MERKUR headline Women In Business Report

A total of five female executives are featured in Coinslot’s annual Women In Business Report but as MERKUR UK General Manager Sascha Blodau notes the industry has a long way to go

Senior executives from MERKUR UK feature prominently in the annual Women In Business Report produced by industry newspaper Coinslot and published to celebrate the 2023 edition of International Women’s Day.

MERKUR’S five female business leaders comprise Irina Ruf, CEO, Merkur Casino, Nicola Wallbank, Director Sales and Account Management, Blueprint Operations, Nadia Volosina, Director of Operations, Blueprint Operations, Sophie Pope, Finance Director, Blueprint Gaming and Sophie Chester, Head of Finance, Blueprint Gaming.

In light of the central role played by women in the MERKUR UK business, the company became the first brand to sponsor the report which featured interviews with 31 women from all parts of the broadly-based hospitality industry.

Irina Ruf, who recently made history by becoming the first female MD of MERKUR Casino, was part of the C-Suite of female leaders to feature alongside Kate Nicholls OBE, Chief Executive of UKHospitality, Amanda Thompson OBE, Managing Director, Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Brigid Simmonds OBE, Chair, Betting and Gaming Council, Michelle Michael MBE, Owner, Grand Pier, Weston-super-Mare and Sonia Meaden OBE, who remains the only woman to have served as President of the UK trade association, bacta.

In his introduction to the feature MERKUR UK General Manager Sascha Blodau delivered a thought-provoking assessment of the progress made by businesses on the road to delivering a diverse, equitable and inclusive industry. He noted: “I have always felt that low stake gambling entertainment recognises talented, ambitious people irrespective of their gender.

“But it is only when you step outside of your own business and into industry-wide gatherings that you see how few women are literally ‘in the room’. As an industry we cannot and should not hide from the fact that there are too few women holding senior industry positions.”

He noted: “We have a shared and collective responsibility to address this imbalance and I believe that starts with broadening the recruitment net and extolling the benefits and opportunities of following a ‘career’ in gaming as opposed to the perception of the sector simply providing a short-term job opening.”

“It has been demonstrated on many occasions that the more equitable organisations are also the most successful: taking a MERKUR UK perspective where close to 60% of our Venue Managers and half of our Regional Managers are women it’s clear that our businesses are infinitely stronger due to the contributions of our female team members.

“For everyone who is able to influence policy-making I believe that it is our collective responsibility to create industry-wide career paths and opportunities across disciplines – including games design – that we would feel comfortable recommending to our daughters or to our grand-daughters.”