BAME in Games launch UK wide mentorship programme

Advocacy group BAME in Games is please to announce a mentorship programme aimed at encouraging more diverse talent to wok in the Games Industry by connecting aspiring young people with industry professionals.

The initiative has already garnered supportive partnerships with Electric Square, Studio Gobo and Developing Minds. Together, the organisations have created the Games Digital Mentorship Programme.

As part of the programme, one-to-one mentorship will be offered mentor support with the aim of helping individuals to reach their goals within the games industry.

The initiative uses the Prospela Platform. If you are interested in joining the programme, be it as a mentor or mentee, you can do so here. The Games Digital Mentorship programme is free to join.

BAME in Games Chair Kish Hirani listed in top 100 most influential BAME leaders in the Tech Sector

Kish Hirani, Chair of BAME in Games and CTO of Terra Virtua has today been announced as part of the #IB100 – a list of the top 100 most influential black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) leaders in the Tech Sector. Now in its second year, the list has been produced by board appointments firm Inclusive Boards in partnership with the Financial Times.
The list is published online, and in print in the UK and Europe as part of an FT special report into Diversity in Tech. In 2018, Inclusive Boards research found that 74.5% of Boards in the tech sector had no BAME members and that BAME people made up just 8.5% of senior leaders (Directors and Executives) in the sector.
As part of their Inclusive Tech Alliance (ITA) campaign, Inclusive Boards is calling on tech companies to implement inclusive working practices to fix the progression challenges currently facing BAME individuals from moving to senior leadership positions. This year’s #IB100 list showcases role models to encourage and inspire tech’s future BAME senior leaders.

Elizabeth Oni-Iyiola, Development Director at Inclusive Boards, said:
‘Technology is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the UK and beyond. It’s crucial that as these sectors expand so too does the level of representation within them. Kish and those featured today are groundbreakers, changemakers and role models within the industry and we are proud to include them in this years #IB100.’

Kish said: “Very honoured to be listed one of the 100 BAME leaders in Tech. I’m the only one from the mainstream videogame industry, but I hope to see many more in years to come as our diverse industry talent is fostered and celebrated.”
Those featured in the list include the most influential leaders from tech companies such as DeepMind, Google, IBM, Larsen & Toubro Infotech, Microsoft, Monzo, Rolls-Royce, Twitter and Seedcamp.

BAME in Games Monthly Meetups in London and South East

BAME in Games is a community dedicated to encouraging and supporting more diverse talent to work in the games industry. We meet regularly on the last Tuesday of each Month.

Please join over 400 others by signing up to our Meetup Group at

Our Meetups  in the last year were hosted by Huckletree West, Pivotal Games, Ukie, Pearson College London, the British Film Institute, Media Molecule, IGDA London, Ustwo Games, Sports Interactive and Twitch.

We thanks all our hosts without whom these events would not take place. If you have a venue that would be interested in hosting a future meeting, please contact us!

Join the Network calling for more diversity in the games and wider entertainment industry.

LinkedInJoin the professional network for diversity advocates in mobile, online and console gaming, VR, AR, eSports, VFX, animation and wider entertainment industry. If you work or want to work in the entertainment sector and you are a member of LinkedIn, you can now get together with others who share the same interests. Don’t miss out on the inside track.

Please link through to . Start a discussion, share news! Just join the group and start networking. Good luck.

£23.7m proposed for games industry. But Creative Industries are too “white and middle class.”

bazalgetteAn independent review, led by the current Chair of ITV Sir Peter Bazalgette, outlining key recommendations for how the Creative Industries can underpin the UK’s future economic growth was launched in London on Friday 22nd September at the Royal Institute of British Architects. Listening were 2 Secretaries of State, Greg Clark, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and Karen Bradley, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

The review sets out areas where, as part of the Industrial Strategy, government and industry should work together to develop a Sector Deal for the Creative Industries. With a particular focus on addressing barriers to growth in these industries, the review makes recommendations across the following areas:

  • Creative Clusters (key recommendation)
  • Innovation
  • Access to finance
  • Intellectual Property
  • International
  • Skills / talent pipelines
  • Screen industries

23.7 million is proposed for the games industry with an extension of the UK Games Fund. However, Sir Peter made the point in his presentation that the creative industries were still “too white and middle class.” His reports states: “A diverse workforce is pivotal to the innovative and creative processes that give the UK Creative Industries their global competitive advantage. Moreover, under-represented groups constitute an untapped domestic pool of raw talent that, if provided with the relevant skills, could be used to fill the skills gaps facing the Creative Industries.
At a strategic level, industry recognises the importance of addressing its diversity challenges but coordinated employer-led action is difficult where so many businesses are micro or SME.”

Here is the Full Report.

BAME in Games network launched to attract more diverse talent to the games industry

Tanya Laird, Kish Hirani and Adam CampbellThe UK games industry today launches an advocacy group to encourage more diverse talent to work in the games and wider entertainment industry. The group will manage a professional network to encourage discussion and collaboration on diversity and make available speakers for conferences and events. The network is free to join and open to everyone interested in the entertainment sector at

Creative Skillset’s Employment Census 2015 for games and other Creative Media sectors published in March showed that the representation of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups remains disappointingly low at 4.0% down from 4.7% in 2012. The UK average for BAME employment across all industries is 30% in London and 10% nationally.

David Smith, Founder of Women in Games and now BAME in Games, explained “We would like to provide some focus on the talent that the games industry is failing to attract. Games and the wider entertainment industry should attract the very best from all backgrounds. We want to nurture more talent from minority groups. We can also do more to promote the benefits of a diverse workforce.”

The first Chair of the group is Kish Hirani who has worked at the BBC, THQ, Microsoft and most recently, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe. He is supported by two vice chairs, Tanya Laird of Digital Jam and Adam Campbell of Hopster.

Kish Hirani, Chair of BAME in Games commented “Diversity brings so many advantages. It makes creative sense. It makes business sense. And games creators can truly represent the diversity of those who play games. Help us build a network that makes the games industry a place that attracts talented people from all walks of life. We want everyone in games to join us in any capacity they feel comfortable, starting with simply joining our professional network on LinkedIn.”

Creative Skillsets Employment Census 2015 for games and other Creative Media sectors now published

creative skillsetThis article was first published by Women in Games WIGJ on 23 April 2016.

Did you complete Creative Skillset Employment Census for games and all other Creative Media sectors launched in September of last year ? 657 employers or organisations did.

We know this as the results have now been published on the Creative Skillset website without any fanfare at

The finding are remarkable and critical to all bodies interested in employment and the makeup of the Creative Media sectors. No press release has been issued by Sector Skills Council, Creative Skillset to signal that the numbers are in the public domain. But we should be grateful that the numbers have been crunched and made available on their web site. Creative Skillset has been publishing these surveys since at least 2006. They are to be commended for working on this survey every 3 years to bring to the UK the results that are so important in understanding how industries are growing and creating wealth with analysis on the representation of women and Black Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) talent, the workforce by region and freelance employment status. Most European counties do not collect this data at national level and are unable to formulate and measure the effects of policy impacting at sector level.

Women in Games has reproduced below 2 tables from the Survey and has commented on possible headlines in the 2015 data. In understanding the data, there are some health warning on comparative data because of a change in methodology and weighting compared to previous Employment Censuses. To underline this, what started out as the regular 3 year Employment ‘Census’ when launched in the autumn of last year has now been renamed the 2015 Employment ‘Survey’. The Key Findings published by Creative Skillset have included comparable figures from the 2 previous surveys for reference so we will be including and commenting on trend data. Often this is the most interesting analysis. The 2015 will be the most reliable data ever published as it is clear that more and more effort has been put into tying the numbers down. Only 371 organisation responded to the 2012 Census in comparison. Just bear in mind that the data in previous years – which was thought to be the best data available at the time – will not be quite as robust.


  • The 7 Creative Media Sectors in the UK – TV, Radio, Post Production, Film, Animation, VFX and Games – employed 147050 in the autumn of 2015.
  • The TV Sector in the UK is the largest of 7 Creative Media Sectors employing 58650 which is 40% of the total in Creative Media.
  • The UK Film Sector now employs 38150 and is second biggest employer in the Creative Media sector behind the TV sector.
  • TV and Film combined employ almost 97000 people or 2/3 of the Creative Media sector.
  • After TV & Film, 5 sectors, Radio, Games, VFX, Post Production and Animation, are each reported to employ between 13550 and 7750 in their own right.
  • Games is now the fourth largest employer after TV, Film and Radio and at 10300 has almost doubled in size since the last Survey in 2012.
  • VFX employs 10000 in UK and like Games with 10300 is growing employment faster than any other Creative Media Sector.
  • Employment in UK Radio, 13550, and Post Production, 8560, has not changed significantly in the last 3 years.
  • The number employed in Animation sector in UK at 7750 makes it is the smallest Creative Media sector but it has grown substantially since 2012.
  • 39% of those employed in 7 Creative Media Sectors in UK – TV, Radio, Post Production, Film, Animation, VFX and Games – are women, 57800 out of a total of 147050. k
  • The Terrestrial Broadcast subsector of TV in the Creative Media industry in UK is the first to achieve parity in the workforce – 50% men and 50% women in the history of the Creative Skillset Census.
  • The representation of women in the Cable and Satellite subsector of TV at 32% is substantially below the TV subsectors of Terrestrial Broadcast (50%) and Independent Production (47%)
  • TV and Film combined employ almost 42600 women which is 73% of women in Creative Media industry. #employment #CreativeCensus2015
  • More women are employed in Radio 46% than TV 45% and Film 43% but these sectors employ substantially more than the newer industries of Animation 30%, VFX 26%, Post Production 24% and Games 19%.
  • The games industry continues to employ the fewest women in Creative Media Sector but the growth in recent years is remarkable with almost 2000 now making games compared to 400 in 2009.
  • There are more women working in Television in the UK than all the men working in the Games, VFX and Animation industries combined. #diversity #CreativeCensus2015
  • Just 7% of those employed in 7 Creative Media Sectors in UK – TV, Radio, Post Production, Film, Animation, VFX and Games are men and women of colour compared to 13% of UK population
  • 9% of those employed in TV and Radio sectors in the UK have BAME heritage which compares with BAME groups representing 10% of the UK workforce and 35% of London’s workforce.
  • There are more people with BAME heritage employed in the TV sector in the UK, 5200, than all the 6 other Creative Media sectors combined.
  • 4 sectors of the Creative Media Industry – Film, Post Production, Games and Animation employ 1 in 20 people of colour or less, compared to all other industries where the average level of employment is 10% or 1 in 10.
Extracts from 2015 Employment Survey for Creative Media Industries from Creative Skillset published March 2016.
Sector Total Employment Women % Women Employment~
2009* 2012* 2015 2009* 2012* 2015 2009 2012 2015
TV – Terrestrial 15750 16650 19350 48% 49% 50% 7600 8200 9700
TV – Cable/Satellite 12700 12300 12000 36% 33% 32% 4600 4100 3800
TV – Independent 21700 21650 27300 38% 48% 47% 8200 10400 12800
Total TV 50,150 50,600 58,650 40.7% 44.9% 44.8% 20400 22700 26300
Radio 19900 13500 13550 47% 47% 46% 9400 6300 6200
Post Production 7450 8900 8650 12% 31% 24% 900 2800 2100
Film – Production N/A N/A 14600 34% 5000
Film – Sales 1200 1200 6100 41% 51% 48% 500 600 2900
Film – Exhibition 17650 17700 17450 43% 46% 48% 7600 8100 8400
Total Film 18850 18900 38150 42.7% 8100 8700 16300
Animation 4300 4600 7750 19% 40% 30% 800 1800 2300
VFX 6900 5300 10000 28% 19% 26% 1900 1000 2600
Games 7000 5500 10300 6% 14% 19% 400 800 2000
Total 114,550 107300 147050 39.3% 41900 44100 57800
* 2015 Survey data was collected and analysed differently so previous years included for reference.
~ Rounded to nearest 100
Sector Total Employment BAME % BAME % BAME % BAME Employment~
2009* 2012* 2015 2009* 2012* 2015 2009 2012 2015
TV – Terrestrial 15750 16650 19350 9.3% 9.5% 9% 1500 1600 1700
TV – Cable/Satellite 12700 12300 12000 12.3% 9.5% 13% 1600 1200 1600
TV – Independent 21700 21650 27300 7.0% 5.0% 7% 1500 1100 1900
Total TV 50,150 50,600 58,650 9.2% 7.7% 8.9% 4600 3900 5200
Radio 19900 13500 13550 7.9% 8.1% 9% 1600 1100 1200
Post Production 7450 8900 8650 5.5% 6.0% 5% 400 500 400
Film – Production N/A N/A 14600 3% 400
Film – Sales 1200 1200 6100 6.9% 3.4% 8% 100 0 500
Film – Exhibition 17650 17700 17450 4.5% 4.5% 4% 800 800 700
Total Film 18850 18900 38150 4.2% 900 800 1600
Animation 4300 4600 7750 2.2% 3.5% 3% 100 200 200
VFX 6900 5300 10000 8.2% 1.0% 7% 600 100 700
Games 7000 5500 10300 3.0% 5.0% 4% 200 300 400
Total 114,550 107300 147050 6.6% 8400 6900 9700
* 2015 Survey data was collected and analysed differently so previous years included for reference.
~ Rounded to nearest 100


In the original report there is additional analysis that looks at the proportion of women and BAME groups in the strategic management or executive teams in the 7 Creative Media sectors. We have not reproduced these here as it looks misleading, certainly for the games sector and possibly for most groups. The numbers are statistically correct reflecting the responses for this particular survey question. What does not look to have been taken into account is the large number of respondents who have skipped the question on the grounds of it being difficult or even too embarrassing to answer. If those skipping the question had all answered nil, the average would have come down significantly. It is just not our experience that almost 3 in 10 of every games team at executive level are women.