A new report by the American Gaming Association (AGA) has revealed that the gaming sector is “significantly” more diverse than the US workforce as a whole.
According to the trade association, 61% of employees in the gaming sector are racial minorities compared to 52% of the broader hospitality industry and 42% of the total US workforce.
This comprises the 23% of those working in hospitality coming from Hispanic backgrounds, and the 19% who are black, both of which is above the total US workforce in general, and in line with the hospitality industry in specific. The 14% of employees who are of Asian-descent means that the group is over-represented in the sector at around twice the national average.
“Consumers, policymakers and investors are raising their expectations for all businesses on how they contribute to society beyond the bottom line,” said AGA President and CEO Bill Miller. “Encompassing data from across commercial, tribal and manufacturing gaming verticals, the survey both highlights our industry’s leadership on diversity while presenting areas for continued progress.”
Among operators, this racial diversity is a departure from the situation a decade ago. In 2011, the percentage of operators from non-white backgrounds stood at close to 20%, as opposed to the 60% reported today. Black employees have also increased their proportion of the operator workforce, now making up 19% of the total, rising from 12% in 2011.
Gaming manufacturers also have a more diverse workforce than the broader electronic manufacturing sector as a whole; 45% of employees in gaming manufacturing are minorities, while 38% are in the sector as a whole.
These positions are limited to entry-level jobs, the AGA emphasizes in its report that the sector’s leadership pipeline is more diverse than the national average at the mid-level management and professional levels. 45% of middle managers and 43% of professionals are minorities which the lobbying organisation highlights are “both 10 to 12 points above national and hospitality benchmarks”.
More work needed
However, the AGA admits that more work still needs to be done on gender balance. According to the study, while the gaming sector is in-line with the US total workforce at 48% female, this proportion drops for more senior positions.
“There is no quick fix when it comes to workforce diversity and every industry faces unique challenges related to hiring, workforce development and employee retention,” said the AGA in the report.
“Workforce diversity is especially important for the gaming industry. As a continuously evolving sector that provides cutting-edge entertainment offerings, gaming requires a workforce that can create experiences that appeal to a diverse range of consumers and outcompete other entertainment options,” it continued.
“The AGA looks forward to discussing these findings with our members and working collaboratively together to create more diverse, inclusive workplaces and to best serve the communities where we operate.”