Diversity matters

7th July 2020 10:09 am GMT

Following lockdown and the fallout from George Floyd’s murder, diversity and human resource management is higher on the agenda than ever before. Gaming Intelligence reveals the results of the All-In Diversity Project’s 2019 annual survey and its fascinating insights.

Firstly, the number of companies taking part was up from 25 last year to 29 this year. Not a massive increase but it represents progress for the All-In Diversity Project and its aims. The number of employees covered by the survey is up almost 10 per cent from 117,231 last year to 128, 909 this year.

This is the first year a regulator (the Malta Gaming Authority) and a charity (Canada’s Responsible Gaming Council) have taken part in the survey. One of the Project’s long-term aims is to get diversity reporting written into licensing requirements, so the relationship with the MGA is a step in the right direction.

Perhaps the most significant finding of the survey is that the percentage of women working in the companies surveyed has increased from 46.5 per cent to 48.9 per cent. 65,841 employees identify as male, while 63,068 identify as female.

“We think this figure might drop again next year with the increase in sportsbooks both in the US and emerging markets, as well as the growing interest in eSports and virtual sports,” says AIDP co-founder Tina Thakor-Rankin. However, women have almost achieved parity with their male counterparts on executive boards. Forty per cent of executive board members were women this year.

“Obviously it is not quite 50:50 but it’s close,” says Thakor-Rankin. “This is good because this is where the decisions that shape the strategy and culture of the organisation are made.”

But they are still not getting the very top jobs. While there are four women chief executives among the firms surveyed by AIDP, that represents just 15 per cent of the total, a small drop from 17 per cent last year, but so marginal that it is essentially consistent with last year’s number. Indeed, the proportion of women in leadership positions has stayed roughly the same across the board.

However, there has been a small slump in the number of women sitting on nonexecutive boards, with only 22.4 per cent female non-execs compared to last year’s 28 per cent. That could be attributed to the number of mergers and acquisitions that have occurred in the industry during the past year.

Jobs for the boys

It is difficult to compare data for job roles as the categories have been refined this year. However, in the last year 17 per cent of technology jobs were taken by women – in line with UK and US averages for the tech industry as a whole. This year that figure has risen to 20 per cent, ahead of the tech industry overall.

The number of women working in trading and risk management, however, has dropped from 18 per cent to just eight per cent. This could be due to the rise of sports betting in the US. More surprising still is the large drop in the percentage of women working in marketing – from 50 per cent to 36 per cent. The percentage of women working in sales and business development has also dropped significantly from 55 per cent to 36 per cent (which cannot be solely attributed to the change in definition from ‘sales and commercial’, which should have been inconsequential).

“With a focus on Women in STEM/TECH, we may have taken our eye off the ball in other areas,” says AIDP co-founder Kelly Kehn. “Diversity and inclusion is not something you do once and move on from. With a huge focus on the image of the industry in the media and an increase in bad press in 2018/2019, we may have lost a good chunk of those in the sector.”

“For me, the clear correlation is the increase in sports betting – which equals more traders; and sales and marketing with a bias towards men over women,” believes Kehn’s colleague Thakor-Rankin.

The section of the survey that focuses on how women get their jobs provides a few insights too. About three per cent more women than men get their jobs through social media, which is probably inconsequential on a survey of this size. With around 80 per cent of men and 80 per cent of women getting their jobs through recruitment firms, it looks like parity has been achieved through that channel. The fact that 67 per cent of female appointments came through internal promotion, versus 59 per cent of male appointments, suggests women are being taken more seriously internally.

Black Lives Matter

Given the political climate around race and racism, it is serendipitous that this is the first time AIDP asked questions about information other than gender metrics.

“We were surprised at the fact that more companies record ethnicity than LGBTQ+ and disabilities, as hearsay evidence has suggested the opposite,” says Thakor Rankin.

Twenty per cent of companies claim it is illegal to do so in their jurisdiction but another 20 per cent suggest they would consider recording in future, and a further 20 per cent said they would consider recording the information if employees agree to it.

“The question is how 2020 will impact our industry going forward,” says Thakor-Rankin.

How will lockdown change people’s perceptions and attitudes towards work? HR directors across the industry are considering the role of the office and whether they need so much space, and whether it is needed in expensive locations. Will the Black Lives Matter movement result in more diversity reporting and diversity and inclusion policies? Will regulatory restrictions in Europe mean we see a growth in emerging markets? And how might that affect the figures?

The world is in such a state of flux that we can only wait until next year before we find out the answers to these questions.

Key Stats

Percentage of women in industry roles

Entry/New StarterTeam Lead/SupervisorManagerDept. HeadDir./VP/C-Level
(47% 2018)(49% 2018)(40% 2018)(29% 2018)(22% 2018)

Male/Female split by role

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