SBC Leaders: Sue Schneider on International Women’s Day and the importance of awareness

International Women's Day
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Sue Schneider, VP of Growth and Strategy for SBC Americas, has emphasised the importance of continuing to spread awareness of women in the betting and gaming industry.

Speaking on a special International Women’s Day edition of the SBC Leaders Podcast , Schneider explained to SBC’s Global Relations Director Kelly Kehn how the industry has evolved, and what more is needed in order to shift the balance more equally between genders.

“We are seeing more women in C-Level positions,” she explained. “So hopefully that pipeline will begin to move forward.

“But it’s still there [the imbalance], particularly on the management level.

“My mission in helping shape the programmes for SBC is always to get more diversity, whether it’s minorities or whether it’s women, or both. Believe me, we try very, very hard. Sometimes we don’t make it. But it’s [the industry] so male dominated that it’s hard.

“It’s getting better. There are several women in gaming groups. There’s one in Australia, and one of the things they’re doing is training and speaking so that people feel comfortable to come into that position.”

Schneider added that, despite further problems such as the COVID-19 pandemic, significant progress is being made in the industry.

“It’s much easier than it was ten years ago. There are groups we work with, global gaming women groups, that are doing events where there’s this kind of support and some time to set aside, to really talk about the kind of issues that they continue to see.

“It was really interesting during the pandemic because people were juggling trying to teach their kids as well as their job and everything else. So I think the last two years have made it even tougher and a lot of ways to be able to get all that balance in.”

Schneider has seen a noticeable shift in certain sectors, with more women migrating to the betting and gaming space from other big industries and making a real impact.

“There’s so many innovations,” she said. “A lot of the newer female management that I’m seeing are in tech, they’re coming out of the tech industry and they’re coming in and doing some really innovative services and companies.

“I’m seeing more companies looking for women in higher level positions on their boards.

“If a company doesn’t have any diversity at all, they get called on them. I think it’s actually a really good time to take advantage of those opportunities and put themselves forward because many of the companies are trying to fix that.

“There are a couple of states who are making diversity a priority in terms of licensing and a priority when it comes to setting up the business. Marilyn, in particular, has said women and minority owned businesses get priority.

“There are certain jurisdictions where I’ve run events specifically aimed at trying to to pull women together, for example, in Malta. There are a lot of women. They may not be in the managerial position so much yet, but they’re working their way up. It’s good to see more of that.

“I think we’ve come pretty far, but we still have a long way to go in terms of the boardroom and the executive committee agreed.

“At the moment, we’re about 9% representative of sea level, not just CEOs, but 9-10%, which is still a long way to go.”

Finally, Schneider reserved words for the MeToo campaign, reaffirming her message that awareness is essential to progress and development.

“The MeToo movement and all that, I think there’s just greater awareness about how personal interactions are perceived, and the tolerance for that is not what it was both from men and women.

“I think if there was one piece of advice, [it’s] don’t feel don’t feel afraid to say something because that’s how you change that culture. That’s the only way you’re going to lift all boats to change that culture and make sure that that kind of stuff just goes away or is not accepted anymore.”