How the global gambling industry looks at gender equality at the workplace
The global gaming and gambling industry still has many steps to take in the direction of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. In fact, gender equality, including in the workplace, is the fifth objective of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) included in the Sustainable Development Agenda until 2030, adopted by all Member States of the United Nations in 2015.
According to the SDG platform, while women currently represent 39% of the total number of employees worldwide, in 2018, only 27% of management positions globally were held by women, up from 26% in 2015. However, the proportion of women in leadership positions has increased since 2000 in all regions of the world, except in the least developed countries.
Referring to gender equality in the workplace in the gambling industry, Jan Jones Blackhurst, executive vice president for public policy and corporate responsibility at Caesars Entertainment, an American hotel and casino corporation, said in an interview that the company who leads it has an initiative with measurable goals in this regard. The initiative bears the name “50-50 by 2025” and assumes that half of Caesars Entertainment’s executive directors are women. “It will be a change of organizational culture,” says Blackhurst.
International human resources specialists have long since agreed that gender equality at the top management levels is an aspect studied in many industries, including gambling. In this regard, Blackhurst supports the idea of a “gender equality index”, which gives companies a rating based on gender equality policies, employee benefits or other measures taken in this direction. Companies that accept to be part of this index provide information on these issues on a voluntary basis, but their interest in participating in such an initiative increases as they take concrete measures regarding gender equality in the workplace.
Thus, the interest of companies to be included in the All-Index has increased significantly from year to year, from 25 companies in the first edition of the study, to over 50 in the second edition. This index is used to measure and standardize the progress made by operators in the gaming, betting and gambling industry when it comes to diversity, inclusion and equality in the workplace and is available to gambling operators, suppliers , regulatory authorities in this field or NGOs. Companies that have joined this index so far include Betfair, GVC Holdings, IGT, Kindred Group, Massachusetts Gaming Commission Paddy Power, Playtech and Red Tiger Gaming.
“The idea is rather to highlight companies that give examples of good practice in this area than to point out that other operators do not put so much emphasis on this side”, Blackhurst says. In addition, she also specifies that at present, in the global gambling industry, the proportion of women compared to men in beginner positions is 50-50 and less than 20% for management positions.
Another approach worth considering in this direction is the strategic partnership concluded in mid-2018 between the National Council for Gambling Issues (NCPG) in the United States of America and The All-in Diversity Project, the global platform for the gaming industry of luck that offers information on diversity, equality and inclusion in the workplace. “Together, NCPG and All-in Diversity Project can respond to the growing call of the gambling industry to have greater diversity in the workplace, so as to support our members to the greatest extent, let us know how much better the industry and work more closely to protect gamblers with gambling problems and their families”, says Marlene Warner, President of NCPG’s Board of Directors.
As part of this strategic partnership, the two organizations will work closely to set standards for how gambling operators can make diversity and inclusion in the workplace as well as practices related to responsible gambling behavior a concerted effort by the profile industry to improve how it will evolve in the future.
The idea of diversity and inclusion in the workplace was one of the top topics and during this year’s edition of the ICE event, which took place in February in London. It brings together over 600 organizations and over 35,000 professionals from all over the world, from all sectors of the gaming industry and the gambling industry. Katie Lever, a legal adviser at Drew Las Vegas, a resort hotel and casino in the United States, which will be officially opened in November 2022, following a $ 2 billion investment underlined the need for ICE 2020 set tangible goals to facilitate diversity in the workplace. In addition, it reiterated that the inclusion of the labor force is not possible without policies, targets, norms and systematic evaluations of this process.