Female Composers in Games Industry See Gender-Based Pay Penalty, New Study Finds

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As GameSoundCon, the annual conference for game music composers, is set to begin on Tuesday, Sept. 27, in Los Angeles, the profession finds itself in the dichotomous position of being in a Renaissance Age for sound technology, but in the Dark Ages when it comes to income equality, a recent industry survey shows. The penalty for being a woman in game audio is roughly equal to two years' of experience, according to an independent analysis of the survey. In other words, a woman with eight years of experience composing music for video games was compensated on the same level as a man with six years of experience.

The analysis was based on data gathered online via the Game Audio Industry Survey, which tracks compensation, working conditions, contact terms and production information for the video game music and sound industry. The survey included responses from 526 men and 51 women. The 10:1 ratio of respondents mirrors the gender composition of the industry as a whole, said Brian Schmidt, a veteran interactive music composer and sound designer and executive director of GameSoundCon, which commissions the annual industry survey. This is the first year survey organizers have commissioned an independent analysis of the gender data -- largely because there were so few women in prior surveys for there to be a valid sample, Schmidt said.
 

Nukester

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Wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong. Whoever gets the job has done a good job and UNDERCUT the price of the competition. If equally qualified man and woman apply for a job and the woman is less expensive, the woman gets hired and the man hits the unemployment line again. Advantage Woman.
 

NeoNemesis

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Wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong. Whoever gets the job has done a good job and UNDERCUT the price of the competition. If equally qualified man and woman apply for a job and the woman is less expensive, the woman gets hired and the man hits the unemployment line again. Advantage Woman.

Unless the hiring manager is biased in favor of hiring a guy.
 

Armenius

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There is no link to the data in the news article, or am I just not seeing it?

Anyway, if you look at the last paragraph you'll see that they're doing the old aggregation of all positions within the industry to come up with the pay gap. Good old snake oil being used once again.

"There tends to be two main salary peaks," Schmidt explained. "One is around $60,000 a year, and another is around $140,000 a year. That jump occurs when you shift into a manager, director or other leadership role." In other words, having more women in leadership roles would significantly tip the salary average higher for females. "I think it's important for people to see women as leaders and experts in the field of game music composition and sound design," Schmidt said.

EDIT: Oh, and I missed this gold in the paragraph right above it.

As for what can be done to balance the scales, Schmidt says he's doing two things off the bat. The first is acknowledging the bias in a roundtable discussion at this week's GameSoundCon conference. The second is to schedule a disproportionate number of women speakers at the conference, both to broaden the perception of what a game music composer should look like and to encourage more women to seek leadership roles.

So game music composers should look like women because reasons? Let's go to the source of the issue like those so often brought up about STEM and see how many women there actually are in the job pool.
 

griff30

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they_say_a_womans_work_is_never_done._2844428429.jpg
 

lcpiper

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There is no link to the data in the news article, or am I just not seeing it?

Anyway, if you look at the last paragraph you'll see that they're doing the old aggregation of all positions within the industry to come up with the pay gap. Good old snake oil being used once again.

"There tends to be two main salary peaks," Schmidt explained. "One is around $60,000 a year, and another is around $140,000 a year. That jump occurs when you shift into a manager, director or other leadership role." In other words, having more women in leadership roles would significantly tip the salary average higher for females. ".......................................................................and to encourage more women to seek leadership roles."

So game music composers should look like women because reasons? Let's go to the source of the issue like those so often brought up about STEM and see how many women there actually are in the job pool.

So again, someone is complaining about how women don't earn enough because they don't want to become managers and if they were out to be managers their pay would add up better.

I understand the women, I don't want to be a manager. Particularly in IT, middle managment is just a lot of extra headaches for no additional pay.

The last contract I was on, my supervisor busted his ass on the proposal so we could win the contract. After we won, the company offered him a new position with a pay cut so bad he just quit.

Who wants that?
 

Bankie

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I'm guessing that they're ignoring the reasons for the "wage gap" that all of the feminists ignore; that women on average work less hours per men and that men are more aggressive when it comes to negotiating their starting salaries and raises.
 

raz-0

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I'll at least give the article minor points for 1) noting the discrenpency was 3%. and 2) mentioning that might be due to negotiations and that part of the negotiation gap may actually be about how the women deal with it rather than some patriarchal conspiracy.
 

thejokker

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Unless the hiring manager is biased in favor of hiring a guy.
Spoken like a neutered feminist SJW...

The idea that a composer should be judged on their experience rather than talent is absurd. In the next few months we are going to witness an epic backlash to feminism/SWJ that will last years. People who buy into this nonsense are not smarter or more enlightened; rather quite the opposite...
 
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Unless the hiring manager is biased in favor of hiring a guy.

Equal pay for equal work laws, in my estimation, hinders anyone that is going to be under-qualified or biased against. It takes away the only advantage a person has if the recruiter has prejudice. At least if the recruiter is going to be sexist or (insert reason), he'll make the company incur a cost for his discrimination.
 

Ur_Mom

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Unless the hiring manager is biased in favor of hiring a guy.

Maybe. But, unless he comes out and admits it, it's all fluff.

It's very possible that someone is hiring a man vs. a woman just because of the gender aspect. There are thousands of other variables that can come into play - experience, talent, fits in company environment, more likable, better communicator, etc... Unless they say "The woman was better, but I went with the guy because men are cool and women belong in the kitchen.", it'll just be a guess.

Are they paid less? Sure. Stats show that. It doesn't show WHY, though. It could have absolutely nothing to do with gender, but any of the other things.
 
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There are just plain fewer women doing composition, synthesis, recording, etc. That doesn't mean there aren't women doing these things, and that also doesn't mean that these women aren't equally talented to the men. There are just a lot less of them. I design analog synthesizers. I hang out in forums, and go to meets, etc. There are a some women doing this stuff, some designing synths, some composers, sound designers, but the ratio to men is tiny. Plain and simple. The ones that are doing this stuff are great at it, but there aren't many. (in comparison) I can't give numbers, as it's purely observational, but it's very apparent.

Even among the women that I know personally, a few of them think that the stuff I build, and the music I make with it is pretty cool. Even fewer might actually want to touch the stuff. For the most part though, the rest don't take more than a passing "hey that's kinda cool" interest, and some have no clue what I'm doing or why, and don't want to know. This is a small scale real world observation, but I have a feeling it mirrors the way these industries work pretty closely.

I've known quite a few women that DJ, have been through audio production schools, and do some of this work professionally or semi-professionally, but for everyone one of them, I know 10-20 men doing the same thing. Talent and skill are talent and skill, whether you're a man or a woman, but there's no denying there are less women with these in audio-related fields. I seriously doubt the men are "keeping them out". In fact, most men I know would happily welcome more women into our areas of interest. Or fuck, more people in general.

So... I roll my eyes at the article. My answer, is get more women interested in this stuff, and more of them will get more jobs in the field, gain experience, and get paid similarly.
 

Merc1138

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So this article claims that there's a 3% wage gap, and less women in higher paying positions.

Wait a minute. That's not the 30% wage gap that people try convincing everyone exists. 3%? That's the difference between someone asking for a little more pay, and someone else who doesn't, OR someone who has been in a position longer than someone else and received a minor salary increase over time.
"Because all their role models are male, women may not ask for as much pay or offered as much money because there's a perception that they don't look like what you would think of as a music composer, and, therefore, they're not as good,
In other words, if you don't ask... you won't receive. Duh.

"There tends to be two main salary peaks," Schmidt explained. "One is around $60,000 a year, and another is around $140,000 a year. That jump occurs when you shift into a manager, director or other leadership role." In other words, having more women in leadership roles would significantly tip the salary average higher for females. "I think it's important for people to see women as leaders and experts in the field of game music composition and sound design," Schmidt said.
Well maybe if more women wanted to be in the industry, they'd have more representation within it. If there is a hiring manager who actually has a bias, they're a minority. Most people do not give a damn and simply care about results. If you don't get the applicants, you can't simply hire based on an agenda that has nothing to do with performance on the job and expect success.

Having been involved in the hiring process including interviews for STEM related positions, when you get one female applicant who is clearly under qualified based on their resume alone compared to 50 others, what can you do about it? Nothing. I suspect that even though this is in the audio industry(at least in one regard) the same thing applies.
 
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