With two recent appointments, Australia’s Star Entertainment Group says it has reached its goal of equal gender representation in the leadership ranks.
With Star Sydney’s appointments of Sandra Thefs and Christina Lambert, the leadership team there is now comprised of 50 percent men and 50 percent women. The Star Entertainment Group has a target of 45 percent women and 45 percent men representation in leadership roles across its properties in Sydney and Queensland, while the remaining 10 percent “reflects scope for any gender identity, including non-binary gender identities,” reported Inside Asian Gaming.
Five years ago, the equivalent leadership team at the Star Sydney comprised 23 percent women. The team reports to Star Sydney’s COO, Damian Quayle, who said that achieving gender equality in the leadership team was the result of a focused effort including the development of a talent acquisition and recruitment pipeline, fostering an inclusive and diverse work environment and implementing a group-wide gender equality strategy.
“I am incredibly proud to say that my leadership team reflects a more balanced representation of genders, of our workforce, of our community and the millions of guests we welcome each year,” Quayle said.
“I wholeheartedly believe that equal representation drives better teamwork, a wider base of experience to drawn upon and ultimately greater performance.”
Star Chief People and Performance Officer Kim Lee added, “We recognize that diversity—of genders, different cultural backgrounds, experiences and ideas—is critical to creating a welcoming environment for our guests and team members. With more women being elevated to senior roles than ever, The Star is on track to meet its targets.”
Thefs has been with the Star since 1995, first as a dealer at Treasury Brisbane, then joining Star City in 1997. She said a strong network of advocates were key to her progression. “Throughout my time with the Star, I have always been supported in my ambitions to progress my career by my peers and my managers,” she said. “They instilled the confidence I needed and encouraged me to take up opportunities I might not have otherwise pursued.
“Although there is more work to be done to achieve parity across the board, we have clear direction from our executive team, a newly released gender equality strategy to help our targets and a committed workforce all working towards the same goal.”
Quayle said Thefs “adds over 25 years’ experience in the gaming industry to the team. She most recently spearheaded delivery of Sovereign, the Star Sydney’s $250 million premium entertainment and gaming venue.
As director of hotels and guest experience, Lambert “has truly excelled,” Quayle said. “She has led the Darling Sydney in maintaining its preeminent position as the only luxury hotel to receive the coveted Forbes’ Five Star award. She is now also responsible for developing a program that ensures that level of service and guest experience is delivered across our entire property.”
Lambert, said she is thrilled to be part of a leadership group that values equity, diversity, and inclusion.
“I have had the pleasure of leading the Star Sydney’s hotel team over the last two years, and excited to extend my role into guest experience across the property,” Lambert said. “It is important for me to see a balanced representation of genders in our teams, and I’m grateful to be part of that and ensuring it is reflected across all levels of the Star’s operations.”