Social Responsibility

Women face occupational segregation in nearly every industry. The majority of women in the United States work in male-dominated workspaces, where they are relegated to traditionally ‘feminine’ roles, such as the marketing or administration divisions, rarely seeing opportunities for advancement. The games industry—in particular—is one of the most egregious offenders of this. A 2011 study by the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) showed 73% of women in the industry work outside the main jobs of developing games, which means that they have little voice in the content, interactions styles, character representation, and reward systems involved in games. (Source: (Links to an external site.))

Yet, women make up a much larger percentage of gamers than developers. A 2014 study saw over 5 million American women report playing on their consoles at least five days a week. Similar studies found that 52% of gamers in the UK and 47% in Australia were female. (Sources: (Links to an external site.); (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.)) Female gamers have been very lucrative for the video game companies that have catered to them. “Women have helped make gaming one of the country’s fastest-growing entertainment moneymakers,” says Drew Harwell of the Washington Post, and this is made strikingly clear if one looks at the revenue of a game like Candy Crush Saga, which rakes in well over a billion dollars every year. This revenue mainly comes from the approximately 93 million people who play the game on a daily basis, 60% of which are women, many spending thousands of dollars on this app, individually.
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Using this topic as a prompt, please discuss the following questions:

To answer the questions below, you may reference any news articles such as the three linked above or chapters from the text book including the ones on Influence of the External Environment and the Organization’s Culture, Managing Diversity, and Managing Social Responsibility and Ethics to support your arguments. You should not only make an argument, but also support it with theories or evidence from the textbook and/or online sources.

1.What is the social responsibility of a video game company in helping to increase the number of female game developers? Please cite specific theories to support your argument.

2.What external factors are holding companies back from increasing their gender diversity for this job?

3.What cultural factors (organizational or national) are limiting women’s advancement in this position?

4.What ideas do you have for increasing gender diversity in video game development? Describe at least two ideas and explain why they would help increase the number of women in video game development.

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