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What is a mentor and how does it differ from sponsorship? A mentor is someone who serves as a guide for a defined period of time in your career journey. Mentors can be internal or external to your organisation, they assist by enabling you to see issues more clearly by asking thought provoking questions to work through workplace issues. A mentor can help you determine your strengths and what sets you apart. A mentee-mentor relationship is a two way street and both parties benefit from the process. A sponsor is usually internal to your organisation and use their network and influence to get you stretch assignments, project roles or exposure that lead to promotions. A sponsor highlights your achievements. To read more on sponsorship see our blog from last month. Why is mentoring good for career growth? Mentoring provides clarity on your strength and career goals. It allows an external, more senior person to guide you through current workplace issues and help see the bigger view of your career. The mentor acts as a sounding board with constructive feedback and encouragement. A recent survey indicated 56% of respondents have had a mentor and the majority (57%) of people experience [...]




Sponsorship is active support by someone appropriately placed in the organisation who has significant influence on decision-making processes or structures. A sponsor is someone who can spot talent and is willing to advocate for, protect, and fight for the career advancement of an individual. The WGHA December 2020 survey indicated 67% of females had considered leaving their current role for another industry with the highest ranking reason “lack of opportunities and or no pathways to leadership.” This is where sponsorship can help break this cycle in your organisation and reduce this barrier that females face in career progression.  As an industry we need to address the challenge of female representation at senior levels by targeting the career advancement of women in general and advocating the progression of high performing women in particular. Your action: Senior member of any gender – sponsor a female Female employee – seek out a sponsor in your organisation Sponsorship has the potential to breakdown some of the barriers women face in the workplace and when done effectively, it can: Create career acceleration Help individuals meet the unique challenges of new higher level roles and alleviate the perceived risks associated with moving into new areas [...]


Gender Representation 40:40:20


WGHA supports gender diversity targets of 40:40:20 for all levels in organisations. The board of the organisation should oversee the monitoring and progress of these targets. 40:40:20 allows organisations to pursue gender equitable outcomes for women, with flexibility in the leadership makeup of a range of 40% to 60% female. The 20% is viewed as open, it is the remaining from the candidate pool. It ensures we stay focused on advancing gender equity and not entering the gender identity debate. 40:40:20 is contemporary business practice, the target allows a range of 40 to 60% of male or female, based on the best people for the need, with the intention that 50:50 is the desired outcome 40:40:20 will deliver real benefits to gender equality it can be coupled with other initiatives like: Constitutional requirement for chair and deputy chair to be gender balanced 50/50 shortlists ‘if not why not’. So you have adopted a gender representation target and not achieving it? What’s next.  At the WGHA Australasian Gaming Expo Luncheon in 2019 we heard from Aristocrat Non Executive Director, Kathleen Conlon she stated “implement a rule whereby your next promotion is only available if you have two potential successors, one male and one [...]

Gender Representation 40:40:202021-01-29T12:03:42+11:00

The higher risk of domestic & family violence during self or forced isolation. What your organisation needs to be aware of


In this unprecedented time of the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be serious knock on effects felt by all. Some more obvious and pronounced than others. One serious impact which may not be so obvious but needs to be spoken about is Domestic and Family Violence (DFV). According to the United Nations, the most dangerous place for women is their home. It is way too early to gather data on any increase in DFV related to COVID-19 but what we know from every crisis (war, bushfires, major national events) is that DFV increases. Often the reporting of this violence comes out once the crisis has ended and it is safer for women to access support, so we won’t know the real impact of COVID-19 on the safety of women and their children until well after this has all died down. This is a unique case though where a because of the crisis, victims and their perpetrators are being asked (in some cases forced) to stay at home. For many victims the workplace is their only refuge from violence. We are already seeing heightened levels of angst, even anger, for what were once simple, stress-free tasks such as going to the [...]

The higher risk of domestic & family violence during self or forced isolation. What your organisation needs to be aware of2020-03-19T11:46:10+11:00

Three things to consider when it’s no longer business as usual


With COVID-19 now considered a global pandemic, we have seen immense and rapid impacts for individuals and business. While many organisations are exercising flexible work policies in the form of advising staff to work from home, or holding meetings via video conference rather than face to face, this is not possible for customer facing staff. There are many knock-on effects that COVID-19 will have including parents needing to stay home to look after children should schools close down, casual hours being cut as there is a downturn in customer trade, and possible redundancies just to name a few. During this unprecedented time, it’s critical to be aware of our unconscious bias when making decisions regarding personnel in the workplace. Should you need to consider a reduction in staff hours, or changing the wording of leave policies, review these decisions with a gender equitable lens. Question why these decisions are being made - don’t reduce a female’s hours just because she may have a partner that is able to support her, or children at home to look after. If schools close, ensure you are advising and/or encouraging your male employees to work from home or take leave to look after the children, equally as you would [...]

Three things to consider when it’s no longer business as usual2020-03-19T11:42:18+11:00

Mind the Gap – Improving your organisation’s pay equity


Six steps to improve your organisation's pay equity It’s up to every leader to call out gender equality as a key priority for their organisation. It takes more than just words, you need a clear plan with measurable outcomes. It starts with the CEO and everyone needs to work together to drive change.’ Gail Kelly, former CEO Westpac and member of Chief Executive Women Achieving gender equality, including gender pay equity, is a process that takes time and conscious significant effort. Gender pay equity is about ensuring women and men performing the same role are paid the same amount, and women and men performing different work of equal or comparable value are paid equitably. This requires a valuing of skills, responsibilities and working conditions in a non-discriminatory way. There are many reasons for the gap between earnings for women. A range of historical factors have played a part in creating the gender pay gap. Today, influencing factors can include: Unintended gender biases in hiring, promotion, performance and pay decisions The undervaluation of skills in industries and areas where women predominate Women’s lack of access to work-based training Different levels of eligibility for discretionary payments such as over-award payments, [...]

Mind the Gap – Improving your organisation’s pay equity2020-03-06T12:14:34+11:00

Five Simple Actions to Promote Women’s Achievements


Highlighting Women’s Achievements We don’t live in a gender equal society. Men are judged based on their potential; women are judged based on their past performance. Even in 2020, society and workplaces still use two different scales to evaluate men and women. Research shows that women must prove that they can succeed in a role before they are promoted into it, whereas men may be promoted on their perceived potential. The consequence is men often move up into management positions faster than women.  This means we all need to highlight women’s achievement’s, so that their past performance is recognised, while we address the systemic gender barrier at a broader level. A study published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, featured two similarly structured experiments, both conducted online via Amazon's Mechanical Turk. One featured 199 participants, who were told that a fictitious technology company was looking for a director of financial affairs. They then looked at four resumes. Two of them (one for a man, and one for a woman) highlighted the applicant's past successes, while the other two emphasized his or her potential. These were accompanied by short testimonials, which also focused on either impressive past performance or inherent capabilities. Participants [...]

Five Simple Actions to Promote Women’s Achievements2020-02-05T09:29:26+11:00

How Sponsorship Can Create Successful Career Pathways


Forging and developing career-building relationships, or the lack thereof, is one barrier women face in the workplace that can hinder leadership progression. There are not enough women represented in leadership, and this in large part is due to not getting high-stake assignments which are critical for being considered for leadership and C-Suite Roles. Often, this is due to a lack of influential sponsors demanding and ensuring that they get these stepping-stone jobs. Sponsorship can be powerful mechanism to overcome this barrier. Sponsorship is also a significant and effective professional relationship for women's success. Sponsorship is active support by someone appropriately placed in the organisation who has significant influence on decision-making processes or structures. A sponsor is someone who can spot talent and is willing to advocate for, protect, and fight for the career advancement of an individual. According to the 2018-2019 Workplace Gender Equality Agency scorecard, women make up 50.2% of the Australian workforce yet just 31.5% of women make up Senior Leadership Teams. As seniority increases, representation of women decreases with women comprising just 17.1% of all CEOs. Statistics in the gaming industry are even more sobering; women hold just 3.8% of CEOs positions, and 25.6% of females make up Senior [...]

How Sponsorship Can Create Successful Career Pathways2020-01-29T17:31:50+11:00

How to Avoid Gender Bias in Performance Reviews


Love them or hate them, performance reviews are an annual staple in the majority of companies. To ensure business success, most organisations have a performance evaluation process. This might include including goal-setting, performance measurement, regular performance feedback, self-evaluation, employee recognition and documentation of employee progress. Performance reviews are supposed to be objective with employees being rated against a scale to ensure fairness. However, performance reviews are subjective, and this opens the door to gender bias. Gender bias, by definition, is the unfair differences in the way a person is treated because of their gender. We have seen many a business case telling us the benefits of a diverse leadership team; improved financial performance, more creative and innovative teams, improvements in recruiting and retaining talent just to name a few. We even have sex discrimination acts in force making it illegal to discriminate based on one’s gender. So why is bias still at play and how does it affect women’s ability to progress in the workplace? Everyone has biases. They develop over the course of our lifetime through our own experiences and exposure to messages and other influences. While bias will always be present, we can become more aware and [...]

How to Avoid Gender Bias in Performance Reviews2019-11-20T11:51:36+11:00

Avoiding the Merit Trap


Avoiding the Merit Trap Merit is a combination of past performance and future potential. Merit is also thought of as an objective way to recruit the ‘best person for the job’ however, under the surface, it is a largely subjective measure. Hiring the ‘best person for the job’ based on merit can and does have a large impact on advancing gender equality. Many organisations cite merit as the reason for not having promoted more women into senior leadership roles. Merit though, does introduce bias to the hiring process. Many studies have shown that promotions and appointments are often based on subjective considerations as well as skill and experience. Unconscious bias comes into play across a variety of ways including affinity bias (someone like you or who you can relate to) as well as groupthink (desire for harmony and conformity). According to Global Women New Zealand, there are two key problems with the concept of meritocracy in the world of work. “The first is that bias exists at each stage of the employment process. The second is that women and men do not start from an even playing field.” Merit is a topic that has been widely discussed and [...]

Avoiding the Merit Trap2019-10-24T10:55:27+11:00

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