Gambling empire Flutter Entertainment has announced it joined Women in Hospitality, Travel, and Leisure (WiHTL), a collaboration community dedicated to increasing diversity and inclusion in the hospitality, travel and leisure industry.
Also, Flutter CFO Paul Edgecliffe-Johnson will be a founding member of WiHTL’s CFO Committee.
Edgecliffe-Johnson said in a Flutter Entertainment press release that the company is “excited” to join the WiHTL, and looks forward to helping develop future non-executive directors (NED):
“Diversity at all levels of an organization, starting with the board, is essential for long-term business success and very important to Flutter. Equipping future potential NEDs with the knowledge and skills to take on these important roles is key to their development and is central to building a more inclusive boardroom.”
Additionally, Flutter will sponsor WiHTL’s Women NED Program.
Flutter Entertainment will have involvement across multiple areas of WiHTL
Flutter’s involvement with the WiHTL encompasses three main areas: being a corporate member of the group’s Collaboration Community and helping lead WiHTL’s new CFO Committee.
Flutter will also support the group’s non-executive director program, which provides resources for female board members looking to increase their professional tool kit for the boardroom.
As a member of WiHTL’s Collaboration Community, Flutter will work with other major companies to offer and receive advice about driving “forward meaningful progress in creating inclusive workplaces for all,” according to WiHTL.
WiHTL members include the following major brands:
- Avis Budget Group
- Carnival UK
- Domino’s Pizza
- Molson Coors
- Pizza Hut
- Travel + Leisure
- Virgin Atlantic
Flutter is now the second major gaming brand to join the WiHTL—William Hill is the other. WiHTL Founder Tea Colaianni said:
“I am thrilled to welcome Flutter Entertainment to our Collaboration Community and delighted that they are sponsoring our Women NED Programme which is key to increasing diversity in boardrooms across the industry. With its global reach and high-profile brands, Flutter will make a significant contribution to our community.”
WiHTL’s CFO Committee is a new development. As such, details are thin about what the committee will entail and what responsibilities Edgecliffe-Johnson will have.
That being said, it’s likely the committee will have at least two dozen members. The WiHTL’s five existing committees have an average of 81 members from 57 organizations.
Women NED Program
The WiHTL Women NED program is designed to prepare women for non-executive director roles at hospitality, travel, leisure, and retail companies.
Per the WiHTL, the program helps women to:
- Add strategic value to the boardroom
- Discover practical strategies
- Improve networking
- Raise their professional profile
- Find roles that are a good fit for them
Studies show companies are better off when women lead
WiHTL’s push to involve more women in company boards and leadership is more than just a matter of balancing out numbers—businesses benefit when women are in charge.
Earlier this year, the American Psychological Association published an article that highlighted studies showing the manifold ways in which female leaders improve the workplace:
- Female leaders embody the best parts of a company and are more likely to inspire people to support the company’s mission.
- Women improve collaboration between teams. “Groups with more women exhibited greater equality in conversational turn-taking, further enabling the group members to be responsive to one another and to make the best use of the knowledge and skills of members,” the article noted.
- Employees anticipate fairer treatment when women lead compared to men.
- Having female leaders tears down stereotypes. “Hiring female chief executive officers and board members was associated with changes in organizations’ use of language by helping to associate women with characteristics that are critical for leadership success,” the article said.
Flutter’s leadership is ripe for more diversity
The company’s board of directors consists of nine men and five women, and there is only one person of color on the board. Additionally, of the 10 people on the company’s executive committee, FanDuel CEO Amy Howe is the only woman and there are no people of color.