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Does expanding search parameters lead to more diverse gaming options?

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Companies are searching for talent from a wider range of backgrounds to help improve gender equality in their workplaces.

Pentasia’s extensive database of gaming executives was surveyed to determine how they were addressing this issue.

Pentasia’s presentation highlighted the following response: “As an organization, we look outside of gaming for individuals with passion and drive rather than just experience in that industry.”

This may seem obvious, but the fact that there is a gender imbalance in the gaming industry will not change until companies hire those who have no experience.

ALASTAIR CLELAND is the managing director for recruitment at Pentasia

According to Alastair Cleland, Pentasia’s director of recruitment and marketing, the gaming industry is becoming more open-minded to this idea.

He says that medium-sized gaming firms and Tier 1 companies are more likely to give us briefs that require us to produce a varied shortlist. In such situations, we usually make sure that the gaming companies are aware of this and willing to accept candidates outside the industry. This is true in many cases.

This is particularly true in roles such as HR, Finance, Tech and Operations. It gets more difficult when it comes to roles like casino product directors – they will still need industry experience.


Transferable skills

Andrea Talreja is the head of HR for affiliate and white-label operator QiH Group. QiH Group shares a similar outlook.

She says that industry experience is essential for a role in regulatory or compliance, particularly with our largest market, the UK, changing its legal landscape. Digital marketing is one of those roles that can benefit from experience in other industries.

It’s not just about improving gender equality, but also bringing in new ideas.

Andrea Talreja, head of HR at QiH Group

Two separate things are being open to hiring and finding the right candidates. Cleland, as well as Talreja, both claim that the vast majority of candidates who apply for roles are men.

To get a varied shortlist, you may also need to go through more lengthy processes. In most cases, this involves a mix of using referrals and contacting people via social media. It may also involve searching through LinkedIn and other databases.

Benefits of Wide Application

It can be a great investment for both employers and new employees. Anna Mackenzie is an example of this. She works as a data scientist for Pythia Sports.

Mackenzie, who graduated with an engineering degree in 2017 followed a fairly common path and headed to Australia. She chose to work with Clinton McDonald, a horse trainer for a gap year instead of doing the typical job.

Her experience was already in this field. She had ridden part-time for a horse trainer in England, around her study schedule. Mackenzie spent six months in Australia before returning to the UK. She began a career as an investment banker.

She was uninspired with the field and so decided to learn more coding. This is something that she had dabbled at University. She used data from horse races to learn modelling techniques. After securing a position as a data analyst at a consultancy firm, a recruiter discovered her unique background and recruited her to her current job.

Anna Mackenzie


Stand out in the crowd

This recruiter was obviously doing some kind of niche research for data science or horse racing, and ended up on my profile. “When he explained the role here, I thought it was my dream job and couldn’t refuse,” explains she.

She says that in just a little over a month, the position has certainly lived up to expectations.

In comparison to previous positions, I have a great deal of freedom here to explore new ideas and put them into action. Many of the projects that I have worked on were things that I personally enjoyed before I started working at this company, and they’ve turned out exactly as I had expected.

She was not as concerned because of her past to work in a male-dominated industry.

I studied engineering in university. There were only about 20 women students. After that, I spent time in an investment bank where the male-dominated environment was still prevalent. The environment there was very old-school and macho, but I have found it totally different here. It is an amazing team and a great place to work.


Virtuous circle

Mackenzie also belongs to the Women in Data Science Group. She is helping younger women interested in the field with their career and meeting them.

Talreja, from QiH Group, says that the more diverse the applicants are the more interested they will be in gaming.

It is easier for employers to show applicants, that inclusion and diversity are a top priority and everyone has a chance to progress and succeed within their company.

It’s difficult to get women or members of ethnic minorities into your company if there aren’t any already.

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