SBC Leaders: gender bias is an ‘ongoing challenge’ within gambling

Though the gambling industry is getting better compared to ten years ago, gender bias is still an ongoing issue within the sector, according to SBC’s VP Growth & Strategy, Americas, Sue Schneider

Speaking in the latest SBC Leaders podcast, launched on International Women’s Day with host Kelly Kehn, Schneider expressed that though gender bias is still prevalent in the industry, particularly on the management level, where herself and Kehn identified 30 female CEOs out of thousands, the sector is starting to see more women in C-Level positions and hopes that the “pipeline will begin to move forward”.

Asked by Kehn how the industry can draw more awareness to gender bias, signalling events throughout the calendar year, Schneider noted: “It’s an ongoing challenge. My mission in helping shape the programmes for SBC to always be more diverse, whether it’s minorities, women, or both. And it’s just a challenge. 

“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 male dominated industry that it’s hard. 

“It’s getting better. 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 position.

“It’s much easier than it was 10 years ago and part of getting women in, and there are groups, like Global Gaming Women, that are doing events like this where there’s support and set aside time to talk about issues that we continue to see.”

Providing her advice to younger females within the industry, or looking to join, who’s career has been hindered by gender bias, Schneider noted that she thinks at present, “right now is actually a time where they can really take advantage”, as she reveals more companies are looking for women to put in higher positions on their boards.  

“I think at this point, there’s more of a tipping point that’s coming around where if you look at a board on a company website, and it doesn’t have any diversity at all, they get called on. 

“I think it is a really good time to take advantage of those opportunities and put themselves forward because I think many of the companies are trying to fit that.” 

The interview also went on to talk about various US states which are prioritising gender, Schneider’s history of testifying before Congress and highlighted the importance of International Women’s Day.