NEW YORK-listed gambling technology supplier IGT Group recently announced that it is continuing with its ambitions of increasing diversity with the gambling sector, by become a founding member of the All-in Diversity project.
Vice President, Corporate Communications at IGT, Angela Wiczek spoke to CasinoBeats about the importance of increasing diversity within the industry and why the timing is perfect for the partnership between the supplier and the All-in Diversity project.
CB: Can you tell us further what it means to you to be part of the All-in Diversity project?
AW: The partnership between IGT and the All-in Diversity Project provides an opportunity to be part of a groundbreaking initiative that will help open our industry to talent that has been traditionally underrepresented. Simply put, we need greater diversity of perspectives so that we can increase the levels of innovation and creativity that customers and players demand.
The timing is perfect because All-in and IGT are each laying the foundation for our global gaming industry to understand the current state and goals for diversity and inclusion, with an eye toward shifting the representation of women, people of colour, and other under-represented groups. We recognise that we’re experiencing a dramatic shift in the view and understanding of diversity and inclusion in this industry and we’re excited to be on the leading edge of this work.
“It is critical that we act as an industry to create more access and opportunities for under-represented groups…”
CB: How important is it that the industry unites to increase diversity?
AW: It is critical that we act as an industry to create more access and opportunities for under-represented groups, including, among others, women, people of colour, people with disabilities, and LGBTQ people. The opportunity to engage in a dialogue with our industry colleagues to promote diversity and inclusion means that we can openly discuss challenges, share ideas, strategies, and best practices. It also means that we are each contributing to expanding the depth of experience and representation of our talent with industry-specific experience. A strong pipeline of top diverse talent benefits the industry, our current employees, and future members of the gaming industry.
If the industry is united in our commitment, we can challenge and change practices that create barriers to inclusion and equity. As an example, the industry is taking steps to address the use of female talent and brand ambassadors at tradeshows and conferences in unnecessarily sexual and demeaning ways. When we act together to address traditions and practices that are inconsistent with our diversity and inclusion goals, we will experience a shift in culture and not just a trend.
CB: What methods are IGT undertaking in order to increase diversity within the company?
AW: IGT understands that with increasing diversity, companies realise greater profits and rates of innovation. However, this is effective only when supported through inclusion – behaviours that enable employees to feel welcomed, valued, and able to contribute to their greatest extent. We owe it to our employees, customers, partners, and shareholders to build and maintain a workforce that reflects the communities in which we operate. This goal requires leadership and commitment.
IGT has created a strategic plan that is organised into three pillars: People and Processes, Organisational Culture, and Customers and Communities. In 2018, IGT commits to:
– Expand talent recruitment channels and internal supports to increase and retain women in leadership globally and under-represented employees at all levels in the U.S., including veterans, people of colour, women, people with disabilities, and LGBTQ people.
– Evaluate and update our policies, procedures, and benefits to ensure equity.
– Learn and use language that communicates inclusion.
– Support programs and initiatives that will increase levels of inclusion across the organisation, particularly for those groups currently underrepresented at IGT.
CB: Can the casino industry set the bar within the gambling sector for diversity?
AW: The entire industry must play a role in opening our industry to greater diversity, different viewpoints, and perspectives that deliver the innovation and creativity that our evolving customer base and players demand.