In honor of International Women’s Day, SiGMA News sat down with a group of remarkable women who are leading the way in the gaming industry
Women in the gaming and casino industries have been working tirelessly to promote diversity and inclusivity in the workplace. They have made significant contributions to the industry, from designing games to managing casinos, and have been instrumental in driving innovation and growth.
SiGMA Group is taking International Women’s Day as an opportunity to celebrate these achievements and recognise the challenges that women in the gaming and casino industries still face.
SiGMA News got up close and personal with a group of phenomenal women who are shaking things up in the gaming realm, to gather their valuable insights on the topic of women in gaming.
Emily Micallef – COO of SiGMA Group
How is SiGMA Group demonstrating the company’s commitment to diversity, inclusivity, and equality in the workplace?
Having a significant number of women holding positions as Heads of Departments within our company is a source of immense pride for the entire organisation. It demonstrates our company’s commitment to diversity, inclusivity, and equality in the office.
By having strong female leaders in our organization, we showcase our belief in the value of diverse perspectives and the critical role that women play in the success of our company. It also highlights SiGMA Group’s dedication to creating an environment that supports and empowers women to grow and succeed in their careers.
Ultimately, having a diverse leadership team enables us to better serve our clients and community, drive innovation, and create a workplace culture that values and respects everyone.
Ivonne Montealegre – Founder and Event Director Malta Poker Festival
What’s your take on the celebration of International Women’s Day?
International Women’s Day is a great occasion to recognise women’s incredible achievements and also raise awareness towards advocating for gender and minority equality.
It certainly has been a struggle to get where we are right now. However, I see positive change everywhere. I do believe that in the gaming industry and many more -women are the biggest untapped potential. Now more than ever, the future is ours. Just remember to add kindness to the journey as it will taste different and – oh! so much better.
What initiatives have you seen or been a part of that is working to promote women’s advocacy in poker?
I see positive female role models everywhere and groups are being created and growing every day. I would like to mention one that I am part of and that is close to my heart: the WPA, Women’s Poker Association, which I am part of, with initiatives such as the #raiseitup campaign that ensures that fair play, integration, and respect -to not only females -but any minority at the poker table ensured. The WPA has a free membership and is open for anyone to participate.
Meghan Chayka – Canadian Tech Entrepreneur and Co-Founder of Stathletes
What would you say to the companies that have been overlooking women in sports?
I think that they will be left behind at some point. Most industry professionals realise that the workforce is changing. Companies that can proactively recruit and retain women will be in a better position in the next decade. Companies that build smart products for the women’s market segment will be even further ahead.
What are your thoughts on getting more women involved in the sports betting and gaming culture?
I think it’s imperative to have more women involved in any space. The amount of women who graduate with technical degrees in college does not match up with the workforce. I hear from a lot of women that want to be in sports betting that are trying to find jobs.
There is a disconnect with recruitment, and I think people that solve that problem will be further ahead in the long run.
Finding the best talent out there will always be a competitive advantage.
Reyes Jara – Managing Director of Game Lounge Spanish Division
You won the Women in Gaming’s Inspiration of the Year Award back in 2017. What has been the driving force behind your career so far? Have you experienced any barriers to progression?
My favorite motto is: “Good, better, best. Never let it rest, until your good is better and your better is best.” We are what we repeatedly do: if you want to be excellent, you must practice excellence. Consistency, discipline and perseverance. I learned that at home when I was a child. I always say, If you’re going to do something, do it well. Otherwise, first, learn about it and then begin.
I’m an engineer, after all, so I strive for perfection at what I do. I understand knowledge as power, it helps me to make better, faster and smarter decisions that improve performance, and manage risk. That’s why you’ll always see me studying, reading or learning something new. I keep on challenging my brain and expanding my horizons Of course I’ve experienced barriers, it’s part of the journey, but they are just that, setbacks to bounce back higher, faster, and louder.
Just remember we are not defined by our losses but by the way we stand up and get back on track.
When it comes to dismantling bias in any industry, visible support from senior leadership is crucial. What initiatives do you recommend in order to help promote equality in the gaming industry?
My experience tells me that any organisation is only as good as the people who work for it. To win the war for talent, providing strong leadership and creating an inclusive environment where differences are valued and people can innovate to drive the business forward is a must.
We’re seeing more women in iGaming, but our industry is still a long way from gender equality – gender pay gaps remain and in most companies, there are still substantially more men than women at both board and C-level.
I recommend forming strategic plans to break the vertical segregation which prevents women from accessing management and leadership positions. Crucial to this is promoting conciliation between work and personal life, facilitating shifts and formulas, such as working from home for both men and women.
I also suggest establishing a salary policy based on skills, training, experience and productivity to help reduce the pay gap, and establish the interview system for internal promotions, based on knowledge, skills and tests. And most importantly, remove prejudices. Women, just like men, are great professionals and leaders.
Through the inspiring stories of female pioneers in the industry, we can see that women are making their mark and carving out their place in the gaming space. As we mark International Women’s Day, let us continue to support and encourage the growth and success of women in all industries and sectors, paving the way for a brighter, more inclusive future for all.
SiGMA Group’s Women in Gaming Facebook group is an incredible platform that provides women in the gaming industry with a unique opportunity to connect, share their ideas, and build a powerful network. With a focus on enhancing diversity and inclusivity within the gaming industry, this group provides a safe and supportive space for women to share their experiences, discuss industry trends, and learn from one another.