Observed on the 8th of March each year, International Women’s Day celebrates the achievements of women around the globe. The aim of International Women’s Day is to promote gender equality, challenge stereotypes, and encourage women’s empowerment in all aspects of life.

We are proud to honour the amazing BettingJobs women, those who with CEO Jennifer Innes and Senior Recruiter Carla Souter‘s guidance and mentorship, have made a significant contribution to the iGaming industry. Also at BettingJobs HQ, we are thrilled to report a 20% increase in female hires in the past year, all of whom are performing exceptionally and have been making waves in the industry.

In honour of International Women’s Day 2024, we had the pleasure of speaking with some of the iGaming industry’s most influential female figures: Kelly Kehn , All-in Diversity Project & HappyHour, and Cheryl Jones, President of EMEA at Odds On Compliance. By sharing the below Q+A’s, we hope to empower, support, and encourage women in the iGaming industry, which is the ethos of BettingJobs.

Some of the BettingJobs women enjoying quality time together out of the office!

Kelly Kehn shares with us her impressive iGaming history and the story of All-in Diversity Project, which she co-founded with Christina Thakor-Rankin.

Kelly Kehn, Co-founder of All-in Diversity Project

Could you tell us more about All-in Diversity Project and what motivated you to start this initiative?

Christina Thakor-Rankin and I set up All-in Diversity Project in 2017. Several of us women were attending meetups at different events, and when we were together, we always gravitated towards one another. We eventually decided either we could change the landscape and push the conversation towards a more equal industry for everyone. Rather than just focusing on gender, we wanted to support businesses in the industry at large and encourage diversity in all forms. It then took around another year of fundraising and working on our framework, but we are now very much focused on data collection, benchmarking, and initiatives to push the whole industry forward.

All-in Diversity Project is a non-profit, so everything we bring in we give back to the industry. The mission is to make the industry more diverse and inclusive. We really push on the commercial reasons for DEI, and we work globally with the Gaming industry.

We just finished a standard with the British Standards Institute for ‘Diversity Equality Inclusion in The Workplace’. Ours differs from any sort of document in existence today as we don’t focus on the human resources function, but rather makes DEI essential for all departments within a business. The standard makes DEI at the centre of your customers and the communities in which you operate.

Much of what we do benefits the industry as a whole; we try and put out as much as we can for free. We do an annual report that gives an insight into demographics but practise and policy as well within our business. We completed a white paper on ‘The Impacts of Women’s Sport Within the Gaming Industry’, and as I mentioned previously, we just finished the standard. We’re also working on some initiatives related to the menopause and content related to a new directive in the EU that’s coming into plan in 2026 which will require most companies (medium to large) to have equal or close to representation on their board.

What does International Women’s Day signify to you?

I think it’s a moment to stop and reflect on how far we’ve come, but also where we need to go. As a human race, it is 50/50, so if we are not striving for that in the workplace, we do need a reminder. It’s not a day to be patronising or put up a picture, it really is a day to stop and think about what you can do moving forward, what you have done in the past year and the progress you’ve made if that’s what’s important.

What do you think has helped you become such a successful female figure within a male dominated industry?

There are a few things that I’ll point out; the first thing is I have a good partner at home who is supportive, and that’s really important to ensure you don’t feel like you have to give up one or the other. I have had the luxury of having very strong women role models around me. We’ve got some pretty killer profiles that are sitting on our advisory board but also a great network and friends alike within the industry.

For me, timing was always on my side; timing is everything. We decided to launch All-in when nobody else was talking about it because we were passionate about it. At ICE 2018, mass media came into the ExCeL and criticised the gaming industry for its male domination. At the same event, the outgoing commissioner of the UK gambling commission also made a big statement about how we need to do better. It’s been moments like this that have truly accelerated our work.

Do you have any tips on how to create a fully inclusive workplace?

I think full inclusivity will never be done. We all know even definitions of how people identify are changing all the time. But I will say I think it has to be part of the culture; it is everyone’s job. It’s not HR or the CEO’s job; it’s everyone’s job to play their part and everyone can have an impact. I don’t think we’ll ever be done with it, it will always change, but if we can all take responsibility for that, it would be a much better place.

Can you name a few women within the iGaming industry who inspire you most?

I can name hundreds! There are so many women pushing the boundaries for what our industry is and can become. I’m inspired by the women who laid the path for where we are today – women like Ruth Parasol, Jan Jones Blackhurst, Paris Smith, Sue Schneider, and Virginia McDowell.  I’m inspired by those leaders in our industry today who are not afraid to lead in their own way and make the time to support other women.

Finally, I genuinely think women entering the workforce now are very inspiring because they have such a different perspective and don’t have the reservations that someone from my generation might have had to go out and speak their mind and give their opinions as freely as they do.

Cheryl Jones, President of EMEA at Odds On Compliance, shares her motivating story and the journey that led her to where she is now.

Cheryl Jones, President of EMEA at Odds On Compliance

How would you describe your role as President of EMEA at Odds On Compliance?

As the President of EMEA at Odds On Compliance, my goal is to serve as an anchor, supporting and developing compliance practices for clients in the gaming, tech, and sports industries. I am committed to implementing proactive regulatory solutions that enhance business environments. I strongly advocate for a ‘Compliance First’ approach, regardless of the size of the company. Nothing is black and white, so it’s up to me to come up with the solutions, so that my client can offer their clients the ultimate experience with confidence, concentrate on what they do well without the pressure of trying to navigate and maintain the intricacies surrounding compliance.

Cheryl also spearheaded the formation of WLW: Women Leading Women, a resource group/initiative for women in gaming, tech, and sports, aimed at creating a supportive and empowering community for women within the gaming industry.

What has been the biggest achievement in your career so far?

As I reflect on my career so far, the most significant achievement has undoubtedly been my nomination for the iGB Most Influential Women award in the gaming industry, coupled with being shortlisted for the Global Gaming Awards EMEA 2024. These recognitions hold a special place for me as they encapsulate not just my individual efforts but also the collective support and encouragement I’ve received throughout my journey in the gaming sector.

In my career, I’ve always believed that having a voice equates to having influence. This belief has driven me to not only strive for excellence in my work but also to empower others in the industry. Being acknowledged for these efforts through these prestigious awards is deeply humbling. It validates my perseverance and the values I’ve upheld in a field that is as challenging as it is rewarding.

So, for me, these recognitions are more than accolades; they are a testament to the idea that when you commit to empowering others and leading with integrity, your impact goes beyond the confines of your immediate role. It’s a recognition of the influence one can have in shaping an industry and inspiring the next generation of professionals.

What does International Women’s Day signify to you?

It signifies much more than just a mere date on the calendar; it embodies a profound acknowledgment and celebration of the invaluable contributions and achievements of women worldwide. Moreover, International Women’s Day serves as a pivotal moment for reflection, prompting businesses and communities to assess not only how far they’ve come in promoting gender equality but also how far they aspire to go. It presents a golden opportunity to discuss and review existing policies, practices, and attitudes, fostering accountability and aiming not only to recognize past achievements but also to generate momentum for future progress. This ensures that the path towards gender parity is continually paved with dedication, advocacy, and action.

What do you think would help tackle gender inequality within the industry and would motivate more women to pursue a career in gaming?

From my experience, I believe it’s about adopting a collaborative approach. For instance, the employees at Odds On are incredibly supportive of everything we, as women, do within the company. When I first joined Odds On, my goal was to create an initiative that supported women within the company, and I envisioned this eventually extending to the wider industry.

During the ICE conference, I shared with the women I met my vision for expanding our ‘Women Leading Women’ initiative beyond its internal scope to incorporate a diverse board. This board would not only include females in legal and compliance roles but would also cover professionals such as reporters and graphic designers. I reached out to various organizations, including consulting firms and marketing agencies, to assess their interest in joining this group. The response was overwhelmingly positive, with a high level of eagerness to participate and no one declining the invitation. This enthusiastic reception underscores the increasing presence and influence of women in management and executive-level positions within the industry.

Do you have any advice or tips you would share with younger women considering a career in iGaming?

For women to feel empowered in shaping their own career with the support of others. This goal means that women can embrace who they are, as a woman, and beyond their gender. It means that they can define and create their own path, mapping out where they want to be without self-imposed or unworthy institutional barriers, and have a supportive team to enable them forward.

Looking ahead, my aspiration is to witness a significant rise in the number of women assuming leadership roles within the iGaming, Technology, and Sports industries. As these sectors continue to evolve, it is imperative that women put themselves forward, but are also actively leading the charge. Their involvement at the forefront is not just about representation; it is about them carving out new paths. This leadership is crucial in paving the way for the next generation of female leaders, creating more opportunities and altering the industry landscape to be more inclusive. By doing so, we not only celebrate the achievements of women in these fields but also inspire and empower future generations to dream bigger and aim higher.

Join us in #InspiringInclusion this International Women’s Day!

Our sincere appreciation goes out to Kelly Kehn and Cheryl Jones for participating in this special edition of BettingJobs News. It is truly inspirational to hear their incredible stories and to be reminded of their exceptional work dedicated to improving gender inequality within the global iGaming industry.

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