The technology industry is a rapidly growing and influential sector of our economy, responsible for creating and shaping the digital tools and platforms we rely on every day. However, despite its importance and growth, it has long been plagued by a lack of diversity and representation. Underrepresented groups, including women, people of color, and members of the LGBTQ+ community, make up a small percentage of the tech workforce.
Women, in particular, are underrepresented in the tech field, making up only around 26% of the workforce (according to data from the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT).
Women are also underrepresented in the gaming industry, with only 22% of game developers being women, according to data from the International Game Developers Association (IGDA), and women are more likely to leave the tech industry than men, with over 40% of women in tech leaving the industry within a decade, according to data from the AnitaB.org.
Additionally, women are often underrepresented in leadership roles. Only 5% of leadership positions in tech companies are held by women, according to data from the National Science Board (NSB).
This lack of representation not only perpetuates the industry’s gender bias but also stifles innovation and creativity.
The importance of diversity and representation in the tech industry cannot be overstated. Not only does it ensure that everyone has an equal opportunity to contribute to the industry, but it also leads to better products and services. Studies have shown (Forbes, “Diversity Confirmed To Boost Innovation And Financial Results”) that diverse teams are more innovative and perform better than homogenous teams. Furthermore, representation matters because it ensures that the products and services that are created reflect the needs and perspectives of all users.
The lack of representation in the tech and gaming industry is a complex issue that is rooted in a variety of factors, including societal biases and lack of access to resources and mentorship.
Here are some ways we can better support underrepresented groups in technology, and how GameDevHQ is doing its part:
(1) Encourage and support women and underrepresented groups to pursue careers in technology:
This can be done by providing mentorship and networking opportunities, as well as offering resources and training programs to help women develop the skills they need to succeed in the tech industry.
GameDevHQ’s Initiatives to support this: Starting on February 1, 2023, we are launching a $3000 scholarship for women who qualify for our Professional Unity Developers Program.
For the month of March (in recognition of International Women’s Day on March 8), we are donating $250 for every new female student that joins our Professional Unity Developers Program to a non-profit organization that supports and fosters women in tech.
(2) Promote diversity and inclusivity in the workplace:
This can be achieved by implementing policies and practices that actively promote diversity and inclusivity, such as offering flexible work arrangements, providing employee resource groups for underrepresented groups, and encouraging open and honest communication about diversity and inclusivity.
GameDevHQ’s Initiatives to support this: We have an unlimited PTO policy, and flexible work hours. We measure results, not hours, for all of our team members and we actively look for opportunities for our team members to grow and develop into the careers and positions they desire.
(3) Support and invest in initiatives that support women and underrepresented groups in tech:
Organizations such as GameDevHQ and the Professional Unity Developers Program are working to support and empower women in the tech industry. By supporting and investing in these initiatives, we can help to create a more diverse and inclusive tech industry.
GameDevHQ’s Initiatives to support this: One of our key goals this year as a company is to actively seek opportunities to support and become ambassadors for women in tech.
In the past year, we have shifted from a core team made up 100% of men, to one that is currently 50% representation by women.
(4) Promote women in leadership roles:
By promoting women in leadership roles, we can help to create role models and inspire other women to pursue careers in technology.
GameDevHQ’s Initiatives to support this: The appointment of myself, Crystal Coleman, as Chief Operations Officer and second in command here at GameDevHQ, was one of our first purposeful steps to promoting and demonstrating our dedication to supporting women in leadership in technology companies.
(5) Address unconscious bias:
Unconscious bias can be a barrier to women in the tech industry. By recognizing and addressing unconscious bias, we can create a more inclusive and welcoming environment for women in tech.
GameDevHQ’s Initiatives to support this: Purposefully acknowledging unconscious bias in the conversations we have, the language we use in our training, and in our marketing materials.
(6) Create a culture of learning and development:
Encourage and support women to continue learning and developing their skills throughout their careers. This can be done by providing opportunities for training, mentorship and development programs.
GameDevHQ’s Initiatives to support this: We are actively engaging our female and female identifying student body to understand and foster a supporting and engaging community.
(7) Engage with women in the industry: Actively seek out and engage with women in the tech industry, whether through networking events, conferences, or other industry events.
GameDevHQ’s Initiatives to support this: My mission as COO in 2023, is to build relationships, and develop a network with organizations and individuals that support women in technology.
(8) Celebrate women’s achievements:
Highlighting and celebrating the achievements of women in the tech industry can help to inspire and encourage other women to pursue careers in technology.
GameDevHQ’s Initiatives to support this: We are developing case studies, success stories and marketing messages that feature, elevate and celebrate our female and female identifying students, and their successes.
Supporting women and other underrepresented groups in tech, and specifically, the gaming industry, is crucial for the industry’s growth and success. The lack of diversity and representation in the tech industry perpetuates gender bias and stifles innovation and creativity.
Initiatives like those outlined above is our commitment as GameDevHQ to empower women in tech by providing resources, mentorship, and opportunities for collaboration and learning. By supporting these initiatives, we can work to bridge the gender gap and create a more inclusive and equitable tech industry for everyone.
We’d love to hear from you. What are your favorite organizations that support Women in Games and Women in Tech?