Gender Pay Gap Report 2019

April 2, 2020


“At Splash Damage we continue to work hard to foster a diverse workforce. We’ve taken significant steps to increase fairness and equality throughout our studio, from candidate recruitment to recognition, rewards, and progression. While we have made progress on all these fronts, our biggest challenge as a company is to see more women advance to leadership roles. There are no quick or easy fixes for this, and we’ve always known that this would be a multi-year journey for our studio as well as our industry. We will achieve this by developing the extraordinary talent we have in our company already, by ensuring that everyone is afforded the same opportunities, and, above all else, by continuing to listen and improve. This is my commitment as CEO.”

Rich Jolly, Co-Founder & CEO

“We’ve seen a notable positive shift in employee wellbeing and engagement with our in-house equality, diversity, and inclusion programmes. We will continue to provide a workplace that supports gender equality through family-friendly policies, flexible working, unconscious bias training, and monitoring our appraisal and recruitment processes. We’ve made some remarkable steps over the past 12 months including implementing 30 weeks fully paid maternity leave, making us the top games studio for maternity pay in the entire UK, and the second best across all business sectors, and I look forward to improving our diversity efforts year on year.”

Kate Lindsay, Head of HR


Enacted in 2017 the UK Government’s Gender Pay Gap (GPG) reporting legislation is an amendment to the Equality Act 2010 and requires employers of over 250 people to report:

  • The proportion of men and women in each pay quartile
  • The Mean and Median gender pay gap in hourly pay
  • The Mean and Median bonus gender pay gap, and the proportion of men and women receiving a bonus payment

This is different from the wider terms of the Equality Act which ensures parity in pay for men and women in the same role.


The Gender Pay Gap in the UK has reduced in the last 10 years but is still in favour of men. According to the April 2019 data (the year prior to this report), the games industry has a median gender pay gap of 18.8%, compared to a national median of 9.6%. Read more.


When we look at our numbers from the 2019 reporting snapshot we now have slightly fewer women in the studio compared to last year, which has affected our data.

Our median gender pay gap is now 20.96%, which is a considerable improvement compared to last year. However, our mean gender pay gap is now 24.5% which is up from last year.

To delve deeper, we know that the reasons for these gaps are that we have a high proportion of men in senior roles, no women at Exec level and few at Lead level. This is something we’ve been actively working to address; recruiting women at Lead or Exec level is a major challenge as the candidate pool is small to begin with and candidates at higher seniority levels tend not to switch companies very frequently. We’ve had success recruiting women at lower seniority levels, and we are committed to developing this talent by providing a nurturing environment which supports growth and a long-term career proposition.

We’ve already taken several measures to increase the studio’s appeal to women, and we are also actively developing and growing the women we already have in the studio. Please see the end of this report for a comprehensive list of our commitments.

To be clear, Splash Damage does not have a disparity for men and women performing the same job role. Men and women at Splash Damage are being paid equally for equivalent roles.


Gender Representation Explained

We have a very small representation of women in our studio and we recognise that lack of women in games is an industry-wide issue.

We are committing to improving this imbalance by attracting and nurturing the women within our studio. Since the report was generated in April 2019, we’ve undertaken several concrete measures to help with this, including unconscious bias workshops, cultural fit interviews with diverse panels, and a full review of our staff benefits.


Pay Quartiles Explained

Quartiles are calculated by first listing the rates of pay for each employee across the business from lowest to highest, and then splitting that list into four equal-sized groups and then calculating the percentage of men and women in each of these groups.

At Splash Damage, men are over represented in our studio’s best-paid jobs, and the proportion of women falls the further up the pale scale you go. This is most extreme in the Upper Quartile, due to there being just four women in this segment.


Mean & Median Pay Gaps Explained

The mean pay gap compares the average pay for women with the average pay for men. The median hourly rate is calculated by ranking all employees from the highest paid to the lowest paid, and taking the hourly wage of the person in the middle; so the median gender pay gap is the difference between women’s median hourly wage (the middle paid woman) and men’s median hourly wage (the middle paid man).

When comparing mean hourly rates, women earn 75.5p for every £1 that men earn.


Bonuses Explained

Splash Damage offers generous referral bonuses, while 1% of the studio’s revenue is equally distributed across all staff with at least 1 years’ service with us. For this reporting period, women’s median bonus pay is 32.77% lower than men’s. This is due to the length of service of several women who did not qualify for all instalments of our revenue share program during the reporting period.





Men and women at Splash Damage are paid the same for performing the same roles. We recognise that there is a gender pay gap across the industry and in our studio due to a lack of women represented at the upper seniority levels within the studio.

We are committed to dealing with this imbalance and have been enacting a variety of measures to deal with this.

Redressing our imbalances will take time to have an effect and we appreciate that there are no quick fixes – it will take commitment and discipline to make a difference over time.

These are the commitments we’re making for the next reporting period:


  • We ensure that our interview panels are diverse to help minimise unconscious bias.
  • We’re actively working to identify and close gender gaps in hiring and promotion processes.
  • We’ve created a forecasting model for staff progression that highlights anyone being left behind in terms of seniority level or salary; as a result, we’ve promoted an equal proportion of men and women.
  • Our employment contracts all have gender neutral language, and our job descriptions are being reviewed to eliminate language that favours men who apply.


  • We’ve been running a formal Equality, Diversity and Inclusion programme for nearly two years.
    • Our Women at Splash Damage (WASD) internal meetup continues to provide a space for women to network, promote initiatives that will help reduce bias in the workplace, as well as to share and seek advice.
    • We run impactful in-house events and external awareness campaigns for key events such as International Women’s Day, Pride, GAAD (Global Accessibility Awareness Day), and Mental Health Week.
    • We offer regular unconscious bias workshops to the whole company, and are actively encouraging all our hiring managers to participate in this.
    • Each meeting room displays our highly visible meeting etiquette which helps to promote inclusivity and diversity of thought.


  • We are advocates for work-life balance and offer flexible working arrangements to suit individual needs.
  • We now offer 30 weeks fully paid maternity leave and 10 weeks paternity pay:
    • This includes the option of taking shared parental leave, which allows flexibility in how employees take their leave and helps new parents manage their time together.
    • Improving pay during maternity leave and providing options for sharing the responsibility of being a primary care giver gives our women and men more flexibility and opportunities.
    • We have an incredibly supportive culture at Splash Damage, and we want to provide that even more so at crucial times in people’s lives.


  • We’ve committed to UKIE’s #RaiseTheGame pledge and will continue to share our knowledge with the rest of the games industry.
  • We’ve been continuing our work as the first games studio to sign up to ACCESS: VFX, a body which pursues inclusion, diversity, awareness and opportunity within the UK visual effects and creative industries.
  • We’re driving our outreach programme so we can reach girls and young women in schools and universities, to inspire them to consider a career in making games.


  • We believe representation is important in games, and we continually strive to improve diversity and inclusivity in the characters that inhabit our worlds.


I confirm that the data contained within this report is accurate and meets the requirements of the Gender Pay Gap reporting regulations.

Richard Jolly, Co-Founder & CEO