Nintendo’s annual report highlights the inequality that reigns between women and men at the Japanese video game giant.
Perhaps even more than in other sectors, the video game industry is deeply behind in terms of equality between men and women. In 2023, it still seems natural for some to wonder if is gaming sexist » at a table of men, and for others if « there are too many female protagonists? in a medium where the typical protagonist is a 30-year-old brown-haired white man.
This problem is found both among players in front of the screen, in the diversity of characters on screen, but also among those who create video games. As evidenced by Nintendo’s latest annual report.
A woman: 70 cents, a man: 1 dollar
GamesIndustry was able to identify this data published by Nintendo in its 95-page report addressed to investors. The site indicates that Nintendo still identifies a large difference in salaries between men and women in its teams. On average, when a Nintendo employee receives 70 cents, an employee will earn a dollar. The situation would be better for contract workers or the difference in salary would be 91 cents for 1 dollar.
However, Nintendo tries to justify this situation in its report.
The pay gap between male and female regular employees is mainly due to differences in seniority and average age. There is no difference in treatment between men and women in terms of salary or evaluation system.
In other words, for equal positions, women and men would have the right to the same level of remuneration. The problem is underlying: men would be more likely to receive promotions within Nintendo. The posts of management at Nintendo are 95.8% occupied by men.
Why 95.8% of managers are men?
We can also wonder if this disproportion is due to women abandoning them earlier in their careers. Nintendo of America has been accused of a toxic work environment with sexual harassment. However, the report does not return to these questions.
The industry’s ability to retain its creators is one of the challenges of video game development in 2023. The culture of permanent crunch and ambient toxicity tend to disgust newcomers despite their passion for the media. Those who manage to get away with taking positions of responsibility are also those who can reproduce the patterns that have seen them succeed. In the case of Nintendo, but they are no exception, replicating these patterns can mean recruiting or promoting men.
On this point, Nintendo seems to be a good student since on average, an employee remains 14 years on average at the Japanese giant, for an average age of 39.9 years.
Nintendo recognizes the problem
The good news is that Nintendo seems to be aware of the problem and the demand would come above all from consumers.
As the interests and preferences of our consumers continue to diversify in the world of entertainment, leveraging a diverse workforce is essential to building the collective strength of the company. At Nintendo, we actively recruit and promote talent regardless of factors such as gender, age, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity.
Hopefully the method chosen by Nintendo will improve diversity in its recruitment. As the firm reminds us, it is also this diversity that makes it possible to create richer games that can appeal to a greater diversity of people.
Among the measures taken by Nintendo to improve equality between women and men, the firm highlights its leave policy after the birth of a child.
We are also aware of the importance of creating environments in which employees can perform at their best. We are actively working to improve support systems and encourage the use of childcare leave, including for male employees who help raise children.
Like the GamesIndustry reminder, this report helps to shed light on the concerns at Nintendo, but these are problems that extend to the video game industry. And in the broad sense, since the specialized press is no exception, CssTricks included.
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