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To mark International Women’s Day 2019 today, we’ve put iGaming under the spotlight to measure how women are involved – both behind the scenes and in front of screens.
The concept of equality between men and women is now, hopefully, common sense for most people.
We’ve made great strides in recent years to achieve gender-equal societies, although we’re not quite there yet.
However, no serious politicians, celebrities or cultural icons are using their platforms to propagandise that women should basically be men’s housebound servants.
Not anymore anyway.
Still, it’s too easy to forget that only decades ago, in the supposedly advanced post-enlightenment and industrialised nations of Europe and America, it was taboo for a woman to work.
The 20th Century became a warzone for women fighting for equal opportunities – even after female workers took to the factories in droves to bolster the war efforts in WW1 and WW2.
Even now, in the first quarter of the 21st Century, debate is still raging on culturally and politically about whether we have yet achieved truly gender-equal societies and what changes are still needed.
So, how does the thriving industry of casinos and iGaming fit into this? Are women given the same employment opportunities as men in the world of iGaming? Is gambling a man’s world or do women enjoy playing games just as much? Let’s take a look.
The iGaming industry is booming.
There are years of momentum behind it, more and more online casinos are created every year and special colleges and courses are even being started to help fill the surge of new jobs. it’s clear the industry isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
However, in a business that is historically male-driven, are women receiving the same opportunities as their X+Y chromosomed colleagues?
In the capital of iGaming, Malta, which houses many famous casino and betting brands, official figures published by the Malta Gaming Authority in 2017 showed that men occupied 64.8% of iGaming jobs, leaving just 35.2% posts for women.
In 2019 however, The All-in Diversity Project, an organisation campaigning for more diversity in iGaming, published a global report that depicted more equal figures overall.
According to All-in, women are now occupying 46.5% of positions across the industry, which is quite a jump from 2017!
Despite this, a common problem affecting many businesses across the EU and US is the lack of women in top positions or on boards.
This is sadly still true across the betting & gambling sector. However, the recent All-in Diversity Project study showed that the number of women on boards in the industry has surpassed the UK and US national averages – with women occupying 28% of boardroom positions.
While this is a good start, women are clearly not being represented equally in top positions within the sector.
To fight back on this, “Big Four” auditor KPMG has launched a campaign called #WeAllWantToPlay, to encourage big firms to become allies in the fight for equality in iGaming.
In a recent article, Alice Hero, assistant manager at KPMG, said: “The best way to combat sexism and inequality is by moving the conversation forward and highlighting why gender equality is important for everyone, not just women.
She added: “We should be looking to bring about serious change, not at the expense of men, but by creating new ways of working that reflect the realities of today, and tomorrow. To develop a new and shared understanding of what success means.”
We can see that companies are getting close to hiring as many women as men – but, to quote Ariana, “Close ain’t close enough ‘till we cross the line.”
Well, the popular gaming provider NetEnt is fighting hard to achieve true equality by having 50/50 parity across its entire company by 2020.
Back in November 2014, NetEnt announced their campaign to reach an equal male/female divide and took several steps to achieve this.
Diversity Group: A quarterly meeting was created, featuring a selection of NetEnters, to discuss what work and actions are needed to progress towards creating a diverse and gender-balanced company.
Equal Opportunities Policy: Opportunities are given to all regardless of sex, gender, age, sexual orientation or disability.
NetEnt received high praise for this campaign from a recent iGaming diversity report by KPMG.
It stated: “There are encouraging signs from one operator, who has even embraced a dynamic timeline for its gender diversity.
“Gaming firm NetEnt is a market leader in this, promising to achieve 50/50 parity in the workplace by the year 2020.
“Having won several titles at the 2016 Women in Gaming Awards, this company is fully committed to achieving its goal and is already well on the way there.”
NetEnt announced on its website that it wants to be “role models” to “lead the industry in the right direction”.
Well, with just 9 months to go until the deadline, we wish them luck in achieving these goals and setting a standard for the whole industry to follow.
Historically, men have been the poster-children of gambling. The recurring tropes of this cobweb ridden old stereotype are that men find gambling more appealing than woman because they’re more suited to it mentally and emotionally.
Studies have shown that this is, to use polite and slightly old-fashioned words, utter balderdash – the ladies love a flutter too, although statistically their gambling habits do differ from men.
An investigation by Optimove, that looked at the activity of 382K customers from 11 leading casino brands in Europe, found that the stereotype of men being the ballsy risk takers was certainly not the case, as ladies were found to have deposited more often, and with more money.
They’re also more loyal to casino brands – more women than men were continuing to play at casinos for months after their first deposits.
It will be interesting to see if casinos take note of statistics like these and start trying to bring in more female players in the future.
The UK’s Gambling Commission has also looked into the different gaming habits of Martians and Venusians and published stats recently that show women are more likely than men to have a spin on a slot while commuting.
When it comes to game preferences, women have historically been labelled lovers of luck-based games such as roulette and slots – but this might not be totally accurate overall.
In recent reports, women were found to have played more slots than skill-based games – but not overwhelmingly more than men.
And while the percentage of women playing skill games like poker is small compared to men, up to a quarter of wagers placed by women are on these games.
At NetEnt Casino, we’re optimistic that the future for women in iGaming, both behind the scenes and in front of screens, is bright.
More and more online casinos and casino game providers are progressively changing how they view workplace equality – and are seeking to employ more women in higher up roles as well as less-well paid ones.
As Gustaf Hagman, group CEO of LeoVegas said recently: “Just like any other business in the technology sector, we value competence over all other factors. Therefore, the imbalance between men and women in the sector is so problematic.
“When 50% of the population consists of women, but only a fraction is considering the tech industry as a future workplace, we lose a lot of skills and important perspectives that are crucial for the construction of future technology.”
When it comes to female players, the recent revolution of mobile and tablet gambling is allowing people in all walks of life to enjoy their favourite casino games wherever they are.
This is helping women to buck their supposed gaming trends and challenge stereotypes about how and what they play.
As the industry grows, we hope there will be more choice for women professionally and unprofessionally in iGaming as employers and advertisers look to include more of the fairer sex in their businesses and customer groups.
So, when it comes to the role of women and equality in iGaming – we think it’s still all to play for.
What do you think? Get in touch with us and let us know your thoughts!
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