Blackhurst Decries Lack of Female Gaming Execs

Caesars Executive Vice President Jan Jones Blackhurst lamented the lack of women in leadership roles in the gaming industry at a Las Vegas conference.

Caesars Entertainment executive Jan Jones Blackhurst gave a presentation at the 16th annual International Conference on Gambling & Risk Taking that spotlighted the lack of women in senior leadership roles in the gaming industry.

Blackhurst, Caesars executive vice president of government relations and corporate social responsibility and former mayor of Las Vegas, demonstrated her point with a display of more than a dozen head-shot photos of executives of one of the major industry suppliers, all but one men, saying, “It would be the exact same picture of any executive team that I happen to showcase.”

Blackhurst pointed out that in addition to being a rarity in the industry, female executives generally earn significantly less than their male counterparts, despite the fact that women “vastly outnumber men in the pipeline that is higher education.”

She also presented statistics showing that companies in general with the highest percentage of women on their boards have recorded a 53 percent higher return on equity and 66 percent higher return on investment than the companies with the lowest female board representation.

Blackhurst said the problem has been largely ignored by industry, including the gaming business. “If we say there’s not a problem, then nobody’s focused on fixing the problem,” she said. “Statistics don’t lie—there is a problem. Ninety-five percent of CEOs are white male; 85 percent of senior executives are white males. How can we sit and say we’re moving toward equality, when in fact we’re not moving all?”