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Does Games Workshop break equality laws?

(79 Posts)
belledechocolatefluffybunny Fri 03-Sep-10 23:43:40

considering 99% of it's staff are male and 99% of it's stock are plastic figures of men? The only female figures they have are half naked women with a push up bra. Ds is going to an event at the local store tomorrow and the mothers were asked to supply a cake!

Goblinchild Sat 04-Sep-10 15:21:11

'Why do you assume that a woman working in Games Workshop would be incompetent, Goblin?'

I'm sorry if I gave you that impression, edam, I didn't intend to.

'I think goblin was referring back to her earlier point that if GW made a policy to hire 50% female staff, and as a result had to hire women who were less knowledgable than the men, then it would be a problem.'
ISNT, that was what I intended to say, thank you. grin

I've always found GW welcoming, but I was a D&D player back in the days when you used dice and wore funny hats. That was mostly male gaming too, but not unwelcoming to females.

CarGirl Sat 04-Sep-10 15:27:45

Dh plays an old GW game called Blood Bowl (it's like chess but with dice too) one of guys gf started to play and within 6 months started to do really well at the tournaments grin. Dh says it's very amusing when new players get drawn against her and assume she won't be that good! Her painting is pretty great too.

Goblinchild Sat 04-Sep-10 15:44:44

OH took DD with him a week or two ago, to buy a laptop. Saleswoman had to go and get a male member of staff to answer DD's questions, because she didn't understand a lot of what DD was asking her.
Male addressed his answers to OH, until OH said 'This is pointless. You deal with this (DD) and tell me when to pay.
And then he walked off.
DD decided to go elsewhere, and was particularly cross that the woman had been so feeble. She felt let down.
If you are employing people on an equal basis, they have to do the job equally well.

edam Sat 04-Sep-10 20:25:23

Yes Goblin, some men and women are not very good at their jobs. But the real problem staring us in the face is not that women are bad that their jobs, or any worse than men. It's that it will take women managers another 34 years to earn the same as male managers (which will be 70 odd years since the Equal Pay Act).

RamblingRosa Sat 04-Sep-10 20:42:52

Going back to the OP's original question, I guess it would depend on whether there was any evidence that women had been actively dissuaded from applying or had applied and had not got an interview in spite of being as well qualified as a male applicant and decided to take them to tribunal over it.

Chances are this won't happen because a) the company won't be so stupid as to actually state that they don't want women to apply (if indeed that's the's perfectly possible that not many women want to work does sound pretty dire!) b) young women seeking minimum wage work in retail aren't likely to take an employer to tribunal for something like that c) it's really hard to prove.

I agree with the point that someone made (think it was ISN'T) that getting more women into shitty low paid retail jobs isn't the next big challenge for feminism, it's getting more women into highly skilled, well paid work in sectors which are almost entirely dominated by men. 100% of apprentices in car manufacture are men. I think it's 97 or 98% in engineering. 99% in construction. All well paid sectors. 97% of hairdressing apprentices are women (majority earning about £100 per week). It's shocking. Still a long way to go....

Goblinchild Sat 04-Sep-10 21:36:54

I think edam would like an
'OMG girlfriend, you're just like sooo stupid emoticon'
It would save her a lot of typing to explain the obvious.

BoneyBackJefferson Sat 04-Sep-10 21:37:04

edam Sat 04-Sep-10 20:25:23

But the real problem staring us in the face is not that women are bad that their jobs, or any worse than men. It's that it will take women managers another 34 years to earn the same as male managers (which will be 70 odd years since the Equal Pay Act).

but not really part of the op's post.

I have only seen 2 women employed in a games workshop shop and their knowledge equalled that of their male counter parts.

given that they are asked direct questions about the game, not just "is this suitable for a 5 yr old" but things like "I have a choas marine army and I want to put in a possessed tank as it can regenerate health, how many tanks can I put in in an army of 1500 points and which units can prevent it from regenerating?" as well as having to be up to date on the latest and up coming rule changes included tournaments, they have to live and love the game.

In 30 (yes 30) years of playing I don't know many women that would want to go in to that much depth of knowledge. (not saying that they can't).

If my bank/phone company/mechanic knew as much as the staff at my hooby store I would be really happy.

belledechocolatefluffybunny Sat 04-Sep-10 21:41:31


I do think that more women work in retail then men as they need to work around school hours, retail is one of the few jobs that do this, even though the pay is crap. There's no equality in this, women are the main carers of children, they are the ones that are expected to take time off when they are ill, take them to the GP etc, not many men do this.

edam Sun 05-Sep-10 10:03:50

Thanks Goblin. hmm What worries me is all the people trying to justify Games Workshop's lack of female staff by saying women would be crap at the job.

Good point, Belle. Can't think of many other stores where you have markedly fewer women members of staff than men. Except an old fashioned barbers, possibly (think it's equal m/f in the one dh goes to, though).

StuckInTheMiddleWithYou Sun 05-Sep-10 10:11:19

GW is geek land. More men than women become geeks. It is not about discrimination it is about the things that different people are attracted too.

Really, this is no big deal.

Goblinchild Sun 05-Sep-10 11:57:38

Edam, I'm saying that I expect the staff to be able to answer questions and advise on the games, the strategies and exactly how to get a specific paint effect on a model.
We have been involved in this for over a decade, and DD is a gamer, although not WOW.
So closer to 15 years linked with gaming.
The customer and fan base is overwhelmingly male, not female.
I do not think women would be crap at any job as a blanket statement and never have.
I despise tokenism and feel that it undermines any equality movement to have window dressing.
So aim for an equal distribution of the sexes, but they must have an equal knowledge base and equal enthusiasm and passion for their subject.
How is that saying that women would be crap at the job?

edam Sun 05-Sep-10 12:09:38

Lots of the comments on this thread amount to that, Goblin.

Would be interesting to get someone from GW on here and find out whether they have noticed and think it's a problem...

Goblinchild Sun 05-Sep-10 12:24:08

Morloth is a gamer

Fibilou Wed 04-Nov-09 12:44:36
"Morloth, we may be two of the rarest females in the world - Girl Warhammerers. When I went to buy my first bits and pieces the bloke behind the till said "are they for your husband" and when I said no, for me, he almost wet himself with excitement !

What army/ies do you collect ? I've not been doing it for long, do Chaos Daemons (not 40k), am lucky that we have a GW shop/club about 2 minutes from my house."

So they would have the appropriate knowledge for working at Games Workshop, and the enthusiasm to build on that knowledge. They also know that they are in a minority, but Fibilou was not patronised or dismissed by the staff.

belledechocolatefluffybunny Sun 05-Sep-10 12:28:04

Fair point. I'm still a bit hmm at them asking the mothers to bake cakes for them though, the child of the winner won a case. The winner here had been up for most of the night baking a cake (mine was 60p off the market).

BoneyBackJefferson Sun 05-Sep-10 12:44:35

Do they as the mothers or do they as the kids to bring a cake?

belledechocolatefluffybunny Sun 05-Sep-10 12:45:05

They specifically asked the mothers.

BoneyBackJefferson Sun 05-Sep-10 12:53:40

was that because the mothers where with the boys?

BoneyBackJefferson Sun 05-Sep-10 12:54:38

sorry that should be

was that because only the mothers where with the boys?

belledechocolatefluffybunny Sun 05-Sep-10 12:54:52

No, they asked the mothers when they collected their children, no fathers were asked (I spend a fair amount of time in there with ds).

belledechocolatefluffybunny Sun 05-Sep-10 12:55:25

because "mothers are better at making cakes" hmm

BoneyBackJefferson Sun 05-Sep-10 13:00:22

I was just wondering if it was because they where the only parent available.

If not it may well be because the majority of of games workshop staff I know (Ok I do not now them all and I generalise) are fairly hopeless in the kitchen and their mothers/wives look after thet area.

belledechocolatefluffybunny Sun 05-Sep-10 13:03:47

There's plenty of blokes in there that they could have asked. It didn't take us 10 minutes to buy one off the market, any useless bloke could have done this but none of them were asked. I do feel quite sorry for the woman who was up most of the night baking a cake.

postingforafriend Sun 05-Sep-10 13:05:27

I am still failing to see where people are saying that women would be crap at working in GW. I just don't see that on the thread. People are saying that the pool of people who have teh relevant knowledge and skills is predominantly male, that's different. GW welcomes women, it is keen to have girls and women joining in the hobby. I;m sure if they could think of a way to get girls doing it they would be all over it like a rash. The fact that girls and women don't want to paint and play with little armies, is not the fault of GW. There are employers and trades which really are overtly sexist and I don't think that GW is anything to get in a palaver about TBH. i really don't think they're doing anything wrong.

Apart from the cakes thing, which is hmm. Or is it all mothers who take their children there? If it is all mothers, then not so hmm. But that's not GW policy is it, it's probably one manager in one shop who has said this, and if there was a complaint I'm sure it would be rectified. I just don't think there is a huge sexist conspiracy to exclude women from jobs where they will spend their days discussing the battle aramament of dwarven warriors, or spend hours ruminating on how to get the exact right shade of moss green on the back of a ogre's knee.

Also confused about this idea that if you work in retail you can take time off left right and centre to look after your children. Yes it's easier to find part time positions but it's no different from other jobs in that if you don't make it in enough then you get into trouble. IME anyway.

I also can think of loads of shops where the assistants are predmoninantly all male or majority male - mens clothing shops, the mens clothing departments in department stores, our apple shop, our local computer shop etc. The you get womens clothing shops, claires, hairdressers etc where the majority/all staff are women.

I'm just not seeing this one, sorry.

postingforafriend Sun 05-Sep-10 13:06:48

Oh balls forgot to change my name.

juuule Sun 05-Sep-10 13:06:53

"I do feel quite sorry for the woman who was up most of the night baking a cake."

Why do you feel sorry for her? Maybe she enjoys making cakes.

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