The gaming industry is taking action to improve levels of female leadership, a conference has been told ahead of International Women’s Day on Friday 8 March. More than 50 women in the sector descended on The Star Gold Coast on Tuesday 12 February for the Women in Gaming Australasia (WGA) mentoring event, attracting both current and potential future female leaders.

Owner and operator of The Star Gold Coast, The Star Entertainment Group, is a founding partner of WGA along with gaming solutions provider, Aristocrat Leisure. WGA CEO Helen Galloway said the organisation is the only industry body in Australasia dedicated to empowering women working in, or looking to work in, the fast-paced gaming industry. “Within Australasia, there is significant work to be done to increase female representation in leadership roles across all industries and this includes gaming, which is traditionally male-dominated,” Helen said. “For example, according to the 2017-18 Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) scorecard, only six per cent of CEOs in gaming are females, and women make up just 21.5 per cent of senior leadership teams. This is compared to 17.1 per cent of CEOs across all industries being female, and women making up 30.5 per cent of senior leadership teams.

“We launched WGA in 2017 to support the development and success of women in our industry – through education, mentorship, and networking opportunities – with today’s session focused on mentoring as one of the best ways to build sustainable female leadership. A 2017 study conducted by Moving Ahead, in collaboration with Deloitte, encompassed more than 6000 people across 40 major UK organisations and showed that when mentoring was done well, it created 11 key benefits. These included empowering and developing confidence, creating empathetic leadership, developing core transferable skills, and accelerating culture change.”

Rohan Dyster, The Star Entertainment Group General Manager Organisational Development & Learning, oversees diversity and inclusion initiatives for the company. These include its female diversity working group, Women @ The Star, which coordinates efforts to support women across its workforce. “When we established our working group in FY2014, we had about 30 per cent women in leadership roles across the company,” Rohan said. “Around four years later, that figure has risen to around 35 per cent female leaders – which is 13.5 per cent higher than WGEA’s gaming industry average; and 4.5 per cent higher than WGEA’s average across all industries.”

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