Gender bias is still a threat to equality, diversity and inclusion in the gaming and betting industry and, whilst there are more women in C-Level positions, that number needs to increase, according to Sue Schneider, VP of Growth and Strategy for SBC Americas.
The industry veteran Schneider, talking on the latest edition of the SBC Leaders Podcast marking International Women’s Day, told SBC’s Global Relationships Director Kelly Kehn that companies need to do more work to get women in senior management positions.
Asked whether gender bias is still staining the industry, Schneider remarked: “Oh yes, I think it’s still ongoing. If you look at it, there have to be thousands of companies in the igaming, sports betting and even the land base space. And I think you and I have been trying to identify female CEOs were maybe up to 30 – out of thousands.
“So we are seeing more women in C-level positions. So hopefully that pipeline will begin to move forward but it’s still there, particularly on the management level.”
Later the conversation evolved to how operators and other firms can help to overcome gender bias and inequality within the workplace. It was posited that industry events could be used to drive messages that promote gender equality, specifically raising awareness to solve these issues.
Schneider drew upon some of her experiences to outline how she is attempting to raise awareness and tackle gender inequality, detailing: “It’s an ongoing challenge. My mission in helping to shape the programs for SBC is always to get more diversity, whether it’s minorities or whether it’s women, or both. And it’s a challenge.
“So I know there are critics out there that are very vocal about having manels (male-only panels) and all that. But believe me, we try very, very hard. So sometimes we don’t make it. But it’s just so dominant, so male-dominated industry that it’s hard.
“It’s getting better. I really like, for example, that there are several women in gaming groups. There’s one in Australia, and one of the things they’re doing is training and speaking so that people feel comfortable to come into that (C-Level) position.”
Finally, Kehn and Schneider examined the current landscape of the industry, highlighting the lack of women and the need for more women to get larger roles.
However, rather than labeling such hires as ‘preferential treatment’, Schneider noted that, whilst women she had encountered had vast experience, they were not reaching such roles.
She concluded: “When it comes to hiring, it’s a matter of opening up a whole half of the demographics. You know, I’ve talked to women that have been traders in Las Vegas for like 30 years and they have some stories.
“But why is it that there are so few? And in a lot of those kinds of roles? So those are the kind of things that I think from an employer standpoint makes sense to really explore and say maybe we need to open that up a little bit more. There are a lot of very, very talented people out there. So let’s make that happen.”