April 04 / 2024

nDreams Gender Pay Gap Report 2023

Starting in 2022, we at nDreams have been voluntarily publishing our gender pay gap data in the interests of transparency and with an ambition to help our industry move forward.

Since 2017, UK companies of more than 250 employees have been legally required to publicly report on various aspects of gender pay data. For the period covered by this report (4th April 2022 – 4th April 2023), our team size remained under this threshold, but we are reporting anyway as a reference point for other studios and to keep us accountable as we grow.

In our 2022 report, we were proud to report a -7% median pay gap – meaning that women earned more than men in median hourly pay, bucking the wider games industry median which is estimated at 17.1%.

However, despite being positive about that data, we understood that some of the factors contributing to this result were not sustainable. Overall the percentage of women was low (19%), and crucially this was reflected in the lowest pay quartile (also 19%), meaning that many more men were being hired into entry-level positions than women.

The nDreams Academy is our commitment to creating long-term impact and change for our industry by broadening access at the most crucial, difficult stage: that first step into the industry. In a notoriously hard-to-access sector, we believe that the best way to create sustained, genuine change is with outreach and opportunity creation that makes impact among traditionally marginalised demographics a cornerstone.

The 2023 data shows the impact of the Academy on female representation in entry-level roles, with the percentage of women in the lower quartile having grown from just 19% in 2022 to 45% in 2023. For us, this is the most heartening statistic from the 2023 report. Coupled with our Academy promotion rate of more than 80%, this promises to be our engine of change to narrow representation and pay gaps in the coming years.

Alongside this, the data shows the overall percentage of women at nDreams growing from 19% in 2022 to 23% in 2023 – still not where we want to be, but a positive change and something we believe will continue to trend upwards.

Throughout the reporting period, nDreams’ headcount increased from 121 to 196 – a growth of 61%, which obviously also has a bearing on some of the more dramatic year-on-year data swings included in the 2023 report. The addition of several senior men, not least with the acquisition of Near Light in December 2022, undoubtedly had an impact. Growth has continued since the reporting period at a considerable rate, and our team now contains more than 250 people across four studios.

When comparing mean hourly pay rates, men earned 20% more than women in financial year 2023, constituting a significant gender pay gap. When comparing median hourly pay rates, the gap is 35%. While this is disappointing, we attribute it primarily to the increase in women in the pay lower quartiles which has inevitably lowered the average for women throughout nDreams.

While the year-on-year shift appears stark, we understand the reasons behind the swing and are optimistic about seeing positive movement in future reports based on the longer-term investments we are making.

In addition to the aforementioned increase in women in the lower pay quartile, the percentage of women specifically in game development roles at nDreams also rose from just 10% in 2022 to 18% in 2023. All this contributes to a larger pay disparity than we would like in this snapshot, but overall these are important steps to take in achieving our long-term goals of broadening access to the games industry and encouraging the next generation of female industry leaders.

We will continue to be transparent with our progress as we keep working to make this happen.

The full Gender Pay Gap Report for 2023 can be read here.

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