his year’s Women in Gaming campaign developed and organized by Clarion Gaming is running throughout August, which is designated Women’s Month in South Africa, and will culminate in a networking breakfast being held on the second day of ICE Africa (2-3 October, Sandton Convention Centre, South Africa) and featuring leading women gaming executives from across the international landscape.
There will also be a series of educational and learning opportunities covering a broad spectrum of topical issues, including how diversity affects businesses drawing on the lived experiences of influential female gaming thought leaders.
Women’s Month takes place every year and commemorates the 20,000+ women who marched on 9 August 1956 in protest against the extension of Pass Laws. Clarion is promoting the role of women within the industry via the #womendiverse social media campaign alongside a series of interviews with women associated with this year’s edition of ICE Africa, including: Amne Suedi, Principal, Shikana Law Group – Tanzania (see below); Christina Thakor-Rankin, Co-Founder, All-in-Diversity; and Qhinaphi Sitsila, General Manager, Casino Association Of South Africa.
Kate Chambers, Managing Director at Clarion Gaming, shares one of these interviews.
Why do you think it is so important that Clarion and the ICE events take a lead in the promotion of cultural and gender diversity?
Intrinsically it’s the right thing to do and I’m a great believer in being positive, affirmative and metaphorically building bridges rather than walls. It also makes huge business sense. If commercial organizations select from one socio-economic class, one gender, sexuality or culture, they are not going to be equipped or capable of reflecting the needs of society at large. Diversity also impacts recruitment: increasingly the smartest minds are going to select from organizations that reflect their outlook on work, society and broader values. A narrow, inward-looking organization will struggle to attract the dynamic and agile minds with great EQ that every employer wants and needs.
What makes ICE Africa so special when compared with other ICE events?
It’s an ICE event, and ICE events, although they will differ in scale, share the same DNA, the same values and the same outlook. What does that mean? It means the glass is always half full, ICE events love a challenge and they never hide from their responsibilities to their customers and stakeholders. We think about our brands as if they were people, and taking that line of thinking ICE would make a fantastic neighbour and a loyal friend.
Following the ground-breaking launch of ICE Africa last year, what do you hope ICE Africa will offer new and returning attendees in 2019?
I am delighted that we have established solid foundations on which to build and develop the ICE Africa brand. The secret of establishing a successful event is to work with the entire stakeholder community in order to create something that the industry needs and will therefore support. These are very exciting and dynamic times for the development of the industry in Africa, and as the only Pan-African event, ICE Africa has an important role to play in helping to drive sustainable business growth set against a backdrop of progressive and socially responsible regulation. The key issues that we are addressing are to emphasize the totality of the proposition both in terms of the gaming universe and geography. Our strapline for 2019 is ‘Shining a light on Africa’s gaming ecosystem’ and I believe that is an accurate summary of what’s in store for visitors planning their time at the Sandton Convention Centre in October.
Women in Gaming initiative is developed and organized by Clarion Gaming, and sponsored by the South Africa-based Zamani Holdings, the parent company under which Ithuba, the South African National Lottery operator functions.