a huge topic though. Companies often use agencies and they use scanners to skim resumes, throwing the bulk into the bin unless it contains specified keywords that relate to education and experience, at the detriment of not only women, but a lot of people in all branches of work.

BlueJoneleth:
Easier said than done. I work at the IT department of a press agency & our department only has guys.
We never have a woman apply when a position is open.

When I started studying ICT a decade ago, there were 100 students in our first year.

Two of them were girls.

So there is definitely a lack of interest from women to work in the IT sector.

I'm not savvy when it comes to education and specific courses in development, but isn't there a huge difference between ICT and anything related to game development?
ICT sounds like maintenance work and infrastructure, while game development has psychological studies and a wide range of art design, on top of actual programming.

Are they connected though?

Either way, my guess is that you're more likely to find the bulk of women interested in making games, on courses and classes that deal with concepts, art and management.

i don't know why this is even a problem i though the whole point of a business is not hiring an equal amount of men and women (but feminist would most likely want it all women) but to hire the best people for the job, gender only plays a part in it when your installing toilets

Smilomaniac:

I'm not savvy when it comes to education and specific courses in development, but isn't there a huge difference between ICT and anything related to game development?
ICT sounds like maintenance work and infrastructure, while game development has psychological studies and a wide range of art design, on top of actual programming.

Are they connected though?

Video games are a subtype of IT projects. A friend of mine is a game designer and has a background in programming. Sure it's not 100% required but when you design a video game, you have to be well aware of what's technically possible and what's not, so having a good amount of technical knowledge is very important.

Riotguards:
i don't know why this is even a problem i though the whole point of a business is not hiring an equal amount of men and women (but feminist would most likely want it all women) but to hire the best people for the job, gender only plays a part in it when your installing toilets

You're 100% correct. The higher ups of the company I work for have to maintain a 50/50 ratio. A couple of years back it lead to promote a woman to a function she was totally not adequate for because they needed to fill the ratio. The division she was leading became a total mess & she was fired eventually. >_>

My old college had multiple institutes devoted to different fields of study. I was in the IT institute and only between 5-10% of the students were female. Over at the Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering blocks the numbers were more like 1-5%. Over in the Business Studies institute it was closer to 50-55% and over in the Hairdressing institute it was 90-95%. It kind of paints a pretty clear picture doesn't it? How can you demand a 50-50 split in the workplace if the fact of the matter is there aren't enough women interested in the field in the first place?

Sampat quickly pointed out that statement was bullshots by citing survey information she gathered by speaking with the women she could find who were either employed in the games industry already or were seeking employment. "45% have said they always want to work in the games industry," Sampat said.

Way to cherrypick the information. You're asking the people who already want to be there. How about just going down on the street and asking women completely at random from all walks of life? Unless the whole point of this was "do *some* women want to work in games?" then yeah, no shit. But if we take a complete look at the numbers of it let's say in the world you'll find 1 million women who want to work in games (number pulled completely out of my ass btw), you'll probably turn around and find x10 that number of men who also want to work in games.

The only way more women will enter into the games industry is through time. Let's be honest, everyone, games have had a massive stigma as "toys" attached to them for decades and as much as we like to think otherwise it's still there; not as bad as it USED to be but it's still there. Arcades, tournaments, midnight releases for consoles, it's all male heavy numbers; are we supposed to just turn our heads and deny what's right in front of us for the sake of political correctness? Another favourite is when they throw around numbers showing how 45% of people playing games are women. Let's take Facebook and Web-based Flash games out of the equation for a minute. How many women are actually investing money to flat out purchase a game for themselves to play? How many women play games because they want to as opposed to "it was there so I played it"? This isn't even something we need a massive study for, hell, go to any game shop and just stand there and watch people buying games.

When it comes to any "minority" the situation is not just a desire to work in a given industry, it's the number of people with that desire. The truth is 99% of the people who want to do something cool fail in the attempt. Those who want to write comics, do video games, or other similar professions. Likewise when it comes to careers like Doctor, Lawyer, or going into something like Forensics (in my case) the odds are pretty well against you on every level from finances (which got me) to available jobs, to competition. The thing is though that with numbers people of a given type do indeed get through, the question isn't that there aren't any women that want to be game designers, or blacks that don't want to do comics, but that there aren't enough of them for an impact. Frankly the majority of people who want to be comics artists for example just aren't good enough to do it with the right combination of quality, speed, and versatility (since you draw other people's work on commission and have to meet a release schedule, and then eventually work your way up to maybe at some point doing your own stuff). The same basic thing applies to game design. It seems a lot of minorities seem to think "it's biased if there aren't people like me actually doing it" and who like to point to their failures as evidence of that bias, but that's really not the truth. A good example of a breakthrough would be Asians getting into western comics, some of the big artists right now aren't "white", and guys like Jim Lee carried their own labels for a while. That didn't happen overnight though, it came about because tons of Asians wanted to do western comics, looking at the incestuous relationship that already existed between eastern and western culture and comics. Most failed, but a few got into the industry, and from that a few made it to the prestigious positions, this occurred because of very large scale, focused, interest that eventually produced the talents needed to succeed.

Fine "your" little girl wants to be a game designer, chances are she wont make it though, not because she's a girl, but because most people who want to be game designers don't make it... period. What you need to look at is how many other little girls want to do the same thing, and of course as they fail for how may generations that interest remains until you see more and more get through and eventually succeed. Welcome to reality.

The truth of society is that you start out following a dream, wind up with a normal job in the grind of society that you start with thinking "it's temporary" and then look back and realize "wow, it's been 10 years, my life sucks, my dream failed" that is how it is. Sort of like how as a Criminal Justice major I didn't set out to be a bloody security officer (even for a world class casino) yet that is where I wound up. With something like "artistic professions" it's even riskier because they tend to be employable within a rather narrow selection of jobs for which there is high competition from the crazy amount of dreamers that want the same thing. The fall tends to be unusually hard as well, because unemployable skills might lead to you being unemployed, or working a fairly low end job like waitress, or barista and just never move up from that kind of thing unless at some point you decide to retrain and have the
resources to do so. This is by the way also the reality that seriously hits people like actors and aspiring models, and other "beautiful people" who aren't beautiful enough, or just don't have the talents (either real talent, or a talent for self promotion and making the right friends), leading to a lot of those "Hollywood Hell" stories that are so popular in certain circles, especially seeing as there are massive groups of people just waiting to exploit people with those kinds of dreams, more so than other similar artistic industries.

BlueJoneleth:
Easier said than done. I work at the IT department of a press agency & our department only has guys.
We never have a woman apply when a position is open.

When I started studying ICT a decade ago, there were 100 students in our first year.

Two of them were girls.

So there is definitely a lack of interest from women to work in the IT sector.

Can confirm this is the case with multiple examples from both my job as part of the ITS department and my sisters recent (as in shes in her third year) experience studying Computer Science at uni.

Okay gonna have to disagree with some major assumptions she made.

First off with resumes. Sorry but in terms of processing resumes in the coldest sense of the term it first goes through regardless of gender keywords and statements that match the core requirements of the position. As well as if you apply for a position blindly you are still required to prove via the resume since it is a cold application to prove that you are capable of doing the job with previous experience in some sort of capacity.

Even if you apply the warm application via networking that gives a major advantage regardless of gender because it is utilizing the trust of the person who gave you the opportunity to get past the computerized bullshit that takes the humanity out of applications.

As for the cultural fit is "bullshit". You say "cultural fit", I say "being able to get along with your potential superiors, and coworkers". Some of the most uncomfortable workplaces I've seen often stem from having employees who just simply don't get along or are incapable of finding some sort of common ground to get through the daily grind. This also often leads to even if one is the most professional of candidates just lower retention that a person would want to stay in that position or more importantly your peers would want that person to stay with the company. Which also doesn't even include the fact of being able to do the job in the first place. Hard truth is that regardless where you go in terms of employment there is going to be a certain social environment and even then it is a two way street. It is the employer's duty to ensure that you are able to do the job in that environment but at the same time like any good guest it is your duty to understand that environment and be flexible.

But the biggest two things is that even with all these dedicated panels focused on women, dedicated programs to encourage women in certain fields, and massive investments from a wide variety of sources focused on women's education in STEM. The two factors remain which is the freedom of choice of the individual and the equality of opportunity which does not equate to equality of outcome.

So if I have a choice between two potential employees, one passionate about the work, and one only interested?
I should pick the candidate that's only interested?

I'm supposed to believe that just as many women want to work in the games industry as men?
Because I don't.

And she ends the talk by saying that she shouldn't prepare her child to work in the industry they desire, but that the industry should prepare to accommodate for her child?

You know what would be great? If we had world peace, no droughts, no starvation, no disease, no discrimination, no crime, no hate, no violence. Yeah the world would be a better place if it were like that, chop chop people, get to it.

"If you can't find women who can fit into culture, your company culture might suck,"

Because that will make women welcome in the workplace eh?

Sucking all the fun out of everything wont exactly endear the workplace to the women suddenly working there.

Wow, the amount of statistical rubbish spouted here is almost insulting. Well, not the amount, more the egregious nature of it.

Myth #1. Women Don't Want to Work in Games. Sampat quickly pointed out that statement was bullshots by citing survey information she gathered by speaking with the women she could find who were either employed in the games industry already or were seeking employment. "45% have said they always want to work in the games industry," Sampat said.

Congratulations! You've answered a completely unrelated question. So you found a bunch of people already working in the industry and asked them if they always wanted to. Therefore, you've proven that 45% of the people you asked always did. (I assume not literally always, they probably didn't plop out of the womb with keyboard in hand.)

Except we're not saying that the majority of women don't want to and then do, or don't always want to or whatever - we're suggesting that the average (I.E. NOT JUST GAMER) woman on the street isn't interested at all in the industry, and not because of all the men "poisoning" it, either. You can argue until the cows come home that they're only doing it because of the social stigma attached to a nerdy girl, but it wasn't just the guys that perpetrated that, because if it was, I would be expecting a much louder backlash. Most of us see it as a surprise when a girl works in the industry, but we don't see it as evil or anything.

Sorry, loosing track, getting into arguments that don't seem to have a proper answer besides the ones you want from what I've seen thus far, never mind, next bit:

"If you are in an interview with a candidate stop looking for lifelong desire but instead look for curiosity," Sampat urged.

Well now you're just suggesting making dramatic changes under the impression that you'll get 10% more females working, while deciding that lifelong dreams and study and whatever obviously aren't as good as random levels of curiosity! Well I can't see any way THIS will go wrong.

"Do blind resume reviews and you'd be amazed how many women filter to the top," Sampat said.

You can't just say "Oh, yeah, trust me, I saw this experiment and the results are exactly what I say!" Without, you know, proving the fucking experiment exists.
(Well, Ok, evidently you can, but good luck getting anyone who knows even the smallest bit about the scientific method and burden of proof to agree with your complete nonsense without asking for more evidence then just your hearsay.)

She makes her daughter write one sheet specs of the games she wants to make and forces her to be as driven as a young lady can be.
"I would do anything to shield her from the kinds of things that I've been through," Sampat said. "But I am part of the problem. Every time I worry about making her tougher, instead of making the industry gentler, I am complicit. I am ready to stop. Are you?"

Remember, kids: Fuck hard work! Just demand that the work become softer or else you won't do it! That will not in any way go wrong at all. Definitely not.

And if I sound angry, it's because I Am ever-so-slightly angry that someone could cock up statistical evidence this badly and be given anything other then a withering glance and an "Oh really now?", Man OR woman. At the very least if she just made an emotional appeal I wouldn't feel insulted by the astounding levels of ignorance she managed to get away with. I'm not going to ask her to go away or anything. But someone, please, teach her how to run a proper experiment before she embarrasses herself further.

Seems like a lot of rather obvious stuff here. Still, ain't stating the obvious that's the problem. It's getting people to agree that the obvious is a problem and steps should be made to solve it. Few issues though. As someone who wants to work in a creative field, I'd be far happier to hire someone obsessed than merely curious. And who's to say that women aren't among the obsessed? If there were no obsessed women, we wouldn't be having this discussion, because nobody would care enough to fight their corner over this.

I'd also like to believe that "the invisible bias" isn't as farspread as she wants us to believe, but I also know that people can be en-masse assholes at times, so I remain on the fence.

In any case, we need to make sure we're solving the issues whilst not getting into the ridiculous territory where a woman gets hired over a man not simply because she'd be better for the job, but merely to fill a quota. That would be bad for everyone, regardless of industry position or gender.

Does anyone ask men to make games with them? Does anyone ever ask anyone to make a game with them? Is that how the entry into the games industry works?

I would suggest all of those potent, under-appreciated female game designers should take to Kickstarter, present their project, and they'll likely end up with enough money to finish that project and then some. Because there's clearly people who would put their money behind it.

Not being cynical here. I'd like to see that happen, since I don't believe the video game company culture will develop in a way that will accommodate those female game designers.

Genocidicles:
"If you can't find women who can fit into culture, your company culture might suck,"

Because that will make women welcome in the workplace eh?

Sucking all the fun out of everything wont exactly endear the workplace to the women suddenly working there.

You know, one reason why women might not want to work in games might be because when someone says "If your culture makes women feel uncomfortable you might have a problem." the response is "But making women not feel uncomfortable sucks all the fun out of everything!"

I'm honestly extremely tired of the whole gender war. In the Gaming/IT sector as a whole there is a lack of interest from females. People should stop blaming patriarchy for everything. They are polarizing the community even more. I'm not denying the fact that there are isolated cases where gender discrimination isn't involved, but it's really not that prevalent and overblown as people make it out to be. Gender discrimination will always persist for both genders everywhere, which doesn't justify it, but it not only affects them.

Why would a recruiting company decline a perfectly competent applicant based on gender? People can't seriously expect them to recruit incompetent staff just based on unbalanced demographics. It is male dominated because we were the gender who showed enough interest in the hobby to carry it forward. They were never denied access to the gaming community, but instead invited. So now that they've decided that it's socially acceptable to play games, they expect that the red carpet should be rolled out?

If you have the skills and experience you will be treated fairly. Respect is earned, not demanded anyway.

FogHornG36:
If you are a successful business... Why? will that increase sales? produce a better product? Will it reduce overhead? will it make the stock price go up? Will having more women in the company help produce a product that plays to your core demographic?

The trouble with not having as many women in the industry is that you're cutting yourself off from about 50% of your potential market, 50% of your potential hiring pool, 50% of the population which could fundamentally have different ideas about how to make games, different creative ideas, and ideas on how to reach more gamers and new demographics.

I I guess the answer to all of your questions is a simple, yes. Yes it really could improve all of those. Attracting more women doesn't mean that you never make games like Call of Duty that the frat house boys love so much. But finding a place for women in the industry is how you end up with companies like Thatgamecompany doing genuinely new things, and games like Portal.

If that last one doesn't blow away the question of "will that increase sales" then I don't know what will.

Myth #1. Women Don't Want to Work in Games. Sampat quickly pointed out that statement was bullshots by citing survey information she gathered by speaking with the women she could find who were either employed in the games industry already or were seeking employment.

Wait, what? Sampat sought data about whether women want to work in games by conducting a survey of women who were working in games or wanted to work in games. People can see why that's completely nonsensical, right?

3ntropy775:
I'm honestly extremely tired of the whole gender war. In the Gaming/IT sector as a whole there is a lack of interest from females. People should stop blaming patriarchy for everything. They are polarizing the community even more. I'm not denying the fact that there are isolated cases where gender discrimination isn't involved, but it's really not that prevalent and overblown as people make it out to be.

Unless you're either in the industry or have done empirical research to prove your point, you have no basis for these statements.

And yes there's a lack of interest from females often. The question people need to be asking is why. I don't think for one second that it's because women will just never care about this stuff, and it's certainly not because they can't do it. In games at least, we do have to face the reality that the vast majority of games don't even acknowledge that women exist as a potential part of their audience, let alone try to appeal to them.

From what I got out of the article then I found it quite reasonable - it didn't try to inflate the topic with the usual Sarkesian BS - it talked about industry bias in a way that I found plausible, and hey... the thing about "women might not even know they can work in Field X" applies not just to women, but everyone

If you had told me a year ago that I would now be looking for a job as a teacher I would have laughed in your face - but now... I am looking for a job as a teacher, because I've found teaching to be really fun.

Vivi22:

3ntropy775:
I'm honestly extremely tired of the whole gender war. In the Gaming/IT sector as a whole there is a lack of interest from females. People should stop blaming patriarchy for everything. They are polarizing the community even more. I'm not denying the fact that there are isolated cases where gender discrimination isn't involved, but it's really not that prevalent and overblown as people make it out to be.

Unless you're either in the industry or have done empirical research to prove your point, you have no basis for these statements.

And yes there's a lack of interest from females often. The question people need to be asking is why. I don't think for one second that it's because women will just never care about this stuff, and it's certainly not because they can't do it. In games at least, we do have to face the reality that the vast majority of games don't even acknowledge that women exist as a potential part of their audience, let alone try to appeal to them.

The whole article is riddled with baseless claims and assumptions. Where is the reference to her surveys she took or any other sources she got her statistics from. My statements are as valid as theirs by your merits. My point was that gender discrimination exists, but it's the exception to the norm. If it was as bad as they always claim then most women would not be employed at all. I take that you have empirical data backing up your post?

Women in gaming (or just tech) is an issue that no one can answer properly and everyone has issues with.

Yes, more and more women are getting into tech.

Yes, it's a boy's club. What big business in North America isn't full of rich old white guys and all the jackassery that comes with the mindset of people living in a world that isn't the real world?

Yes, there is less discrimination now, but it exists.

Yes, there should be a lot more women in tech these days - and we damn well tried. But a lot of us got shot down and we gave up. Some didn't and they are now doing what they love. The majority of the men they work with are fine with it. Some aren't.

Discrimination exists, people. Want an example of why women my age (30) aren't in tech much? Keep in mind this is the late 90's, early 00's in Canada in a capital, progressive city.

In Junior High girls were still expected to take cooking and sewing classes, while the boys took woodworking and a mini engineering class. My mother literally had to go down to the school and have a screaming match with the WOMAN principal because they refused to let my sister take the engineering course. In High School I signed up for a computer science course, alongside my sister. We were the only girls in the class. The teacher helped everyone in the class but us. When time for the end of term project came around, I fumbled my way through, abut got stuck on some code (It was if/then basic stuff - make a little game where you hit a button and players run around a baseball field). I called the teacher over, he sat down, looked at is, and said (I quote, because I remember the moment clearly) "Well, you're screwed." and got up and walked away.

My cousin also founded a VGX company. He hired people in and trained them without any experience - including my cousin who was the same age. We asked him over and over again if he could take us on as well, but he always refused. Even as he got bigger and bigger in the city the only women worked PR and reception.

Sexism is still rampant. It's getting better, but for someone my age, we grew up still being told to conform to traditional gender roles. Teachers and people of influence were sexist. We got beaten down a lot.

Some people fought back and got into tech. I'm put to shame by them because I stopped fighting. I went back to school in my 20's and now have a lot of tech education, but it's not programming.

It happened. It's still happening, but not nearly as much.

However, when I was teaching (only a couple years ago), sometimes girls were encouraged to go into tech... but if one of them said video games, they were talked down to. Told to go into the big techs, like engineering or biotech or that kind of thing. It made me really angry. I actually got in trouble from admin for telling girls to go into trades and programming and such instead of going to university for traditional degrees.

The world is still kind of backwards. It knows it's backwards now, and it's changing, but it's going to take time and it's going to take hard work from everyone. It's just still not fair that women have to work harder. But that ill change too.

We didn't get to wear pants in a day, and everyone else has had much more to overcome, but it will all come with time and hard work and acceptance.

Mister Chippy:
You know, one reason why women might not want to work in games might be because when someone says "If your culture makes women feel uncomfortable you might have a problem." the response is "But making women not feel uncomfortable sucks all the fun out of everything!"

Well it would suck the fun out of everything.

It would turn the workplace into a boring, sterile environment where people are always stepping on eggshells, worrying about being sent to sensitivity training or even fired if they so much as crack a joke.

It's not exactly new to the tech industry. What about 'Donglegate'? A couple of guys, joking amongst themselves about the silliness of the word 'dongle', and one of them gets fired because some proud womyn of colour considered their lame jokes sexually oppressive and reported them.

Genocidicles:

Mister Chippy:
You know, one reason why women might not want to work in games might be because when someone says "If your culture makes women feel uncomfortable you might have a problem." the response is "But making women not feel uncomfortable sucks all the fun out of everything!"

Well it would suck the fun out of everything.

It would turn the workplace into a boring, sterile environment where people are always stepping on eggshells, worrying about being sent to sensitivity training or even fired if they so much as crack a joke.

It's not exactly new to the tech industry. What about 'Donglegate'? A couple of guys, joking amongst themselves about the silliness of the word 'dongle', and one of them gets fired because some proud womyn of colour considered their lame jokes sexually oppressive and reported them.

Surprisingly, I never seem to have any problem not offending anybody. It's not something I have to try particularly hard to do either. It just comes down to treating everyone exactly like I treat everyone else. Yes, there are assholes of all genders and colors, but that's not BECAUSE they're of a certain gender or color, its because they're ASSHOLES. Making an environment that women feel comfortable in isn't tricky, women aren't like pieces of porcelain that have their feelings hurt at the drop of a hat. It's assumptions like that, or that assuming all women are like that ass who got people fired for making innocent jokes, that make women feel uncomfortable.

Vivi22:

FogHornG36:
If you are a successful business... Why? will that increase sales? produce a better product? Will it reduce overhead? will it make the stock price go up? Will having more women in the company help produce a product that plays to your core demographic?

The trouble with not having as many women in the industry is that you're cutting yourself off from about 50% of your potential market, 50% of your potential hiring pool, 50% of the population which could fundamentally have different ideas about how to make games, different creative ideas, and ideas on how to reach more gamers and new demographics.

The problem with that type of argument is that it suggests that no woman would buy a game unless a woman worked on it, and the reverse, that no man would buy a game unless a man worked on it. Clearly this isn't the case, as we've had several games whose developers were a single gender (whether a team or an independent passion project) that still sold to both genders. Does having women on your team help? It can, and if you're end goal is to specifically reach that type of audience then having someone on board can definitely highlight things you've missed. But at the end of the day, if a company is still making quite a high profit with their current team make-up, there's no intrinsic reason why to higher a female developer over a male one. It should always come down to skill and expertise, as that's what will eventually drive more individuals, men and women, to get into the games industry: well-made and engaging games. If the female developer is more skilled, hire her. If the male developer is more skilled, hire him.

In regards to the article:

Her belief seems to be that hiring practices are keeping women out of the games industry, while everything we've seen so far suggests the issue is coming from a lack of interest. In general, the types of courses and programs that deal with game design or development are predominantly male in the first place, and as a result, there are definitely going to be more male applicants than female applicants once their schooling is done. To me, if you really want women in the games industry, you have to make the education seem appealing so more women are likely to look into it. Ultimately this is an issue that will be solved not through changing hiring or company practices but by raising interest in the field.

Genocidicles:
"If you can't find women who can fit into culture, your company culture might suck,"

Because that will make women welcome in the workplace eh?

Sucking all the fun out of everything wont exactly endear the workplace to the women suddenly working there.

So "sucking all the fun out of everything" is what you consider necessary to make the workplace welcoming to women?

Says quite a lot right there of what you think about women.

Saying they suck the fun out of everything is a sweeping statement I would say. In our workplace that actually happened, but they were too old hags who joined the partnership so it was to be expected. The younger generation women can be just as fun as any male employee, just as there are men who can suck the fun out of a workplace as well.

The argument however is regarding gender discrimination.

I'm sorry, but if a woman applied for a position at my small company, and I was hiring, and she met my criteria...

I'd hire her. That's all there is to it. Full stop. Welcome to the team.

However...I would be a tiny bit frustrated, I suspect, because I'm sure my colleagues and I would have to curb some of the more risque jokes. This might seem petty, but hear me out. I grew up working in an industry that also is almost entirely the lads (digital FX/compositing), and consequently there has to be a concession allowed that our shennanigans might not be at a constant gender neutral. I'm not saying that I necessarily make sexist jokes- I'd rather not get into the nature of the humour itself. But I'll bet that we'll have to think before we make future cracks and japes and such, and honestly that will make the office environment change. It could introduce a guarded aspect that might essentially kill some level of the enjoyment of the job.

Again, I would never deny a woman a chance at a job in the industry she is interested in, simply because I was a little reserved at work after her appearance. But I could potentially resent that need for reservation. I can see that possibility, and there it is.

EDIT: I want to stress that I think that this is a minor, minor issue. Just thinking out loud about my own possible experiences, really.

Susan Arendt:
So "sucking all the fun out of everything" is what you consider necessary to make the workplace welcoming to women?

Says quite a lot right there of what you think about women.

I don't think it's necessary, but a lot of the people campaigning to get more women in tech fields certainly do.

People like Adria Richards, getting people fired for something as minor as telling a joke, all in the name of making the workplace more welcoming for women.

Mister Chippy:
Making an environment that women feel comfortable in isn't tricky, women aren't like pieces of porcelain that have their feelings hurt at the drop of a hat. It's assumptions like that, or that assuming all women are like that ass who got people fired for making innocent jokes, that make women feel uncomfortable.

You're probably right, but the assholes have the loudest voices. So if the companies listen to anyone, it will be the assholes wanting to ban jokes that might be considered risqué, regardless of how most of the women in the workforce feel about them.

Genocidicles:

Mister Chippy:
You know, one reason why women might not want to work in games might be because when someone says "If your culture makes women feel uncomfortable you might have a problem." the response is "But making women not feel uncomfortable sucks all the fun out of everything!"

Well it would suck the fun out of everything.

It would turn the workplace into a boring, sterile environment where people are always stepping on eggshells, worrying about being sent to sensitivity training or even fired if they so much as crack a joke.

It's not exactly new to the tech industry. What about 'Donglegate'? A couple of guys, joking amongst themselves about the silliness of the word 'dongle', and one of them gets fired because some proud womyn of colour considered their lame jokes sexually oppressive and reported them.

I have to co-sign this. Honestly I think that all this pushing to try and get women into tech is only going to make employers more wary of hiring women. It seems to cause more drama than anything. Lets just paint a picture here. You run a tech company comprised almost entirely of men. The people who work there are great at there jobs but a little rough around the edges socially. Now someone comes in and tells you that its not ok for you to have a majority of men working at your business and that you have to hire more women. Chances are you would never have a problem hiring whoever is the most qualified for whatever position you are trying to fill but not you have a quota to meet that says you have to hire someone because of what is between their legs as opposed to what is on their resume.

It creates distrust and disdain from your current employees who will constantly questioning why the people who got hired were hired. It disrupts your business from so many angles not least of which is the "stepping on eggshells" thing you mentioned. All of this considered I would say campaigning and complaining in regards to women in IT does more harm than good. The women who are actually interested will continue to do what they do and the women who are not will continue to seek other ventures. Employers will continue to hire whoever is best suited for the job and employees won't have to worry about getting passed up by someone who is less qualified to meet some invisible equal standard.

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