“At first I was afraid, I was petrified” Gloria Gaynor, I Will Survive Amy Ayoub, The Zen Speaker, told me that the best way to start a speech is with a quote, a fact or a question. I think I can apply the same principle to this article and I can think of no better quote that sums up how I felt on the first day of the Executive Development Program. I don’t remember when I first heard about the Executive Development Program. I do remember that I was a Customer Service team member, working at the Premium Gaming Room reception desk at Treasury Casino in Brisbane, so it must have been about ten years ago. I had heard that one of the Casino Duty Managers had gone to Lake Tahoe in Nevada USA for a development course that was specifically for leaders in the gaming industry. I set myself the goal that one day I would attend. As I write this, I’m reflecting on one of the most challenging, exhausting, difficult and rewarding experiences of my career and my education. A joint initiative of the University of Reno and the University of Las Vegas, The Executive Development Program [...]
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So far Women in Gaming Australasia has created 38 blog entries.
Love them or hate them, performance reviews are an annual staple in the majority of companies. To ensure business success, most organisations have a performance evaluation process. This might include including goal-setting, performance measurement, regular performance feedback, self-evaluation, employee recognition and documentation of employee progress. Performance reviews are supposed to be objective with employees being rated against a scale to ensure fairness. However, performance reviews are subjective, and this opens the door to gender bias. Gender bias, by definition, is the unfair differences in the way a person is treated because of their gender. We have seen many a business case telling us the benefits of a diverse leadership team; improved financial performance, more creative and innovative teams, improvements in recruiting and retaining talent just to name a few. We even have sex discrimination acts in force making it illegal to discriminate based on one’s gender. So why is bias still at play and how does it affect women’s ability to progress in the workplace? Everyone has biases. They develop over the course of our lifetime through our own experiences and exposure to messages and other influences. While bias will always be present, we can become more aware and [...]
Committed to driving change, new directors David Ronson MD of Aristocrat, and Alison Smith Group Executive External Affairs The Star Entertainment Group, are appointed to the WGHA Board. Women in Gaming & Hospitality Australasia (WGHA) is pleased to welcome the new directors to its board as the organisation continues to pursue positive outcomes for the industry. Christie Roser, Chief People and Culture Officer at Aristocrat will step up to the role of Chair following the retirement from the board of Chad Barton and Jenny Hatton-Mahon. WGHA CEO, Helen Galloway, said she was delighted to welcome the new board configuration and the diverse mix of experience, geographical representation and skill sets. “I’m thrilled to welcome David and Alison, who are both passionate about empowering women working in, or looking to work in, the gaming industry in Australasia,” Ms Galloway said after today’s 2019 WGHA AGM. “David is a passionate, people-focused leader of the Aristocrat team, is based in Sydney, and has a strong focus on building a high-performance culture. “Alison brings strong stakeholder skills to the board together with an external focus on the importance of corporate responsibility. “Alison’s appointment also increases our board presence and representation which now runs across Auckland, Brisbane, Hobart, Melbourne and [...]
Avoiding the Merit Trap Merit is a combination of past performance and future potential. Merit is also thought of as an objective way to recruit the ‘best person for the job’ however, under the surface, it is a largely subjective measure. Hiring the ‘best person for the job’ based on merit can and does have a large impact on advancing gender equality. Many organisations cite merit as the reason for not having promoted more women into senior leadership roles. Merit though, does introduce bias to the hiring process. Many studies have shown that promotions and appointments are often based on subjective considerations as well as skill and experience. Unconscious bias comes into play across a variety of ways including affinity bias (someone like you or who you can relate to) as well as groupthink (desire for harmony and conformity). According to Global Women New Zealand, there are two key problems with the concept of meritocracy in the world of work. “The first is that bias exists at each stage of the employment process. The second is that women and men do not start from an even playing field.” Merit is a topic that has been widely discussed and [...]
How did you find your start in the industry and how did you arrive at your current position? I started working at Zagame’s Caulfield at the age of 18. I had no idea how to pour a beer and I certainly wasn’t ready for the grave yard shift as my induction to hospitality and gaming. At the time Zagame’s Caulfield was the number one performing venue in Victoria and I relished the vibe of the organisation, the comradery of the team, the vision of the leadership, and the thrill of working the public bar and taking note of the horses that impressed at trackwork that morning at Caulfield Racecourse. I was hooked! Since then I’ve worked at what is now The Glasshouse, Caulfield and then on to Tabcorp in a training role followed by a private RTO in a Hospitality Executive position. I have been at the Australian Hotels Association (Vic) for 6 years, firstly as the Manager for Membership and now as the Senior Manager for Membership and Industry Engagement. What has motivated you to get involved in being an advocate for change? (for gender equality) Having now been in the industry for (ahem) 23 years, I see [...]
Gaming and hospitality have historically been male-dominated industries with unconscious bias accounting for the gender gap in leadership. One form of unconscious bias is affinity bias which affects recruitment, retention and the talent pipeline. Hiring managers show a marked preference for candidates to whom they can relate which plays a key role in many selection decisions. The perception is that leaders will hire like-minded individuals with similar leadership styles; so, a heavily male workforce will more than likely be maintained. Unconscious bias also affects the representation of women on boards and an active focus is required to create and/or increase diversity. According to the ASX, the latest percentage of women on ASX200 boards is 29.5% (reported 31 October 2019). In New Zealand, figures released by the NZX show the percentage of women directors on listed company boards increased from 19.7% to 22% in 2018 – just four more women than in 2017 (reported February 2019). There is growing evidence that a diverse workforce leads to tangible and positive impacts on culture and operations. Benefits include increased efficiency, productivity, innovation, creativity and improved employee engagement. A strategic focus on a diverse workforce needs to start at the top. The composition [...]
Women in Gaming & Hospitality Australasia (WGHA) signs seventh corporate partner. This support enables WGHA to promote gender equitable outcomes in the gaming and hospitality industry in Australia. Women in Gaming & Hospitality is an industry-driven not for profit organisation that aims to identify and remove barriers for the advancement of women in the gaming, hospitality and gaming related industries. Redcape Hotel Group has joined The Star Entertainment Group, Aristocrat, SkyCity Entertainment Group, Crown Resorts, ALH Group and Christchurch Casino as the seventh partner of Women in Gaming & Hospitality. Women in Gaming & Hospitality CEO, Helen Galloway, said the partnership with Redcape will help to expand the footprint to influence and impact the equitable outcomes in our industry. “I am thrilled to have Redcape join as a member of Women in Gaming & Hospitality. Redcape have a strong focus on people and communities. They are committed to shaping and nurturing sociable and sustainable communities and this includes their workforce of 800+ staff. Partnering with Redcape will allow us to further unite the industry for equitable outcomes for women”. Redcape General Manager Corporate Affairs & Marketing Strategy, Bianca Vlasic said; “at Redcape, we have a strong commitment to people; be it supporting our staff [...]
How did you find your start in the industry and how did you arrive at your current position? I worked as a waitress in Wests Leagues Club whilst studying mathematics at university. After graduating, I landed a graduate position at Aristocrat and have worked my way up to my current role as Game Design Lead. So, I have experience working for a club and a gaming manufacturer in completely unrelated roles. Why is Women in Gaming & Hospitality so important to you? Women in Gaming & Hospitality is so important to me as it has provided a range of opportunities for me to develop professionally. I have attended Step Forward Events, Networking nights and most recently, I was fortunate enough to be selected for the Emerging Speakers Program. I always leave these events feeling inspired and energised. As part of the Emerging Speakers Program, I attended the Gaming, Racing & Wagering Australia conference along with the 3 others selected for the program (Ainslie, Kimberley and Janelle) and we were coached by Josephine Dalton (General Manager - People Services, People & performance at The Star Entertainment Group). This was a wonderful opportunity to meet other women in various parts of [...]
Last month on 28th August, Australia observed [Un] Equal Pay Day, marking the 59 additional days from the end of the previous financial year that women must work to earn the same pay as men. Equal Pay Day saw a flurry of social media activity, engagement and support, but it is important to remember that this issue needs year-round attention. It's equally important to remember that Equal Pay is not the only factor that contributes to the Gender Pay Gap. Particular attention needs to be paid to the social and economic factors that combine to reduce women's earning capacity over their lifetime, and what we can do about it to help close the gap. Before we explore the reasons, let's look at the what the gender pay gap is and isn't. According to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, "the gender pay gap measures the difference between the average earnings of women and men in the workforce. It is not the difference between two people being paid differently for work of the same or comparable value, which is unlawful. This is called equal pay. The gender pay gap is an internationally established measure of women's position in the economy in comparison to men." In Australia, the gender pay [...]
How did you find your start in the industry and how did you arrive at your current position? Initially I was drawn to the hospitality industry specifically towards hotels. I was studying accounting and had hoped to get a finance job in a hotel chain that could open up the possibilities to work abroad. To get experience in the industry I applied for a Gaming Attendant role at Parramatta Leagues Club, which I was successful in. To this day I still have fond memories of comradery amongst the staff from entry level to senior management. The more training I underwent the more avenues presented with the option to pursue a career within this industry. It was the moment I decided this would be my future that doors started to open for me. I underwent a quick succession from gaming attendant to loyalty host and then safe operator. I was presented with the opportunity to look at some small Gaming Admin tasks and quickly found a passion for Gaming. It was from here I looked to further my progression and find a role in my new found passion. I bid Parramatta Leagues Club farewell and stepped into a Gaming Analyst [...]