Press Kit

Press Kit


Women have always been at the gaming table, in the lab, or in your computer programming class. Marie Curie and Ada Lovelace were pioneers in science and math in the 1800s and 1900s; Buffy Summers inspired a generation of tough, strong women in the 1990s; and today, 47 percent of all video game players are women, as are 40 percent of attendees at Comic-Con International. Here are a few more facts about the contributions, impact, and involvement of women in geek culture.

Women and Purchasing Power

Women’s influence on purchase decisions is on the rise

  • A 2012 survey reveals that 54 percent of U.S. female Internet users said they feel a responsibility to help friends and family make wise purchase decisions. Compare this to 2008, when only 31 percent of women said they felt they regularly influenced other people’s purchase decisions.[1]
  • Over half (51 percent) of all moviegoers are women.[2]
  • Forty percent of all people who saw The Avengers on opening weekend—the weekend where only the most enthusiastic fans come out—were women.
  • Women account for 85 percent of all consumer purchases.[3]

Women and Science Fiction

Don’t believe the stereotype that science fiction is for men

  • According to the National Science Foundation (NSF), nearly equal percentages of men (31 percent) and women (28 percent) report they read science fiction books or magazines.[4]
  • NSF also reports that women make up almost half (45 percent) of SyFy Channel viewership.[4]
  • In a survey of Star Trek fans, 57 percent of respondents identified as female.[5]

Women and Gaming

Women are a large—and growing—population in the gaming world

  • Nearly half (45 percent) of all video game players are women.[6]
  • Women age 18 and older represent a significantly greater portion of game players (31 percent) than boys age 17 or younger (19 percent).[6]
  • Women also make up 46 percent of the people who buy video games (this could include moms).[6]
  • The audience of Big Fish Games is more than 80 percent female.[3]
  • Nearly 40 percent of all World of Warcraft players are women.[7]
  • There are roughly 130 million women playing online PC games worldwide and 140 million men.[3]
  • Nintendo president Satoru Iwata said last year that Nintendo users are split 50/50 between males and females.

Women and Comics

While we lack accurate data on comic readership, women DO read comic books

  • According to a Facebook scan done by Brett Schenker, women make up about 40 percent of the self-identified comic-reading population in the United States.[8]
  • Comic book store Comicopia employees estimate that 35 to 40 percent of their customers are female.[9]
  • When the proportion of female creators for DC Comics plunged from 12 percent to 1 percent in 2011, women and their supporters helped convince DC Comics to hire more female creators.[10]

Women in STEM Fields

Stereotypes are harmful to women and girls

  • In an ETS field study, a set of students were asked to indicate their gender after completing the AP Calculus test, while another group filled in this answer before the test. Females who received the inquiry before the test scored an average of 12.5, while males averaged 16.5. For those receiving the gender inquiry after the test, women outscored men, with an average of 15 versus 14.[11]
  • Researchers tested two groups of undergraduate students of both sexes, all skilled math students. Before the test, one group was informed that women usually didn’t do as well on the test as men. The women who weren’t informed of this stereotype performed just as well as the men. The women informed of the negative assumption scored significantly lower than the men, with average scores of 609 versus 817 for the men.[12]
  • A University of Washington study found that, as early as second grade, boys and girls associated math words with boys.[13]

Women are underrepresented in many science and engineering occupations

  • Although women fill close to half of all U.S. jobs, they hold less than 25 percent of STEM jobs.[14]
  • While women make up more than half of working biological scientists, they make up less than 7 percent of mechanical engineers.[15]
  • In fact, in 2010, women earned 57 percent of all bachelor’s degrees, yet only earned 18 percent of computer and information science bachelor’s degrees—down from 37 percent in 1985.

Women in Technology

Women use and purchase technology at higher rates than men

  • Fifty-six percent of social media users are women. That’s 81 million women blogging, tweeting, pinning, using Instagram and Google+, and posting to Facebook.
  • As was pointed out in The Atlantic’s “Sorry, Young Man, You’re Not the Most Important Demographic in Tech,” women in Western countries use the Internet 17 percent more every month than their male counterparts. Women are also the vast majority owners of all internet enabled devices—readers, healthcare devices, GPS, etc.

Women in the Media

Women are underrepresented in mainstream media

  • Women hold only 3 percent of influential or powerful positions in mainstream media.[16]
  • Roughly 24 percent of the people interviewed, heard, seen, or read about in mainstream broadcast and print news are female.[16]
  • A 2011 survey found women contribute to about 28 percent of articles in major magazines.[17]
  • The “Bechdel Test,” a basic measure of the representation of women in media, revealed only two of the nine “Best Picture” Oscar nominees in 2012 clearly passed the minimal criteria.[18] The number was much higher in 2013; four of the nine “Best Picture” nominees clearly passed the criteria. Two other films nearly passed.[19]


1. Game Changers: Women Defining the New American Marketplace. Fleishman-Hillard, Hearst and Ipsos Mendelsohn. February 1, 2012. Accessed here.

2. Theatrical Market Statistics. Motion Picture Association of America. 2010. Accessed here.

3. Meloni, Wanda. “The Next Frontier – Female Gaming Demographics.” M2 Research. Accessed here.

4. “Chapter 7: Science and Technology: Public Attitudes and Public Understanding: Science Fiction and Pseudoscience.” Science and Engineering Indicators 2002. National Science Foundation, Apr. 2002. Accessed here.

5. Franzetti, Daryl. Results: Star Trek Fandom Survey. 2011. Web. Accessed here.

6. Essential Facts About the Computer and Video Game Industry. Entertainment Software Association. 2013. Accessed here.

7. The State of the Video Gamer. The Neilsen Company. 2009. Accessed here.

8. Schenker, Brett. “Facebook Fandom Spotlight.” Graphic Policy Blog. September 1, 2013. Accessed here.

9. Christianson, Jon Erik. “Saving The Superheroines: A B.U. Analysis Of Women In Comics.” The Quad. Feb. 12, 2012. Accessed here.

10. Flood, Alison. “DC Comics promises to hire more women after reader backlash.” The Guardian. Aug. 1, 2011. Accessed here.

11. Aronson, Joshua. “Stereotype Threat and the role of Encouragement.” New York University Center for the Study of Women. May 19, 2011. Accessed here.

12. Spencer, S., Steele, C., and Quinn, D. “Stereotype Threat and Women’s Math Performance.” Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. Volume 35, Issue 1. January 1999. Accessed here.

13. “Cultural Stereotypes Steer Girls Away from Math,” Columns, University of Washington. Accessed here.

14. Women in STEM: A Gender Gap to Innovation. U.S. Department of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration. August 2011. Accessed here.

15. Why So Few? Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. American Association of University Women. 2010. Accessed here.

16. The Status of Women in the U.S. Media 2012. Women’s Media Center. Accessed here.

17. “The 2011 Count.” VIDA. February 27, 2012. Accessed here.

18. “The 2012 Oscars and the Bechdel Test.” Feminist Frequency. Feb. 2, 2012. Accessed here.

19. “Ladies Talking to Ladies: The Bechdel Test and the 2013 Oscars.” Tilde Magazine. Jan. 22, 2013. Accessed here.


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