We believe an inclusive organisation is fundamental to developing organisational resilience, capability, and performance. We aim to create an environment where individual differences are valued, and all employees have the opportunity to realise their potential and contribute to Aristocrat’s success. D&I at Aristocrat encompasses not only gender but also LGBTQIA+, age/generation, international experience, and ethnicity attributes.
Aristocrat’s Diversity & Inclusion strategy is tightly aligned to the company’s growth strategy and values. Our D&I priorities map to the current and emerging needs of Aristocrat’s workforce and encompass building inclusion capabilities, flexibility (activity-based working), gender diversity, and cultural diversity. We integrate leading inclusion and diversity practices into our core processes and operations, to help foster a diverse and inclusive organisation and drive Aristocrat’s success.
Aristocrat is committed to creating environments where individuals of all backgrounds can succeed.
During 2020, employees were invited to participate in the learning challenge “Allyship in Action”. The challenge consisted of 12 learning modules covering a wide range of topics designed to help cultivate inclusive environments. In addition, an Allyship Guide was created to support employees in becoming effective allies.
In 2020, Aristocrat’s executive leadership team and a number of other senior leaders also completed formal inclusion and diversity training.
UNCONSCIOUS BIAS TRAINING
In 2020, we launched an online course and microsite focused on recognizing and reducing Unconscious Bias. Completion of this training is mandatory for all people leaders, Directors, and People & Culture team members globally. The training is aimed at increasing awareness of how our unconscious biases affect our decisions and enabling self-discovery to drive change.
Increasing the representation of women in all levels of management will remain one of our strategic priorities on an ongoing basis.
In 2020, we further refined our recruitment and selection practices to ensure diversity amongst candidate shortlists and interview panels, with the intention of reducing the potential for bias and promoting diversity.
Additionally, Aristocrat expanded support for employees with caring or family responsibilities, including by introducing on-site childcare at some of our worksites, encouraging flexible work practices, designating parent and breastfeeding rooms at our worksites and introducing targeted communication mechanisms, including a Keeping in Touch program for employees on parental leave. We also undertake an annual remuneration analysis to identify and address any gender pay gaps, and identify talented women through the talent and succession process. Aristocrat also targets high potential women for leadership development to enable them to progress in their careers with us.
In 2020, Aristocrat’s Board of Directors approved the following measurable objectives for gender diversity:
The composition of the Board should be no less than 30% of its Directors of each gender;
The composition of ESC should no less than 30% of its leaders of each gender; and
The composition of the Aristocrat Group should be no less than 30% of each gender.
As a “relevant employer” under the Australian Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 (WGEA), Aristocrat has again been confirmed to be compliant with the Act in 2020 and demonstrated an increase of 0.5 percentage points in female employees from the previous reporting period to 24.9% in 2019/20.
GLOBAL GAMING WOMEN (GGW)
GGW was established by the American Gaming Association to create networking opportunities for women in the gaming industry. It is now an independent charitable organisation which, in addition to networking events, delivers learning and development programs and events that support the development of female executives.
As a long-term member and sponsor of GGW, Aristocrat has one senior female employee, Chris Hill, Chief Legal Officer, serving on the GGW Board. We contribute strongly to the direction and strategy of GGW, including through leadership roles on the Strategic Planning Committee, Membership Committee and Education Committee, and through the position of Senior Advisor to the GGW Board.
During 2020, Aristocrat contributed to a series of GGW initiatives including sponsorship of the GGW Virtual Master Class webinar series in lieu of in-person events which were cancelled due to COVID-19.
In 2020, Aristocrat launched its first GGW Leadership Foundations Program, with a cohort of 46 women from our Gaming business nominated by their leaders to participate. The program is designed to increase business acumen and develop leadership skills in women who have demonstrated high potential in the company. Since inception, ten participants in this program have been promoted internally.
Aristocrat’s Cath Burns was recognised as a GGW Trailblazer in 2020. Cath is our Executive Vice President of Customer Experience and presented on the topic of using curiosity and questions to foster discovery, growth and connection. Megan Sleik, Aristocrat’s Director of Marketing in the Americas, was nominated for GGW’s Emerging Leaders of Gaming ‘40 Under 40’ Class of 2020. This program recognises young women who are making a significant impact in the gaming industry in the US.
WOMEN IN GAMING AND HOSPITALITY AUSTRALASIA (WGHA)
With Aristocrat and The Star Entertainment Group as founding partners, WGHA launched in May 2017, and is the only body in Australasia dedicated to developing, connecting and empowering women working in the gaming and hospitality industries. WGHA delivers education, mentorship and networking opportunities, and is an Australian registered charity.
Two senior Aristocrat employees serve on the WGHA Board, including Christie Roser (Chief People & Culture Officer) who was appointed Chair in November 2019. We have been proud to contribute to the direction and strategy of WGHA, including the launch of a pilot program, ‘Rapid Advice’, which provided opportunities for participants to upskill in the areas of leadership and public speaking. Prior to COVID-19, in 2020 WGHA held six networking and educational events in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Auckland.
Aristocrat celebrates International Women’s Day each year to acknowledge the achievements and contributions of women to our business. IWD’s theme for 2020 was ‘Each for Equal’ and the push to build a gender-equal world. Women from across Aristocrat’s global business came together to create an engaging video marking the day.
Many offices held their own special events including:
a presentation in Sydney by Janine Garner on powerful networking, collaboration and unleashing leadership brilliance, followed by a panel discussion with leaders, including Aristocrat Board Member, Kathleen Conlon;
a morning tea in London to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support;
a presentation in India by Laxmi Agarwal, recipient of the International Empowerment Award from the Ministry of Women and Child Development and the International Women of Courage Award from Michelle Obama;
a presentation in Israel by Gal Lusky who set up Israel Flying Aid which delivers lifesaving aid to communities affected by natural disasters and human conflict; and
a presentation in Seattle by Rebekah Bastian on social impact, career navigation and corporate diversity.
Our popular mobile game Gummy Drop ran an International Women’s Day event showcasing leading women throughout history from around the globe. The game featured ‘influential and ground-breaking’ women from history, and modern day campaigners for social justice and equality. See coverage of the event
We were delighted to celebrate the achievements of two female employees who, along with their teams, were recipients of three prestigious EKG Slot Awards this year. The EKG Slot Awards are designed to recognise excellence in slot game development in the US casino gaming industry. Congratulations to:
Karen Kendall and team for winning the Top Performing Core Video Reel Game for their game “Buffalo Gold” and Top Performing New Video Reel Core Game with their game “Buffalo Gold Revolution”; and
Christmas Uberuaga and team for winning the Top Performing New Premium Game with their game “Buffalo Diamond”.
INCLUSION AND DISABILITY
To mark National Disability Awareness Month, our US Diversity & Inclusion Council hosted an event to promote inclusion in business. Liz Jackson delivered an inspiring presentation about the design process with a disability and how people living with a disability are the original life hackers. Liz is the founder of the Disabled List, a disability design self-advocacy organisation that helps to match people living with a disability with design studios and other organisations.
EVENTS & CELEBRATIONS
Employees bring our Diversity & Inclusion commitments to life. Local D&I Councils, operating in all regions globally, create and lead their own events and initiatives, engaging employees in ways that are meaningful and relevant to them.
Key D&I Events celebrated in 2020
Teams are encouraged to create opportunities to celebrate local culture and foster bonds among our people. We are proud of how our employees continued to do this through 2020 – despite all of the challenges. A stand-out example is the annual Shavuot event celebrated by our Plarium team in Israel. Shavuot is the third Pilgrimage holiday, a harvest celebration, also known as the anniversary of the giving of the Torah at Sinai. As the Plarium team could not meet for their annual picnic due to COVID-19 restrictions, the festive table was taken to employees’ homes via a Zoom cooking class with top Israeli chef, Haim Cohen. Employees were surprised by the delivery of a basket of ingredients so the team could cook together in their own kitchens.