Q&A with Hugh Fraser

Hugh Fraser
General Manager, Table Games, Star Entertainment Group

Why are you an advocate for gender equality in the gaming and hospitality industry?

The industry has been very male dominated in the past, both in the workforce and in its patronage and I don’t believe that we moved fast enough to accommodate a more gender balanced workforce.

Over the past ten years, there has been a shift towards making gaming a more entertaining and exciting proposition for a broader and more gender-balanced customer base. Unfortunately, that shift in recognition has been slower in the workforce and career pathways for women have not been as progressive as they should have been.

I believe that diversity and gender balance in the workforce is always positive and provides a wider perspective in decision making, however for a business to achieve optimum impact an increase in female leaders is required.

What have you done, personally, to support gender equality?

As a mentor for upcoming talent at The Star and the National Association of Women in Organisations (NAWO) I personally want to encourage and support more female leaders. It is important to acknowledge the career paths for females has been challenging when balancing work and family commitments. Acknowledgement of leader capabilities blended with flexibility in work and family lifestyle was required to achieve a meaningful career pathway. Now I focus on encouraging females to put their hands up and nominate themselves for more senior roles.   

In identifying and attracting future talent I asked our talent and acquisition team to look at our recruitment page on our website as it appeared to be more towards males and very little towards females, I pointed out that the initial photos that pop up are all male and could be sending the wrong message if we wanted to attract female employees. We now include images of women and moved our statement referring to promoting gender equality to the top of our recruitment pages, rather than the bottom.

In what ways have you assisted in normalising flexible working?

Having an understanding that, in today’s world, both men and women have different requirements at work, home and in their personal development. Through liaising with my talent and acquisition and workforce management partners, we were able to remove the obstacles that meant that females were disadvantaged and weren’t recruited for more time-demanding roles or considered for leadership roles.

Do you have gender metrics you measure? What are they and when did you introduce them?

In 2016 I noticed there was a disproportionate mix of men compared to women, and very few females in leadership roles. In addressing this I implemented a weekly review and paid particular attention to the cause of attrition and as to who we were recruiting. I now have a more balanced blend with current direct reports at a 50/50 mix of male and female, and our overall team at 60% men and 40% women, so it is much more balanced however still more can be done.