Creating an environment where everyone feels valued

Estimated read time 4 min read

Alona Kobozieva, Energame’s director of communications and marketing, discusses how the igaming sector has what it takes to become a champion for diversity and inclusion
The post Creating an environment where everyone feels valued first appeared on EGR Intel.  

The igaming industry is experiencing rapid expansion and holds huge potential for future growth. But there is a problem: it continues to be primarily male dominated. This imbalance is evident across the sector from leadership roles to game development and strategic decision making.

Indeed, the under-representation of women highlights important systematic issues on diversity, equality and inclusion, all of which are crucial to advancing innovation, understanding diverse customer bases and driving growth.

Industry-wide data is not available, but we looked at public disclosures from some of the biggest names in igaming to estimate the ratio. On average, women made up about one third of managers and just over one fifth of senior leadership. In one case, women constituted just 15% of managers and 12.5% of senior leadership. The data is incomplete and spans several years but, while it does not present a complete picture, it does indicate that trends are not favourable.

In 2019, the UK’s Investment Association singled out several igaming companies for their lack of progress in boosting the number of women on their boards. That is not a good look for the industry.

At Energame, we have taken a proactive stance to champion gender diversity and inclusion, with women making up 38% of our senior leadership team, 49% of our management team and 44% of our overall workforce.

However, our commitment goes beyond numbers: it’s about cultivating an environment where women can thrive, innovate and lead. Women at Energame are at the forefront of driving strategic decisions, fostering innovation and leading our advisory services. They are integral to our success. But we also understand that we have further to go to achieve true gender parity.

Equality is the best policy

We need action across the industry to make a difference. We have an opportunity to redefine what igaming can be, expand its reach and depth, explore who it can serve and who can lead it.

However, it is impossible to address something we do not understand. This is why comprehensive data collection and transparency on gender representation is the starting point. We need to properly understand the data to establish a path to equality, just as we do in all our business activities.

Sharing insights will help firms hold themselves accountable and encourage a set of industry-wide standards for progress. The future of igaming relies on our ability to attract, develop and retain women. Rethinking our recruitment strategies is a relatively straightforward but very effective process.

Each business can invest in career development programmes that are tailored for women and create mentorship opportunities to empower women to rise to positions of leadership.

Igaming can, and should, be seen as an industry that welcomes women and actively champions their growth and success. Our industry can create an environment where everyone feels valued, heard and empowered to contribute to their full potential.

We can look at addressing unconscious bias, promoting diversity and sensitivity training and implementing policies to ensure our workplaces are equitable.

Many people in igaming are already aware of the issue. Our industry is famously data-driven and has made

huge steps in dealing with other problem issues. We can make a real difference here. Working together, we can redefine our industry and position it where it should be. We are growing up as a sector – and this change cannot come soon enough.

Alona Kobozieva is director of communications and marketing at Energame, a business consultancy and investment management firm. She is a Paris representative of Wtech, the first community in Ukraine for women leaders in the IT and tech industries, and lectures in communications at the Kyiv Academy of Media Arts. Kobozieva is a strong advocate for responsible gaming and women in the online gambling industry.

The post Creating an environment where everyone feels valued first appeared on EGR Intel.

 

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