Video Games

Department for Culture Media and Sport written question – answered on 23rd February 2015.

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Photo of Jim McGovern Jim McGovern Labour, Dundee West

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to (a) tackle the gender pay gap and (b) increase the number of women in the video games industry.

Photo of Ed Vaizey Ed Vaizey Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy (Jointly with Department for Business, Innovation and Skills), Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy (Jointly with Department for Culture Media and Sport)

Changes to the national curriculum mean all children now have the opportunity to learn to code and initiatives such as the Your Life campaign, and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) Ambassadors help challenge gender stereotypes and encourage more girls to consider careers in the video games sector.

‪We are working with industry on developing new routes into video games development, including the Next Gen Skills Academy and Creative Skillset’s trainee placement scheme. Initiatives specifically designed to help address barriers to women working in the video games industry include the Next Gen Skills Academy's Gender Balance Workforce programme. This is investigating career challenges faced by women in the games industry and offering practical workshops and knowledge sharing, for employees and employers, based on the evidence collected.

‪For women in the workforce the Government has extended the right to request flexible working to all employees, and is introducing a new system of shared parental leave from April 2015. To help women return to the sector Government will provide support for a dedicated platform to match STEM trained women graduates to return to jobs in industry following career breaks and to provide them with advice and information about support on offer.

The Government will make free software available to all UK companies later this year which will enable them to calculate their gender pay gap easily, and help them identify issues preventing women from progressing in their career

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