Jagex continues to recognise the importance of a diverse workforce that reflects our millions of players from different backgrounds around the world. We have added even more focus to accelerating measures to ensure equality, transparency, and ethical conduct in our practises to deliver on our commitments in this area to both players and staff.
In the report issued for 2018-2019, we acknowledged an expected increase in our gender pay gap for the following year due to shifts in hiring needs to more niche industry areas with less diverse talent pools. We also stated an expectation for the pay gap to settle below our 2018-2019 figure, and we are encouraged that the 25.6% gap we are reporting for 2019-2020 has indeed achieved this.
The lack of industry-wide female representation continues, specifically in roles requiring STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) skills such as network programming, engine programming and data engineering. We have previously stated that to erode the gender pay gap the games industry has a joint responsibility, working alongside the government, educational groups and organisations committed to creating more equitable working environments, to bring more women into the sector – and to the technology industry in general.
On our part, Jagex continues to make a concerted effort to ensure the best possible female representation in the recruitment candidate pool. We have further widened our talent searches beyond traditional areas, and this has brought more diversity in general to the candidates we initially consider for roles. We have implemented diverse hiring policies, which includes mandating representation for women at the shortlisting stage where we have those applications, and the use of a decoder in job adverts that removes gender-biased wording. As we have always maintained, the best candidate will always be chosen regardless of gender but greater representation at the start of any search and through the processes deployed increases the chances of improving gender balance.
In summary, we continue to work diligently in this area. We believe every employee is entitled to an inclusive working environment that promotes dignity and respect to all, and one in which all employees are treated fairly and equally.