Empowering Women in the Gambling Industry: Key Initiatives and Achievements in 2023
The gambling industry has long been perceived as a male-dominated field. However, 2023 has seen remarkable strides in promoting gender equality and inclusivity. Our article delves into the various initiatives and accomplishments spearheaded by and for women in this dynamic sector.
Leadership and Representation
The rise of female executives in the gambling industry is reshaping its landscape. This change is prominently highlighted in iGB’s Most Influential Women 2023 initiative.
Now in its sixth year, this initiative has become a significant event in the gaming calendar, celebrating women who are influencing positive change within their workplaces and the wider industry.
iGB’s Most Influential Women initiative of 2023 is more than just an award; it’s a testament to the evolving dynamics of the gambling industry where gender diversity is increasingly being recognized and celebrated.
It not only honors individual achievements but also underscores the broader movement towards an inclusive and equitable industry.
This initiative is paving the way for future generations of women in gambling, highlighting the importance of diverse perspectives and leadership in shaping the future of the industry.
Role of IGT in Promoting Diversity and Inclusion
The commitment of International Game Technology (IGT) to diversity and inclusion in the gambling industry has been notably recognized with its triumph at the 2023 Women in Gaming (WIG) Diversity & Employee Wellbeing Awards.
IGT’s efforts in promoting diversity and inclusion are multifaceted. The establishment of its Office of Diversity & Inclusion in 2018 marked the beginning of a series of impactful initiatives. The company has implemented comprehensive programs and policies that advocate for diversity and equality.
Furthermore, IGT has revamped its hiring processes to be more inclusive and equitable, ensuring a diverse range of talents and perspectives within the company. They also offer competitive benefits for all employees, including same-sex partners, emphasizing their commitment to equality in all aspects of employment.
Celebrating International Women’s Day
International Women’s Day (IWD) in 2023 saw the global gambling industry come together in a significant way to celebrate and acknowledge the role of women in the sector. This was marked by various campaigns and initiatives, led by prominent organizations within the industry.
The #EmbraceEquity campaign, led by All-in Diversity and Square in the Air, was a central feature of these celebrations. This campaign focused on promoting gender equity, highlighting the crucial role of women in the gambling industry.
The partnership between All-in Diversity and Square in the Air, which had previously produced a hard-hitting video campaign for IWD2022, continued to bring attention to the experiences of women in the betting and gaming sectors.
In 2023, the campaign’s focus shifted to celebrating the achievements and contributions of women in the industry, emphasizing the need to appreciate these contributions and the strength that comes from diversity.
Over 50 leading organizations, including major operators like BetMGM, Betsson, Entain, and PokerStars, supported the #EmbraceEquity campaign. They were joined by entities from the racing industry, such as the British Horseracing Authority and Godolphin Racing, as well as regulators like the Malta Gaming Authority and the Massachusetts Gaming Commission. The support extended under various hashtags like #GamingAsOne and #AllintheRace, demonstrating a collective commitment across the industry to embrace equity and diversity.
In addition to the #EmbraceEquity campaign, WISE Las Vegas teamed up with Global Gaming Women to host a Women of Inspiration celebration event to mark Women’s History Month.
This event, which took place just a day after International Women’s Day, was held at the Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. It aimed to honor women who have made significant contributions to the intersection of gaming and sports.
The event celebrated the achievements of notable women such as Qiava Martinez, Melanie Gross, Colleen Birch, Erin Lydon, and Nikki Fargas, highlighting their impact in traditionally male-dominated industries.
Women’s Impact on Online Gambling
The impact of women on online gambling in 2023 has been significant and multi-dimensional. The digital gambling landscape has seen an increase in female participation, driven by various factors that cater to and acknowledge the unique preferences and behaviors of female gamblers.
Growth Driven by Female Participation: Online gambling platforms have become increasingly popular among women, who are drawn to the convenience and anonymity they offer. Women tend to gravitate towards games like bingo, slots, and lotteries, with a growing presence in traditionally male-dominated games like poker. This diverse game preference showcases women’s expanding role in the gambling sector.
Marketing and Design Strategies: The gambling industry has responded to this trend by implementing clever marketing strategies and designing games and platforms that are more appealing to women. This includes the use of female-friendly colors, site names, and the placement of women in advertising campaigns. Such targeted marketing efforts have successfully attracted more women to online gambling platforms.
Emotional Intelligence and Gambling Habits: Studies suggest that women are generally better at managing their emotions while gambling compared to men, which makes them less prone to gambling-related problems. This emotional intelligence allows many women to use online gambling as a form of entertainment and escapism, rather than solely focusing on winning.
Influences and Role Models: Iconic figures in the gambling world, such as Jennifer Harman and Victoria Coren Mitchell, have inspired more women to participate in online gambling. These role models demonstrate that women can compete equally with men and have been successful in various forms of gambling, including high-stakes poker.
Empowerment and Community Building: The rise of female gamblers has been associated with empowering trends, such as the formation of female-only gaming groups and communities. These platforms offer support and allow women to share experiences, strategies, and achievements, contributing to a more inclusive gambling environment.
Challenging Gender Stereotypes: The increasing presence of women in gambling has been instrumental in challenging long-standing gender stereotypes associated with gambling activities. Women’s participation is reshaping societal perceptions and proving that gambling is not just a male domain
Networking and Support
Global Gaming Women (GGW) has played a significant role in supporting and empowering women in the gambling industry through various initiatives, focusing on mentorship, education, and networking. Established with the vision of promoting inclusiveness and diversity in the gaming sector, GGW has become a pivotal organization for women’s professional development in this field.
GGW’s mentorship programs are particularly noteworthy. The organization firmly believes in the transformative power of mentor-to-mentee relationships for professional and personal growth. One of their key initiatives is the Lean In Circles, which are small groups where women come together regularly to share advice, experiences, and best practices.
These circles provide a space for learning, peer support, and personal advisory, covering a range of topics like power and influence, gender equality, work-life balance, personal branding, effective communication, and inclusive leadership. The application for participating in these circles is open annually to all women working in the gaming industry, emphasizing the organization’s commitment to widespread inclusivity and support.
Additionally, GGW organizes Sip & Social events, both in-person and virtually, to foster connections among gaming professionals. These events are designed to encourage the exchange of knowledge and stories, build new friendships, and cultivate a robust professional network, all in an enjoyable atmosphere.
GGW also has a Virtual Mentorship Program, which is in its beta phase as of 2024. This program is designed to facilitate connections among women in a mentor-to-mentee manner, providing a platform for advice exchange, experience sharing, and learning best practices.
Education is another cornerstone of GGW’s activities. The organization has provided over 650 educational conference scholarships through its Charitable Education Fund. The conferences cover a wide range of topics and are designed to provide critical tools for professional growth. These educational efforts underscore GGW’s commitment to empowering women through learning and development opportunities.
GGW’s impact is not only limited to individual development but also extends to advocating for broader change in the industry. The organization’s leaders and members actively work to address issues of gender inequality and promote diversity and inclusivity within the gaming sector. This includes hosting events and panels at international conferences, establishing a significant presence in various regions, and engaging in critical conversations about gender equality in gaming.
The Future Outlook
The future of the gambling industry is shaping up to be more inclusive and balanced in terms of gender representation. This positive change is driven by several key factors:
Increased Female Leadership: The rise of women in leadership roles within the gambling industry is expected to continue. Organizations like Global Gaming Women (GGW) are playing a crucial role in this transformation.
Technological Advancements: The industry’s adoption of new technologies is facilitating this shift towards inclusivity. Online platforms provide a safe and accessible environment for female gamblers, breaking down traditional barriers and stereotypes associated with gambling.
Changing Player Demographics: The growing participation of women as players is reshaping the gambling industry. Women are increasingly involved in various forms of gambling, from slots and bingo to more strategic games like poker. This shift is likely to influence the types of games offered and how they are marketed, leading to a more diverse and inclusive gaming experience.
Impact of Social Media and Influencers: The influence of social media and influencers cannot be overlooked. They are changing perceptions and encouraging more women to explore gambling as a form of entertainment.
Focus on Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives: The industry’s focus on diversity and inclusion initiatives is expected to grow. This includes not only gender diversity but also a broader spectrum of inclusivity encompassing different backgrounds and perspectives. Such efforts are essential for the industry’s growth and sustainability, as they bring in new ideas and approaches.
The year 2023 marks a significant milestone in the journey towards gender equality in the gambling industry. Through various initiatives and the contributions of many trailblazing women, the industry is steadily transforming into a more inclusive and diverse sector.
The progress made not only celebrates women’s achievements but also sets a precedent for continued growth and equality in the years to come.