The gambling and gaming industry is slowly becoming more accessible for women. Scientific Games puts the emphasis on diversity.
The face of gambling and gaming is gradually changing with the times. The industry is largely considered a male space, which is reflected by the very small percentage of women in high-ranking positions.
While the industry has become more accessible for women over time, climbing up the corporate ranks has still evaded progress. Until now, at least. We can finally see a tangible change in the traditionally-male gambling industry.
This change can be observed in companies such as gaming and lottery leader Scientific Games, which is making a name for itself as a diverse and progressive employer.
Senior Vice of Global Gaming Operators President Melissa Price, who joined Scientific Games last year, recently spoke about the challenges she has faced during her long years in the industry. One of the bigger hurdles she has had to overcome is the difficulty of finding a female role model or mentor in the industry.
At the same time, she spoke highly of her male counterparts, who she says were great advocates. According to Ms. Price, the men who supported her understand the importance of promoting equality for men and women in the business world. They want their daughters to have the same opportunities that men have, Ms. Price said.
Emphasis on Diversity
Ms. Price is not the exception to the status quo in Scientific Games. In fact, the company has eight executive-level positions taken by hard-working women with many years of expertise and experience.
Senior Vice President and US Digital Division General Manager Cathryn Lai is an industry veteran with 15 years of experience. She has worked in the fields of product development and innovation across multiple industries. Now, she leads Scientific Games in the highly competitive sports betting market.
According to Ms. Lai, sports betting is indeed a male-leadership focused field. However, she stressed that gender ultimately takes a backseat to expertise. Ms. Lai added that more and more companies put women into leadership roles on the technology side. “I don’t see any barriers,” Ms. Lai said.
Chief Commercial Officer Siobhan Lane has lauded Scientific Games for acknowledging the lack of diversity in its ranks and the steps it has taken to increase opportunities. Ms. Lane, who joined the company last year, hopes that the rest of the industry will follow the example set by Scientific Games.
Ms. Lane stressed that the company places great emphasis on finding the best candidates while also being mindful of diversity and inclusion.
Scientific Games has brought many qualified women on board in the last 18 months. This includes Digital Chief People Officer Laura Probert, Gaming CFO Connie James, Chief HRO Eileen Moore Johnson, Vice President Marketing Jennifer Welshons and Digital General Counsel Sue Dawson.
The direction taken by Scientific Games is a reflection of the changing industry. The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a great toll, but is at the same time driving innovation. But in order to foster a better environment for innovation, the industry would be wise to accept more women into the still-predominantly male sphere..
Women’s unique insights and perspectives may be what the industry needs.