International Men’s Day 2021: Gender Equality & Gaming
On November 19th every year, International Men’s Day celebrates the positive value men bring to the world, their families, and communities.
One of the six objectives of the day is to improve gender relations and promote gender equality. This year’s theme is better relations between men and women.
Gender Equality in Video Games
In gaming, gender equality has always created a great divide. Whilst some of the most iconic characters of all time are women – Lara Croft, Last Of Us’ Ellie, Final Fantasy’s Lightning – in 2020, only 18% of games featured female protagonists.
In the same year, 23% of games featured male protagonists, whilst 3% starred non-binary characters. Of course, the gaming industry is shifting as 54% of games in 2020 offered players the choice of being male or female (Statista,2021).
The UK Games Industry Census 2020 confirms that there’s gaps in equality for people working in games. 70% of respondents said they were male, 28% female, and 2% non-binary or other. The fraction of women working in games is significantly below the overall UK workforce. Notably, 70% of people in managerial roles in games are male whilst just 29% are female.
We’re big believers in promoting the importance of diversity in gaming. However it’s not something that can be done alone or happen overnight. We need everyone to rally together to build a better industry and empower all genders in gaming.
Here’s some of our favourite initiatives and organisations you can get involved in.
#RaiseTheGame is a collaborative pledge to improve equality, diversity and inclusion in the games industry. Their mission is to create cultures where everyone belongs, voices are heard and ideas can thrive.
The campaign aims to inspire cultural and behavioural change in all games-related businesses. They want pledgers to demonstrate how they’ve undertaken activity to improve equality, diversity and inclusion by the end of2021.
Some of their pledge partners include EA, Facebook Gaming,King, and XBOX. This means they’ve pledged to create initiatives to improve equality and inclusion.
You can learn more here.
2. Women In Games
Women In Games is a not-for-profit organisation run by global activists for women in games and esports. They’ve developed a grassroots community online, providing safe spaces for support as well as forums to develop counter measures to unacceptable behaviours in games.
They believe that getting more women into games should be a national priority. Their major belief is that work must be done to make gender equity a lasting reality.
They currently run a range of initiatives such as their annual festival, awards, and career events which showcase creative work of women across the globe who make games.
You can find out more and get involved here.
3. Putting the G into Gaming
Putting the G into Gaming is a campaign to build more gender diverse and inclusive workplaces in games with actional steps. Their four focus areas are:
- Attracting women from outside the industry into games.
- Supporting women already in the industry.
- Working with schools and universities to promote games as an attractive career option for girls and young women.
- Providing studios with practical advice on how they can address gender imbalance.
Whether you’re male or female, you can become G into GamingChampions of Change to help support the initiative. As a platform for everyone, you can help them provide a hub for positivity, real ideas, real actions and real change.
You can learn more and get involved here.
4. Games [4Diversity]
Games[4Diversity] contributes to the representation of socio-cultural minorities in games by organising events internationally.
Their aim is to improve the representation of minorities in games. They work towards this by facilitating dialogue between game developers and players to stimulate them to create more diverse games and characters.
They aim to boost the visibility of minority game developers in order to create and promote a diverse and colourful game industry. Their team consists of gaming industry professionals collaborating for change.
You can learn more about their events here.
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