More women are working in the videogame industry than ever before in the UK, a new survey has found.

While the sector remains predominantly male (91%), over the period 2009 to 2012, there has been an overall increase in the proportion of women, moving from 7% in 2009 to 9% in 2012.

Aon Hewitt released the key findings from its 2012/2013 Games Software Developers’ Salary Survey, carried out in association with TIGA, the trade association representing the UK games industry.

The survey, now in its fourth year, is the only comprehensive salary survey carried out annually for the UK games software development industry, with input from developers (both independent and publisher owned), and covering over 14% of the software developer UK workforce.

The survey offers insight into current pay levels from graduates up to senior managers, typical organisational structures and evolving workforce demographics. It found:

  • Base salary increases of 3% over the last 12 months remain the same as those seen in the previous three years and on a par with UK general industry (3.2%) in the same period (Aon Hewitt's Salary Increase Survey 2012).
  • Median graduate base salaries are up 7.4% on 2011, almost double the rate between 2010 and 2011.
  • Across most participating organisations, 7.0% of the survey population had a pay freeze in 2012. compared with 19.8% in 2011 and 13.0% in 2010.
  • Voluntary employee turnover in 2012 was down on 2011 at 13.5%, while attrition was up on 2011 at around 7.2%.
  • 9% of the survey workforce is female, the same as 2011 and up on 2010 and 2009.
  • Over 50% of the survey population has less than five years of service.90% of participating organisations offer employees a Defined Contribution pension.
  • All participants offer some form of private medical insurance.

Steve Munday, senior reward consultant at Aon Hewitt said: "As an established, comprehensive and now well trusted source of market data, this survey has again provided a detailed picture of the games software industry in terms of pay, benefits and employee demographics.

"For employees covered by the survey and who remained in the same job between 2011 and 2012, median pay increases remain unchanged from the previous three years, at 3.0% - which is on a par with general industry in the UK (3.2%, as reported in Aon Hewitt's UK Salary Increases Survey).

"Encouragingly, less than one in 10 employees in the sector had a pay freeze in 2012, compared to one in five in 2011. The demographic aspects of the survey also highlighted the increasing number of women joining what has been regarded as a male dominated sector."

Dr Richard Wilson, chief executive officer of TIGA said: "In what are generally difficult times economically, there is good news in our annual survey.

"Pay is up for most development staff, graduate salaries are rising and pay freezes are down. With TIGA's Games Tax Relief coming into effect in April 2013 the UK games industry is set for growth in a period when many other sectors are struggling.

"This is a great time to join the video games sector."