OLG Increases Role of Women in Tech

OLG “closing the gender gap” in live, online gaming technology.

OLG “Closing the Gender Gap” in Live and Online Gaming Technology

Women have enjoyed a strong presence in the work force for more than half a century. Their roles, however, have yet to catch up to that of men, especially when it comes to higher positions of power, or more tech savvy roles. It’s a recognizable problem, and one that’s receiving more attention in the Canadian business world.

The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) has been taking a closer look at gender equality in recent years. The province’s gambling regulator mapped a resolution, putting the plan into effect in 2018. Now, 12 months into the project, their efforts are proving fruitful.

Women in Live and Online Gaming Technology

In April 2018, OLG began a new movement they termed the Gender Strategy. Prior to the project, the corporation’s 2017 employee dockets revealed only 22% of their technology department was staffed by females. Over the next year, a strong focus was put on ensuring that women had equal employment opportunities within the field.

Slowly but surely, the the gender gap began visibly shrinking, and by April 2019, 29% of the technology department was staffed by female employees. An increase of 7% may not seem like a huge difference, but in the grand the scheme of things, it puts OLG’s tech staff 5% ahead of the national average in employing women.

Even more impressive is OLG’s managerial staff numbers. On the senior leadership level, the number of women in higher positions rose 14%. Having made such an impressive leap in gender equality, OLG was the obvious choice as presenting sponsor of the 2019 #movethedial stories event, held last month in Toronto.

Inspirational Commentary of OLG’s Executive Women

Two of OLG’s leading ladies, Wai Yu and Jessica Ylanko, spoke at the event. Both were enthusiastic about sharing their valuable experiences with the corporation over the years.

OLG Senior Vice President, and Chief Digital, Marketing and Customer Experience Wai Yu

Ms. Yu was promoted to Senior Vice President, and Chief Digital, Marketing and Customer Experience at OLG, in August of last year. It might be the Gender Strategy program that helped get her recognized, but it was her long-term expertise that earned her the position. She spent 6 years as Board Director of the Information Technology Association of Canada (2010-2016), and another as Chairman of that Board (2017), before moving into her current role at OLG.

As an industry facing shifting demographics and advances in technology, OLG is focused on transforming how it engages with customers… Transformation is hard, especially in tech, but we shouldn’t be afraid of the challenge. I’m excited to help OLG become the customer centric, digital enterprise it wants to be in the future.”

OLG Digital Marketing Manager Jessica Ylanko

Ms Ylanko, a self-described ‘strategic thinker in the digital space’, has spent more than two year’s as OLG’s Digital Marketing Manager. After receiving a B.A. In Communications and Media (2008-12) and a Post Graduate Degree in Advertising (2012-13), she began working for OLG as an Account Coordinator in 2014, Account Manager in 2015, and transitioned to Account and Project Manager in 2016, leading up to her current position.

Its been fantastic working at an organization where it’s not unusual for me to work on a project with an all-female team. The trust and support we get from our leaders have allowed us to innovate in ways that our customers are really responding to.”

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