The All-in Diversity Project – Providing a benchmark for industry diversity

Kelly Kehn, Co-Founder of All-in Diversity Project

With the aim of benchmarking diversity, equality and inclusion for the global betting and gaming sector, the All-in Diversity Project has been established as an industry-driven not-for-profit organisation.

In the opening year of the initiative, one of its key priorities is to establish the All-Index, which utilises solid business principles and provides a global standard index for measuring diversity within the industry.

Outlining why the initiative is so crucial to the progression of the industry, its Co-founder, Kelly Kehn emphasised the importance of “creating a level of transparency and measurability around the makeup of our workforce, as well as creating an inclusive culture, with corresponding policies for the industry as a whole.”

She continued: “We should be using data for all initiatives and this is no different. If companies want to invest in diversity initiatives, there should be proper benchmarks in place – this is exactly the reason All-in Diversity Project exists.

“We sit as the industry’s first and only organisation who is working to help the industry as a collective in terms of D&I. Historically betting and gambling has been viewed as very ‘male and pale’. We are also famous for passing the same CVs around for every job because there is this notion that we need to have “gambling experience” but this just perpetuates the problem. Having a diverse workforce from different backgrounds means we can start to improve a lot of our issues we have an industry whole.”

Off the back of a year that saw females in the industry flourish, the timing could hardly be better for an initiative of this kind: “Timing is everything, last year was such a positive year for women in our industry and I think we were just in the right place at the right time.

“2017 was the first ICE expo that hosted a Diversity seminar. Odgers Berndtson (C level recruiter for Sports and Gaming) launched their Diversity Manifesto. Paddy Power Betfair launched their #Fairgame initiative. Things will likely be stirred up again in a few months in the UK when Gender Pay Gap reports will be published for our industry’s biggest players.  I think things globally have been amplified by Hollywood, but overall I think the industry realises we just need to do better. It’s the right time to build a corporate culture that attracts the next generation of talent, that can build the best products and then market them to the widest audience.”

Kehn reflected on previous attempts to increase diversity in the workplace: “Initiatives like the All-in Diversity Project are not new, there have been a few attempts to start a discussion about the gender imbalance in gaming for some years but with the exception of the women in gaming awards most sit on the periphery, many conference organisers seeing the subject as too marginal to give it any real headline billing. Just about every industry globally has research and data sets that create a level of transparency and measurability around diversity, inclusion and workplace equality.”

In spite of this however, the All-in Diversity project is the first to provide a solid benchmarking tool for the industry before appealing to any one business to invest. It’s something that has clearly resonated with the industry as Paddy Power Betfair has already committed to partnering with the initiative.

It’s a partnership that Kehn hopes will lead to other big names from the industry joining the following suit: “We’ve got some big players on board already and you can expect to hear some big announcements in the coming weeks from us. All-in Diversity Project is meant to be an industry-led initiative. We are building the global industry’s tool for benchmarking diversity and inclusion and a data set to improve our businesses. The industry should support that financially and with participation in the survey.”

“Paddy Power Betfair has always been a leader in social responsibility we are grateful they have been one of the first to lead out on this with us. That being said, we are taking a pretty realistic approach to growth. Looking at other indexes of this nature, they are almost always started by the top 20% of businesses and grow organically. Creating a level of transparency and measurability has a way of building healthy competition amongst an industry and we hope that the All-Index is no different.”

Having been formed last April, 2018 will be the initiative’s first full year in business, a prospect that excites Kehn as she looks forward: “We’ve almost completed our first round of fundraising and hope to focus on data gathering in 2018. We opened registration for the ALL-Index in November last year so we’ll spend the first few months gathering survey data from registered participants. We plan to present interim high level interim data at ICE this year.

“Overall, we are working hard to bring the conversation of Diversity & Inclusion to the forefront. This includes doing the usual conference circuit, contributing at  some new events and hosting our own events throughout the year. We have brought on a number of strategic partners that will help us amplify the conversation. Expect to see an exciting campaign from All-in Diversity Project around creating a more inclusive industry.”

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