Next week all roads lead to the Betsson Diversity and Inclusion Conference. The main focus of this latest chapter of this prime event is to shine a light and empower women in the gaming sector.
As an industry, we still have some distance to travel on the journey to authentic equality and inclusivity for women. And to hear more about this all-important campaign, we spoke with one of the conference’s keynote speakers, Carol Stewart, an Executive Leadership Coach, Trainer and Author.
During our conversation, Carol talked about the importance of forward-thinking events, such as this Betsson-sponsored conference, and, crucially, what more we can do as an industry to help create a truly diverse industry — and position more women as leaders in iGaming and the wider gambling business.
Why is it so important for you to attend in-person diversity-focused events like this? What do you hope to achieve?
“Whilst we have made some headway regarding gender diversity at senior levels, there is still a lot more that needs to be done. This is particularly true when it comes to intersectionality and other protected characteristics. It is important for me to attend in-person diversity-focused events in order to highlight the issues and challenges that exist, and support individuals and organisations to identify solutions. We need to continue having conversations that challenge and change thinking and behaviour, so that we can bring about change.”
What will your session be about? What value will the audience gain from listening to your presentation?
“My session is twofold. I will explore what leaders can do to make their organisations more inclusive, particularly looking at it through the lens of belonging as this is something often not given sufficient consideration when looking at diversity, equity, and inclusion. I also want to challenge and provoke the audience’s thinking so that they identify actionable steps that they can take to make their environments more inclusive, and transform them into ones where women feel like they belong. I will also share strategies that women can implement to overcome the barriers to their progression.”
Drawing from your experience, what, typically, has been the biggest obstacle for leaders wanting to encourage diversity in the workplace? How can this be overcome going forward?
“One of the big obstacles I have seen for leaders wanting to encourage diversity in the workplace is a lack of ownership at all levels, because it is often done as an ‘add on’ as opposed to it being integral to business performance. A lack of ownership means that systemic barriers do not get dismantled, and bias goes unchecked. A lack of understanding and a diminishment of the importance of diversity and inclusivity fuels inequality and contributes to a lack of ownership.
“At an executive level, I can only stress that ALL leaders need to take ownership and responsibility for diversity, equity, and inclusion — and champion it, ensuring that this cascades to junior leaders and managers (providing coaching and training support as needed). I have seen many situations where the most senior leaders are committed. But at a more junior level of management, it seems that this is less so and there appears to a lack of accountability. Attaching it to business performance provides accountability and is a way of measuring progress and addressing poor performance, while being able to celebrate the good when apposite.”
The Betsson Diversity Conference is a great example of how leading operators can help to encourage diversity in the iGaming industry. What advice can you give for other operators hoping to do the same and create a more inclusive working environment through leadership?
“Operators wanting to create a more inclusive working environment should identify best practice, learn from those organisations that are excelling at it and develop a strategy that is integrated into business performance. Where leaders lack the knowledge and know-how, they should provide them with guidance, coaching and training. Operators need to recognise that this is not a one-off exercise, but rather something that needs to be continuously practiced.”
After our briefing with Carol, it’s clear that in order for truly sustainable, inclusive environments to thrive, they must be intrinsically woven into business performance objectives. Carol recognises that this elemental culture needs to be encouraged top-down to make real impact and that it’s totally normal that not everyone in the workplace, or organisation, will possess the know-how or knowledge on how to implement this effectively. In these cases, provision of guidance, coaching and training must be made a priority.
A great first step in educating yourself on issues like this will be to attend the Betsson Diversity and Inclusion Conference next week. It’s a brilliant opportunity to hear more from Carol and other leading women from the iGaming industry about how we can create a better future, together!
For more info on the event please click link below: