Long hours and poor workplace structures are just some of the reasons given for the tiny number of female videogame professionals in the UK.
A study conducted by PhD student Julie Prescott at the University of Liverpool suggests that women account for just one out of every twenty-five people working in the UK videogame industry, representing a drop of 8% since 2006.
Prescott gathered data from over 450 women working in the videogame industry via an online survey. The participants hailed from countries all over the world, mostly the USA and UK, but also Canada, Australia, New Zealand and more besides. Of those surveyed, Prescott found that a third worked forty-five or more hours a week and eighty percent felt that their company had a "long hours" culture. According to Prescott, more flexible hours, and better provisions for childcare would help the industry retain more women, and she said that one of the biggest reasons given for women thinking about leaving the industry was dissatisfaction with their working environment.
4% is incredibly low, although I'd be surprised if dissatisfaction with their working environment was the only reason for so few women in the UK videogame industry. It would be interesting to get more information from those who actually had left the industry, rather than those who were just thinking about it. It seems like it would give a more complete picture.