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There Are Still Too Few Women Developers, ESA Says

Currently, 22 percent of industry positions are held by women and "that's not good enough," according to Michael Gallagher.


Speaking this week at the DICE Summit in Las Vegas, the CEO of the Entertainment Software Association, the group that puts on E3 every year and represents the industry's interests in Washington, said there are still too few women developers in the business.

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As reported by, Michael Gallagher said about 22 percent of industry jobs today are held by women. He said the percentage of women in other technology sector fields is "dramatically lower," but he's still not satisfied.

"I'm so encouraged about the growth trajectory and the positive trajectory of this industry when it comes to diversity," Gallagher said. "If you look at what our industry currently represents, we have 22 percent of the jobs in our industry held by women. Now in other parts of tech sector, it's dramatically lower. It's in the mid-teens. Now that's not good enough and we know it's not good enough."

He went on to say that the percentage stands to rise, in part because today 31 percent of students enrolled in the 180 schools in the Higher Education Video Game Alliance are women.

"So we have 31 percent more that are coming," Gallagher said. "That's helpful. It's nowhere near that for engineering. When you look at most other major universities, they're operating around 15 percent, 16 percent. So I see the pipeline looks much brighter when it comes to the diversity issues of today."

Also during his talk, Gallagher cited the fact that games today, specifically major releases from big-name companies, are now letting you play as a female character. Two examples include Call of Duty: Black Ops III and Assassin's Creed Syndicate. "I think we can be very encouraged by that," he said.

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High-profile games due out this year that feature female characters in lead roles include Mirror's Edge Catalyst, Horizon: Zero Dawn, and ReCore, among others.

"The male gender does not have the monopoly on heroism," ReCore writer Joseph Staten said in a December interview. "Joule [the hero of ReCore] is emblematic of this conviction, and we hope she's a character who stands strong and stands out in a market filled with male heroes."

In related news, a recent study found that men and women play video games almost equally.

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