AiDP Index sees improvement in female leadership representation but warns of lagging inclusivity practices

Industry non-profit the All-in Diversity Project (AiDP) has published its third annual ‘All-Index 2020/2021 report’, detailing the global gambling sector’s workforce make-up and development on diversity, equality and inclusion matters.

The release of the 2020/2021 Index was prolonged to allow operators to adjust for the unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on business and operations.

An enlarged Index accounted for over 140,000 employees working in 40 gambling-related organisations across 16 jurisdictions –  of which 31% were operators, 29% suppliers, and 41.5% identified as large PLC organisations with over 250 employees.

Of significance, the reporting period of 2020-to-2021 coincided with significant disruptive trends brought on by Generation Z entering the workforce; businesses dealing with the post-pandemic ‘Great Resignation’; and menopause being recognised as a health issue for female employees.

This year’s Index also reflected the widest male/female employment gap in the industry, with 56% of men exceeding women (43%) for the first time in five years.

AiDP reported that whilst still ‘very low’, it could now attribute a figure of 0.2% to employees that identify as non-binary.

Reflecting on gambling workforce make-up, AiDP stated that the ‘biggest gaps’ were exposed at entry-level jobs to join gambling businesses. These were recorded as 45% female vs 55% male. Industry leaders have been alerted to concerns on developing talent pool diversity and mentoring of female colleagues.   

Continued positive trends saw females make up 33% of team leader roles and 32% of managerial positions, coming in above the US S&P benchmark of 30% on corporate non-exec roles, but still significantly below the UK business average of 51%.

In the higher echelons of executive management and corporate governance, female employees accounted for 25% and 18.5% of roles.

According to the index, pandemic impacts saw all gambling businesses revise their approach to HR, recruitment, and day-to-day work policies and practices.

As a result, the number of organisations offering company-paid sick leave has dropped from 95.83% (2019) to 84.38%, whilst the number of organisations with a policy on flexible working has increased from 75% (2019) to 84.38%.

Changes in workplace policies saw the number of organisations offering support via carers and child care assistance drop from pre-COVID rates of  58% and 41% to 34% and 18%.  

AiDP reported on ‘notable societal shifts’ by gambling businesses on work policies, as 80% of organizations confirmed they now apply parental policies to same-sex couples.

On talent development, the AiDP index stated that internal referrals were the most popular method for promotion and employee development.

However, in light of the ongoing Great Resignation, AiDP highlighted that industry incumbents lagged behind wider organisations in capturing talent pool data. Of the organisations that participated in the Index, only 40% collected gender pay data, and only one participant collected ethnicity-based metrics.

Beyond providing diversity and inclusion benchmarks, the AiDP index provided organisational advice on the prominent workplace themes of fostering belonging, training and awareness and workplace advocacy and visibility.

Of concern, the Index highlighted that in comparison with 2019 figures, gambling organisations had reduced support activities for women by -12% and mental health assistance by 30%, suggesting there is a serious concern for leadership. 

In concluding its 2020/2021 Index, AiDP named Sky Betting and Gaming (Sky Bet) as its industry leader on workforce practices and DEI initiatives, registering an index score of 85 out of 100.

Sky Bet was followed by second-place Kindred Group (79) and IGT Plc (78), whilst Light & Wonder (formerly Scientific Games) and US operator Penn National completed the top five, registering a score of 73 each.

Sky Bet commented on DEI initiatives: “At Sky Betting and Gaming, better is just the beginning. Inclusion work is never done. As an organisation, we will always experience the symptoms of society’s wider challenges. However, with a strong strategy laid on authentic values demonstrated by our leadership team, we’re making the changes in our organisation that we’d want to see in the wider world.” 

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