The latest episode of the SBC Leaders podcast saw Lottoland’s diversity and inclusion officer Sophie Wood taking the spotlight in a discussion about ethical values in the industry.

Starting off with a nod to Wood’s long-term experience in the field, SBC’s Andrew McCarron inquired about the strategy behind choosing what to prioritise when it comes to diversity and inclusion.

Drawing from her most recent experience at Lottoland, Wood explained that the firm tailored its action plan simply based on feedback from individual employees about what they think is most important in a truly diverse environment.

She said: “We’ve sent out an in-depth survey to everyone working at Lottoland, asking what diversity inclusion meant to them. For me, the really pleasant thing coming out of this was finding out how important people’s nationality and culture is to them and bringing their authentic selves into the workplace.”

As her current role is also her most-used gateway to communication with other companies, Wood mentioned that “great things” are also happening all across the industry in terms of inclusion. 

“Some companies have really stuck in to do something really great. I’m aware there’s some great things happening in companies such as Kindred, Gamesys and Entain.” 

But while internally there is an obvious focus on individual wellbeing, the gaming industry is being bombarded with negative connotations from external sources such as the mainstream media. On McCarron’s question whether this warped perception is holding the industry back, Wood answered: 

“This definitely has an impact on people’s decisions on working in the industry. They are being fed a message by mainstream media that harm is a characteristic of all online gambling.

“In the meantime, having an employer that is overtly looking after their staff, having a genuine commitment to protecting players who find themselves in the problem gambling space, then the pressure’s there for all of us within the industry to deliver on that front.”

SBC Leaders – Lottoland: Industry doing “great things” for diversity and inclusion