The second annual report by the London-based, gaming-industry funded nonprofit All-in, revealed women comprise nearly half of gaming industry employees, yet men fill higher positions and receive higher pay. Still, All-in Diversity Project co-founder Kelly Kehn said in recent years companies have made a “huge leap” in recognizing more diversity is essential to success.
“Now we’re at the ‘how.’ That’s where a lot of businesses are getting stuck,” Kehn said.
The study is based on data from 26 organizations operating in the United States, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia, with a total of nearly 126,000 employees and more than 150 brands. It reflects data from late 2019 to early 2020, pre-pandemic.
Kehn said the All-In project holds up a mirror for the industry to see overlooked issues. “Until you can measure what’s actually happening, you can never pinpoint those little nuances that might be in place,” she said.
The report found women hold 46.7 percent of gaming industry jobs, decreasing as responsibilities and salaries increase. Specifically, Women account for:
- 48 percent of entry level employees
- 34 percent of supervisors or team leaders
- 39 percent of managers overseeing team leaders or supervisors
- 26 percent of department heads
- 23 percent of director/vice president/partner or C-level positions
- 15 percent of chief executive officers or managing directors
The study also stated, “The gender pay gap is real and, if anything, appears to have widened” since the 2018 report. Back then, the number of men and women were the same in the lowest salary ranges of less than $25,000 and $25,000 to $50,000; men were the majority in the other five salary ranges. In 2019, men outnumbered women in every salary category. About 12 percent of women employees earned $50,000 or more per year compared to 25 percent of men.
Among other major findings in the study, 77.5 percent of non-executive board members were male, compared to just 22.5 percent female, down 5.5 percent from the previous year. In addition, men held 59.2 percent of executive board positions, compared to 40.8 percent held by women.
Additionally, the report found men dominated in the fields of technology, and trading and risk roles. Women held more positions in hospitality, human resources and development, the result of “traditional stereotypical assumptions” in the workplace.
Only four companies said they provide support groups or additional training and development for staffers in ethnic, minority or other under-represented groups. Nearly all participants said they have a formal equality/anti-discrimination policy, but fewer than 70 percent said they offer training for it, a 20 percent drop since 2018, according to the report. However, nearly 75 percent of respondents said they offer training about conscious and unconscious bias, a 25 percent increase since 2018.
Kehn said when the project started in 2017, few gaming companies addressed diversity.
“Only three years on, the business case is irrefutable. If companies want to be successful, if they want to be sustainable, if they want to be good corporate citizens and build that employer brand, diversity/inclusion is a big piece,” she said.
Kehn added, “2019 may have seen the start of a new trend where organizations shifted focus from supporting individual groups to the broader, more inclusive theme of mental health and well-being for all, incorporating the needs of specific groups and the impact of exclusion on health and well-being.”
Executives need to be aware of their company’s gender pay gap and also recognize policies that negatively impact certain groups, Kehn said. “We’re not trying to say everything needs to be 50-50 or equally balanced. What we’re trying to say is that there are tools for businesses that want to be more diverse and inclusive,” she stated.
All-in revealed GVC Holdings scored the highest in its performance study with a top score of 73, up from 39 last year. IGT ranked second at 71 points, followed by Sky Betting & Gaming at 70, Betsson Group at 68 and SIS at 60. One company, which was not identified in the report, scored zero.
“We believe that surveying the industry annually is one of the most significant ways we can continue real progress globally. We are grateful to all participants who are both committed to their own progress but also to the industry’s overall improvement,” Kehn noted.
All-in Co-founder Christina Thakor-Rankin said the next report, to be issued in early 2021, will address Covid-19 job losses and policy changes, including flexible hours, remote working and sick leave. “Covid makes us change the way in which we think about work. There are a lot of unknowns,” she said.
Companies can sign up for the Covid-19 survey through All-in’s website.
“The more participants we get, the clearer the data, the clearer the picture becomes and the more we can help the industry as a whole progress,” Kehn said.