Women in Gaming and Hospitality Australasia (WGHA) has welcomed two new members to its board.

WGHA has announced the appointment of David Ronson, managing director of Aristocrat, and Alison Smith, group executive external affairs of The Star Entertainment Group, to its board. In other movement on the board, Christie Roser, chief people and culture officer of Arisotcrat, will become Chair, after the retirement of Chad Barton and Jenny Hatton-Mahon.

WGHA is an industry-driven not for profit organisation, focused on driving systemic change to ensure a gender inclusive industry. It was established in 2017.

Helen Galloway, CEO of WGHA, said she was delighted to welcome the new board configuration and the diverse mix of experience and skill sets.

“I’m thrilled to welcome David and Alison, who are both passionate about empowering women working in, or looking to work in, the gaming industry in Australasia,” Ms Galloway said after the 2019 AGM.

“David is a passionate, people-focused leader of the Aristocrat team, is based in Sydney, and has a strong focus on building a high-performance culture.

“Alison brings strong stakeholder skills to the board together with an external focus on the importance of corporate responsibility. Alison’s appointment also increases our board presence and representation which now runs across Auckland, Brisbane, Hobart, Melbourne and Sydney.”

Roser said she was please with the evolution of the board, and what that would mean for the organisation.

“Our new members bring quite different skills that complement our board and will help us reenergise WGHA into the future.

“I joined WGHA when the organisation was first set up, and I’m excited to now be stepping into a slightly different role as we build on the traction we’ve achieved so far.”

Ronson said of his appointment: “I have been with Aristocrat since 2010 and have always been proud to support WGHA and promote membership uptake amongst my team and across the industry.

“Aristocrat is committed to diversity and inclusion, and I look forward to joining the board and playing a part to help influence and impact equitable outcomes in our industry.”

Smith said: “At The Star, we know the value and importance of gender equity and inclusion, and looking to remove barriers in order to increase women’s participation in the gaming industry.

“I’m excited to have this opportunity to work with other organisations to help create an inclusive industry and drive career opportunities for the many talented women who work in this business.”

Under the new board, the focus of the WGHA will shift in 2020 with a program that seeks to increase female mentorship, and reduce the barriers to career progression for women in the industry.

Vanessa Cavasinni

Vanessa Cavasinni is the managing editor of Australian Hotelier and Club Management, trade publications for the pub and club sectors respectively. Vanessa has been at the helm of Australian Hotelier since...

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