Q&A with Meg Leahy

Meg Leahy
General Manager Table Games Operations
Crown Resorts

What advice would you give to your younger self starting out in the industry? 

Don’t underestimate the power of a mentor. 

Mentors are terrific sounding boards that provide guidance, clarity, and a space free of judgement. Actively seeking out and establishing mentor relationships much earlier, and at every career stage, holds immense value in the learning and networking opportunity. 

Just as the leaders and mentors ahead of you, always make time for the upcoming women.
By establishing these networks early and generously sharing knowledge we are better placed to grow, learn, and pay it forward to the next generation of leadership. 

What excites you most about working in the gaming and/or hospitality industry? 

The industry is fast paced and dynamic in its operations with a unique suite of offerings and varied stakeholders with differing needs. Although within Table Games, my current peer-to-peer interaction across sectors provides insight into the intricacies of integrated resort operations. 

Within my current role, the exposure to Executive and Board level strategic objectives and planning is both energising and insightful. This preview of the holistic view of the company, and where key organisational decisions are made, has uplifted my personal capability, and ensured alignment of deliverables to the broader strategy. 

What is the best professional decision you’ve ever made? What is one thing you would do differently if you had the chance? 

Professionally, and personally, engaging in formal and informal education is the greatest investment in yourself. All forms of learning challenge our thinking and encourage understanding of the world around us. The decision to consistently activate curiosity is the best part of my journey. 

Further education is something I have always pursued, however personal reasons prevented me from completing my undergraduate degree. This study is something I deeply wish I returned to. 

Instead, I committed to alternate development pathways. This included mentoring, coaching, informal programs, seizing opportunities and asking as many questions as possible. This allowed my skills to remain current and the space to assess the timing of my goals. Now, 10 years later, I am proud to say that I am completing a Master of Business Administration (MBA). While juggling family, study and work has been challenging, it has also been one of the most fulfilling full circle moments for me. 

What do you think is the most significant barrier for women in the industry today, and how do you think this barrier can be overcome? 

The cultural and societal barriers for women that exist are heavily researched and are actively being championed by terrific organisations and leaders. These obstacles provide both challenges and an opportunity for male and female leaders to come together for practical solutions within organisations. As the Crown Resorts Implementation Lead for the Champions of Change Coalition, I am proud to be a part of driving this positive change that addresses gender equality. 

Outside of these barriers, the most significant is the perceived obstacles. We can all contribute, and make immediate positive impact, by looking inwardly and committing to kindness. 

Switching the mindset, and letting go of insecurities, allows us to be empathetic to ourselves. Anything is possible when we start operating in facts and are not concerned with the opinion of others (and, as a female, in most cases our opinion of ourselves). 

Individually, there is always a balance to be found. The only person that will stop you from achieving your goals is you. There are already enough obstacles, don’t create more. 

What advice would you give a woman entering the gaming and/or hospitality industry? 

Throughout my journey there were a lot of naysayers, predominantly males, who couldn’t believe that I would achieve this level within the organisation. I was appointed in my current position of General Manager Table Games Operations, at the age of 30. My business unit is 2000+ employees and the largest across the Crown Resorts group. After over two years in the role, I still feel a deep sense of responsibility as a next generation leader. This platform provides an opportunity to drive and accelerate positive sustainable change for all my people. 

My advice for women in industry: be authentic to who you are and know your ‘why’. Gravitate to people that open your mind and are honest and authentic. Build a network around you, ask lots of questions, and take every opportunity with conviction.