Odgers Berndtson Launches a Manifesto for Diversity in the Gaming industry Talent in sector “lagging” on gender diversity and companies urged to look outside and adopt best practice

London, 20 September 2017

Top companies in gaming and entertainment have made significantly less progress bringing women into their senior leadership than comparable publicly-quoted businesses in other sectors, an analysis by Odgers Berndtson, a leading global executive search firm, has found.

Launching a Manifesto for Change to bring more women into gaming at all levels, Andrew Bulloss, head of the global gaming practice at Odgers Berndtson, called on companies to adopt best practice from other sectors and be more open to talent from outside to help make the industry more diverse.

An analysis of six leading companies active in the sector found that only 16% of all board members are female. Even among recent appointments made since 2015, women still only account for 19% of appointments – below the average of around 20% for FTSE 250 companies and 26% for companies in the FTSE 100.

“Poor representation of women on boards at publicly-quoted gaming companies is symptomatic of wider under-representation throughout the sector – and is often significantly worse at executive and senior management levels,” Andrew Bulloss said.

Odgers Berndtson is partnering the All-In Diversity Project, also launching this week, with the goal of promoting gender diversity in gaming. All-In seeks greater transparency on appointments and is encouraging private and publicly-quoted companies across the global gaming industry to provide data.

The gaming practice at Odgers Berndtson is equally split between men and women and, across the broader UK business, 40% of Odgers Berndtson partners are female. The firm scored top ranking for its performance over the past year in placing women on FTSE 350 boards, with women making up around 40% of its short-listed candidates and three-fifths of all the board appointments it has made.

“In the gaming sector, the challenge of appointing women is particularly tough because numbers coming in at lower levels are already very small and too many Title 2 www.odgersberndtson.com companies insist on sector experience,” Mr Bulloss said. “We need to work closely with clients, encouraging them to attract, develop and keep more women at all levels to create a more outward-facing and open culture. Ultimately, real change requires a firm commitment from employers.”

Odgers Berndtson aims to facilitate progress via a Manifesto for Diversity in Gaming which will:

– Challenge clients to think more laterally about new hires and look cross sector. This has been proved to promote diversity in other sectors in which the firm operates, such as government, where 62% of Odgers Berndtson’s new appointments are now from outside the sector;

– Support clients in the industry on specific appointments to ensure their message to the market and all associated documentation is gender neutral and fully supports best practice for women, and all diversity candidates;

– Proactively identify and support development of talented women within gaming and related sectors, to help develop a stronger pipeline of female talent. The firm is already working more closely on this with other practices across the Odgers Berndtson group internationally;

– Work towards increasing numbers of women on shortlists whilst recognising that gaming is currently some way behind other sectors;

– Act in partnership with the All-In Diversity Project to encourage greater transparency from clients on gender and other aspects of diversity.

In line with these commitments, Odgers Berndtson is hosting events with key executives in the gaming industry to support diversity in the sector over coming months, the first will be held in conjunction with the All-In Diversity Project during October.

Media contact: Tessa Curtis tessa@tessacurtisassociates.com 07767 654122

NOTE TO EDITORS: Odgers Berndtson is the only global search firm that brings a combination of dedicated practices in gaming, sport and media. As well as handling key senior searches in these sectors, Odgers benefits from strong networks inside the broader Technology, consumer and Entertainment sector.

Title 3 www.odgersberndtson.com Odgers Berndtson is an international executive search firm operating in over 50 offices across EMEA, North and South America and Asia Pacific. The firm offers a wide range of role and sector expertise to find and develop senior executives and non-executives for quoted and privately held businesses.

For more information on Odgers Berndtson, visit: www.odgersberndtson.com Please find more on the firm’s diversity commitment here: http://www.odgersberndtson.com/en-gb/about-us/diversity