I wrote something about this a couple of months ago and didn’t post it because it seemed such a difficult subject. Partly because it is so large, with enough facets to fuel at least one doctoral thesis. Partly because it risks generating more heat than light, where it surely need not ?
Statistically the numbers of female and non-white gamers do not reflect the demographic mix of the UK.
Is that a problem?
If those groups do not want to game maybe not, but the reasons behind them not wanting to may well be problematic.
If wargaming is white and male because the other parts of society are too sensible to want to waste their leisure time playing with toy soldiers and glorifying war, that might be a good thing.
On the other hand if they want to have the opportunity, but are being put off by the image of an indifferent or aggressive monoculture, then we do have a problem. We may also have a problem if they don’t even know about the option to wargame because our hobby is somehow committed (consciously/unconsciously) to appealing only to the type of person who already populates it. Society may have a wider problem too if women and ethnic minorities are still being assigned roles that exclude them from considering participation in certain fields.
Will we change, as climbing apparently is? (I’d need to see the stats before I believe that ). I’m not sure that leaving the gateway changes to GW is necessarily the way forward.
On the other hand I live in a very white area and only infrequently attend clubs in more diverse areas, so I may be being blinded to large social changes in wargaming. (When I do attend clubs in cities and larger shows I still don’t see evidence of any growth in diversity).
I confess that I have never really been concerned about the lack of diversity in my gaming acquaintances over the years (one Sudanese chap and three, white, females – I had to check my memory several times before I would accept that this was the extent of my non-white and female gaming acquaintances), maybe I should have been.