We recently marked International Women’s Day – would you say we are making progress towards a level playing field for women when it comes to opportunities in business?
I think business has become much more open minded in recent years. Taking just a cursory view, you see more women in the industry, which is a positive change, although there are still not enough women in leadership roles. I would say that over 90 percent of my contacts are men and operations has always been seen as a male dominated part of the business. However, women are resilient, can organise things efficiently, they are problem solvers and possess exceptional attention to detail – all of which are crucial attributes, but perhaps not always recognised as such.
What would you highlight as some of the key advances made to bring more women into leading roles and where does the industry have to do better?
I think it’s a topic that’s talked about a lot more than in the past when it was simply accepted. Awareness is the first stage in effecting positive change. There are also some really good role models both within and outside the industry that employers can use as a template and serve as an example of what can be achieved when there’s a diversity of voices.
How have you overcome the challenges encountered in your own career path and what lessons have you learned en route?
When I started in the industry nearly a decade ago, I felt that I needed to work ten times harder than my male colleagues in order to prove that I could do the job as well as them if not better. I learned how to adapt, to communicate effectively and in a way that helped me to gain respect. I have never and will never come to a meeting unprepared; I am always armed with the relevant facts and information – the colleagues and customers that I work with know that’s the case. And if I don’t have an immediate answer or solution – they are safe and secure in the knowledge that I will quickly provide a workable solution. But I have to say that having such a reputation takes time to build.
What key experiences would you pass on to other women in the industry and what advice would you offer?
Be strong and believe in yourself! Always be open to learn more and explore new aspects of the industry/business, be curious and confident in your own skills and abilities.
Looking ahead, can you give us an idea of your own personal aspirations and visions for the future?
I am passionate about business planning and strategy – my view is if your company is growing make sure that you are growing with it. I intend to introduce and implement new ideas and projects which will help the business grow and become more successful in the process helping me to develop new skills. It’s incredibly rewarding to help develop the personalities in my team and witness how they can become stronger and more knowledgeable. On a personal level it has always been my aspiration to be independent, which means that you can make your life choices without undue anxiety. This entails being confident in your own abilities, as well as having the knowledge, skills and experience so you can ‘survive’ in any set of circumstances. I feel that have I already achieved that but I’m a strong believer in continuous progression and development.
Finally, how would you like the landscape to have changed for women in business when we revisit the subject this time next year?
It would be fantastic to see more women occupying leadership positions in gaming and to achieve more of a gender balance in the Boardroom. Women are demonstrating that they can bring a different skill set to senior management roles and with that comes a new and fresh perspective to business.