#SWAAYthenarrative

The Most Powerful Women in iGaming 2020

It's a well known fact that women are under-represented in many industries, especially at the higher levels although there is strong evidence to support the idea that those companies that do use a gender diverse platform fare far better than those that don't.


Overall the betting and gaming industry is pretty even when talking about gender diversity with around 47% of all the employees being female, although when looking at managerial positions the percentages begin to widen in favour of male employees, with CEO's or MD's having the widest percentage with 83% of all CEO's being male.

The career ladder for women still appears to be a lot harder to climb and this inequality is sure to have a long-term impact on the talent pool, and as men outnumber women at the manager level, there are significantly fewer women to either hire or promote to the more senior management levels.

But, not everything is doom and gloom and there are many examples of women performing really well at the highest levels of the gambling industry who help to shape or influence decisions in a positive manner.

For instance, Melissa Blau who is the director of iGaming Capital has always been a strong supporter of innovation and has been chair of the Clarion Start-up Launchpad since 2009. Starting her career in investment banking before moving into venture capital gave Ms Blau a love for the more entrepreneurial side.

Alongside her work with start-ups, she also consults for a wide range of gaming businesses working in both Europe and the US, returning to live in the US in 2015 playing a major role in the US market.

Managing the igaming RFP and vendor selection of the Delaware Lottery, working with Tropicana to launch its igaming offering in 2013, and also launching and continuing to own one of first licensed affiliate businesses in New Jersey, Ms Blau is recognised as an exceptionally successful and knowledgeable force within the industry.

Just like the software developers behind the game who strive to bring their players the very best experiences, so many women in the higher positions within the industry work tirelessly to achieve only the very best results.

Take Britt Boeskov who is the chief experience officer, Kindred. Promoted to head a new division at Kindred she has also taken on a board position as independent non-executive director at Racecourse Media Group.

Shannon DeHaven who is the deputy director of digital operation, Michigan Lottery has the reputation of being somewhat of an inspiration who is described as the pre-eminent expert in all digital and iLottery matters.

There is no doubt that women can and do cut the grade if they make themselves visible. Being out there, on the front line, helps enormously as does writing for magazines which are always looking for new, innovative content, especially if you have something to say. Magazines tend to do events as well giving women the chance to attend conferences and webinars, but being aware of what you are best at and how you can share that expertise is essential in order to succeed.

3 min read
Culture

Please Don't Forget to Say Thank You

"More grapes, please," my daughter asked, as she continued to color her Peppa Pig drawing at the kitchen table.

"What do you say?" I asked her, as I was about to hand her the bowl.

"More grapes?"

I shook my head.

"Please?"

I stood there.

"I want green grapes instead of red grapes?"

I shook my head again. I handed her the bowl of green grapes. "Thank you. Please don't forget to say thank you."

"Thank you, Momma!"

Here's the question at hand: Do we have to retrain our leaders to say thank you like I am training my children?

Many of us are busy training our young children on manners on the other side of the Zoom camera during this pandemic. Reminding them to say please, excuse me, I tried it and it's not my favorite, I am sorry, and thank you. And yet somehow simple manners continue to be undervalued and underappreciated in our workplaces. Because who has time to say thank you?

"Call me. This needs to be completed in the next hour."

"They didn't like the deck. Needs to be redone."

"When are you planning on sending the proposal?"

"Did you see the questions he asked? Where are the responses?"

"Needs to be done by Monday."

Let me take a look. I didn't see a please. No please. Let me re-read it again. Nope, no thank you either. Sure, I'll get to that right away. Oh yes, you're welcome.

Organizations are under enormous pressure in this pandemic. Therefore, leaders are under enormous pressure. Business models collapsing, budget cuts, layoffs, or scrapping plans… Companies are trying to pivot as quickly as possible—afraid of extinction. With employees and leaders everywhere teaching and parenting at home, taking care of elderly parents, or maybe even living alone with little social interaction, more and more of us are dealing with all forms of grief, including losing loved ones to COVID-19.

So we could argue we just don't have time to say thank you; we don't have time to express gratitude. There's too much happening in the world to be grateful for anything. We are all living day to day, the pendulum for us swinging between surviving and thriving. But if we don't have the time to be grateful now, to show gratitude and thanks as we live through one of the most cataclysmic events in recent human history, when will we ever be thankful?

If you don't think you have to say thank you; if you don't think they deserve a thank you (it's their job, it's what they get paid to do); or if you think, "Why should I say thank you, no one ever thanks me for anything?" It's time to remember that while we might be living through one of the worst recessions of our lifetimes, the market will turn again. Jobs will open up, and those who don't feel recognized or valued will be the first to go. Those who don't feel appreciated and respected will make the easy decision to work for leaders who show gratitude.

But if we don't have the time to be grateful now, to show gratitude and thanks as we live through one of the most cataclysmic events in recent human history, when will we ever be thankful?

Here's the question at hand: Do we have to retrain our leaders to say thank you like I am training my children? Remind them with flashcards? Bribe them with a cookie? Tell them how I proud I am of them when they say those two magical words?

Showing gratitude isn't that difficult. You can send a thoughtful email or a text, send a handwritten card, send something small as a gesture of thank you, or just tell them. Call them and tell them how thankful you are for them and for their contributions. Just say thank you.

A coworker recently mailed me a thank you card, saying how much she appreciated me. It was one of the nicest things anyone from work has sent me during this pandemic. It was another reminder for me of how much we underestimate the power of a thank you card.

Apparently, quarantine gratitude journals are all the rage right now. So it's great if you have a beautiful, leather-bound gratitude journal. You can write down all of the people and the things that you are thankful for in your life. Apparently, it helps you sleep better, helps you stay grounded, and makes you in general happier. Just don't forget to take a moment to stop writing in that journal, and to show thanks and gratitude to those you are working with every single day.