On International Women’s Day, social media pages are all full of posts of companies and individuals pledging to do better when it comes to equality, inclusion and women empowerment in the workforce.
It is always good to see my peers from other igaming operators, or indeed other industries, sharing their opinions and comments. From experience I can say that while a lot can happen at all levels of an organisation, championing from the very top is what is needed to truly shift things around.
When I joined Betsson Group, back in late 2017, one of the reasons I did so was because I could see that a lot of the pillars that are necessary for a diverse organisation were already laid out. I knew it was a challenging path ahead but from the first interactions with the company, I clearly noticed that there was a genuine interest in pursuing this journey.
I am a firm believer that people must always come first. It is through our talented people that we deliver on our goals and strive to reach our vision of “creating the best customer experience in the industry.” But for that to happen, everybody needs to give their best and pull in the same direction so one of the first things we did was to make sure that company culture featured prominently in our new business strategy.
Hence, when we launched the new business strategy we made sure that Talented People was the first pillar (followed by Quality Products and Operational Excellence). The importance of people, the strategy made absolutely clear, cannot be overrated. Moreover, in a process that involved employees from all over the company, we also launched a review of Betsson’s company values as to ensure they represent the new culture.
The result was that the value One Betsson came out on top, closely followed by Passion and Fair Play. One Betsson stands for how everybody in the company works together and supports each other. It also stands for the fact that at Betsson everyone has got an equitable opportunity, irrespective of who they are, where they come from, what gender they identify with (if any), or any other diversity dimension.
If I can give some best practices that I’ve learnt from experience and by implementing them at Betsson these would be the main ones:
• Walk the Talk - as an HR professional, you need to make sure that the HR team always is at the heart of all the changes happening in a company. We are the ones who know people. We are the ones who interact with our colleagues from all departments and interview new potential candidates - we are the ones who should know exactly what people want.
• Set up a good structure - what I did was to set up a Centre of Excellence with a dedicated team of experts within the different facets of HR, be it Compensation and Benefits, or Recruitment, or Talent Development, or Employer Branding. This team, supported by the rest of the HR department - and indeed the company as whole - then set out to create the best employee experience in the industry and become the employer of choice.
• Have a 360 approach - make sure you cover all aspects to create a truly accepting work environment where individuals from all backgrounds and identities can thrive. Some of the areas that are vital to improve the employee experience for everyone are leadership, employee engagement (at all stages of the employee journey) and career development. Make sure you have the right policies in place that do not discriminate in any way, form, or shape. Give consideration to how you word things, be it a position description, a policy or anything in between.
What is vital is to have concrete activities designed to support your goals and that everyone is well trained in this area. For starters, at Betsson Group we designed a new, comprehensive leadership programme that besides a lot of aspects, also talks about how people managers can create a safer, more inclusive environment that empowers every single individual.
Another initiative that we have launched and received a lot of positive feedback was the Women in Betsson (WiBE) platform which created the perfect situation whereas a company we can deep dive into specific topics, discuss certain issues and reamplify how much we cherish and celebrate diversity.
As a founding member of the All-In Diversity Project, we stand behind the project’s latest initiative #BreakTheBias and we pledge that 1) we will continue to have a safe and inclusive environment for all, 2) we will continue promoting a culture where individuals are empowered to identify and address inappropriate or discriminatory behaviour where they see it, and 3) we will continue supporting individuals who experience bias and discrimination.
On this International Women’s Day take a moment to think that for a more inclusive world, we need to transform how we behave and how we #breakthebias. Let’s work together to make equality a reality.