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All-In diversity and encouraging women in the industry: a Blueprint for effective recruitment


Jo Purvis Director of Key Accounts and Marketing


In an industry like ours, one where we often read or hear about companies’ “core values” or “commitment to diversity and inclusion”, it would be a reasonable assumption to make that those proclaiming to hold true to these standards and very worthy ethoses actually go on to turn their words into tangible action.

However, at risk of concluding that the majority of these marketing drives are nothing more than reluctant boardroom rhetoric, or a PR box-ticking exercise akin to placing motivational posters in office corridors and not actually living those often re-printed words, I’ll refer to the recent All-In Diversity Project’s All-Index report.

The All-Index is an annual survey open to any business within a specific global industry that measures diversity, inclusion and belonging across their organisation. In its most recent report on the gaming sector, it noted that for the first time in its history, the number of women employed has dipped below 50%. This is on top of the fact that only some 30% of executive and non-executive board roles are occupied by females.

For someone like myself and for Blueprint and Merkur UK, who pride themselves on being ahead of the field in terms of gender representation, these statistics are quite alarming.

We’ve long understood that by nurturing diverse recruitment and advancement policies, our business then enjoys much greater scope to attract the right talent at all levels – and that’s the crux of the issue – it isn’t about hitting arbitrary targets or pursuing a policy simply because it makes us look good, it’s because it works for the productivity, growth and resultant success of our enterprise. If those aren’t your ultimate goals, then business isn’t for you.

Our commitment to promoting a diverse workforce has long since been bearing fruit. At Blueprint, we’re finding that more women are starting to apply for jobs than ever before and that often, they’re a better fit.

The same ethos is at work in terms of our view on internal career development – we always look to promote initially from within and we’re proud to boast many hugely successful stories where the tenacity and talent of women we work with have been matched with genuine opportunity – there is no glass ceiling here and no ‘old boys club’ culture, which is one of the biggest barriers to career advancement for many women in business today.

Recent years have seen the rise of Sophie Pope our Finance Director; Sophie Chester, Head of Finance; Lauren Bradley, Head of Commercial; Sophie Halliwell, Head of HR and Georgia Parry, our Head of Account Management. Within Blueprint Operations we’re proud to see Nicola Wallbank as Director of Sales and Account Management and Nadia Volosina, Director of Operations.

All of these women have contributed massively to the success of our companies and Blueprint as a whole would be a significantly lesser place without their talent, insight and work ethic. We’ve created an environment where their ambition has thrived, one of continuous improvement across everything we do and that has built confident, energised individuals and successful teams.

All this said, the opportunities we offer to our female staff are the same that are available to everyone at Blueprint. Nurturing an environment where we positively get the most out of every colleague at all levels regardless of their demographic is for us, a basic standard, and one that ensures we move forward as efficiently as possible. The best person for the role is what truly matters.

Ultimately, this is what actively pursuing a genuinely diverse recruitment policy is all about. We’re All-In and it’s about time the entire industry was too.