frequently. I think awareness of the whole picture of this incredibly fast moving, multi-faceted sector is important as opposed to clinging on to archaic belief systems that can be out-dated.
What advice would you give your younger self, starting out in the Gaming Industry? Susan: I was quite young when I started out in the gaming industry. I wouldn’t change much about the experience or how I went about it. I am fortunate enough to love my job. I get to travel around the world and learn from and meet trailblazers and amazing people with fascinating stories that I can take onboard and evolve from both personally and professionally. I think passion is the key to success – you have to follow and pursue what makes you happy. We spend too long working not to enjoy it. Life is too short. When I was choosing a university subject, I tried to pick something that would be useful to many sectors and give me a wide skill set with transferable skills. If I was advising a younger me to make a choice now, I would absolutely opt for a STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) related subject with a tech focus. Law was a great foundation too, but the possibilities are endless in tech! I’ve signed up to a coding course now just to get my head around things from the other side, why not!
If I was speaking to a young girl now considering a career in gaming, I’d say “go for it!”. It is a fantastic young industry with lots of opportunities to evolve within a dynamic and ever-changing sector and room to truly make a difference. I’d also say to “be yourself,” that’s the secret sauce. If we all follow the crowd or try to fit in, then the same things get done in the same ways. Being yourself is value in its own right, there is no one else like you!
What do you think is the most significant barrier for women in the industry, today? What can be done to promote more women in the gaming industry?
Susan: I take a slightly different view to most as to why there are less women in some areas of gaming as opposed to men and it relates back to my point above – that the perception of the industry can pose a barrier to diversity. I believe that we must do more to dispel the myth that gaming and gambling are bad. I spoke to a recruitment agent recently who wanted some advice as he was struggling to fill gaming industry related roles. He had a nearly identical role
advertising a financial services job with the same specifications for skills and one third less pay and yet he had triple the amount of applications for that role than the gaming role!
The gaming industry encompasses such a broad spectrum of skillsets from coding to game development to technological advancement like AR, VR and AI, to animation, mathematics, trading, analytics, algorithm programming – so many of which are transferable from other industries. It makes sense then that this level of variety calls for a diverse workforce. I have discussed the topic of gender equality, diversity and inclusivity with many colleagues in the sector both male and female and of mixed backgrounds and the consensus is everyone wants the sector to be more balanced and equal. The problem is, there are not always the candidates to hire; male, female or diverse ethnicities.
I personally am opposed to a quota system as a tool for increased diversity, but I do think awareness of the issue is important. By changing perceptions of the industry as a whole, we have more chance of encouraging gender balance in the uptake of those going forward. What follows in turn, is a rise through the chain to more board level jobs for women. I think we all have a responsibility to be our industry’s own PR – educating the public of the sector’s innovation, energy and drive. Of an industry that is well-regulated and a career path that can provide incredible opportunities for exciting and fulfilling work.
In your own words, describe SPiCE 2019. Susan: SPiCE 2019 to me is an opportunity to brainstorm with the thought-leaders in the Indian gaming space, from industry to potential regulators, law makers, operators and service providers to see where they would like to take gaming in India and to share my experiences from around the globe.
What do you look forward to by being a part of SPiCE 2019?
Susan: If SPiCE India is as good as the Eventus Sports Betting and Gaming India held last year in Goa, I will be very pleased. I made fantastic connections that I have kept in touch with since. India is an extremely exciting market and I can’t wait to see where it will continue to evolve in this fast-paced gaming space.
One thing we are working hard on globally is changing the perception of the sector
CIO MARCH 2019 73
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