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Clarion pledges to drive standards on ICE show floor

| By Stephen Carter
Managing director Kate Chambers has reinforced Clarion Gaming's campaign to encourage respectful representation of women and drive cultural change in workforce diversity

Clarion Gaming’s managing director Kate Chambers has today undertaken to raise standards on the show floor, specifically with regards to the representation of women, as part of its ongoing commitment to diversity across the global gaming industry.

Chambers said that Clarion would take a “greater degree of control over this important issue”, with the centrepiece an Action Plan of wider deliverables put out for consultation across the industry, to then be applied across all of Clarion Gaming’s events and information platforms.

Industry stakeholders who would like to be part of that process have also been invited to contact Chambers directly.

Chambers' statement followed a speech by CEO of British regulator the Gambling Commission Sarah Harrison to the International Casino Conference at the ICE Totally Gaming event held by Clarion Gaming at ExCeL last week. In this she criticised some exhibitors' use of scantily clad women to promote their product in “an industry where we have a number of talented, powerful and successful women. Indeed a woman from the gambling industry is Britain’s highest paid boss – not highest paid female CEO but highest paid CEO”. Harrison's comments were followed by adverse mainstream press coverage of these promotions on the show floor.

In a statement, Chambers said: “Our campaign to encourage respectful representation of women began prior to the 2017 edition of ICE. The majority of the senior team at Clarion Gaming is female and our strategy has been to drive a cultural change, which hopefully has a degree of permanency rather than a proscriptive change.

“While I think we have achieved some success adopting this strategy, moving forward we will be taking a greater degree of control over this important issue and updating our position in partnership with our stakeholders.

“Wherever Clarion Gaming operates in the world it does so with the support of the industry we set out to serve and we will be canvassing stakeholders through our Ampersand Think Tank and Research initiative that enables us to communicate directly with the industry. 

“Following this process we will produce an Action Plan of deliverables for wider consultation and I would like members of the industry who would like to be part of that process to contact me directly. The Action Plan will apply to all of our brands.”

ICE Totally Gaming’s free-to-attend seminar programme, which ran alongside The ICE VOX programme of paid-for content and the Totally Gaming Academy taster courses, included a day-long joint initiative with Global Gaming Women on the challenges of creating a diverse workforce within the gambling sector. 

Prior to this year’s show, Clarion Gaming released a joint statement with the European Casino Association calling on the industry to “mindfully represent support staff promoting their products at the show in a non-offensive and non-stereotyping way”.

Separately, the division’s head of content Ewa Bakun wrote a comment piece also published on TotallyGaming.com and on LinkedIn which acknowledged that the representation of women in some parts of the industry was behind the times, and appealed for a more professional approach.

“There are, and will be, more and more women making strategic and purchasing decisions, or looking to change jobs; women that ICE exhibitors will want to attract to their stands too – very much a reason to reconsider their promotion choices at the show,” Bakun wrote.

“And there are a multitude of other reasons to do that, from the changing image and need to be more socially responsible, to commercial benefits of having more diverse boards”.

Chambers' statement followed a “record-breaking” edition of ICE Totally Gaming, which occupied 36 of the 44 halls at ExCeL London, with 589 exhibitors from 65 countries represented on the show floor. Pre-registration numbers were 4% up and initial attendance figures showed similar uplift, “which would be the seventh consecutive year of growth”, added Chambers.

About Ampersand
Clarion Gaming is creating the biggest think tank of advisors and 'critical friends’ in the history of gaming. The progressive initiative, which Clarion has branded ‘Ampersand’, comprises a representative cross-section of industry verticals, jurisdictions, job functions and channels. Ampersand will help guide the development of the Clarion Gaming  brands and to ensure they continue to serve the needs of the industry. Since its launch at G2E Las Vegas a total of 694 gaming professionals have joined Ampersand.

Related articles: Could casting the net wider help close the gender pay gap? (paywall)
Why we need greater gender diversity in our boardrooms (paywall)
Closing the gap (paywall)
Ladbrokes Coral reveals 15% gender pay gap

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