Caesars Entertainment has announced plans to ensure that its properties will be led by equal representations of men and women. The Gender Equity Initiative, which includes the three Caesars casinos in Atlantic City, will be complete in the year 2025.
The initiative began quietly last year as a partnership with the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative. Caesars executive vice president Jan Jones Blackhurst told the Press of Atlantic City:
“(W)e’re not just looking at how we measure and change the representation. (W)e’re looking at what policies we need to adapt to make our work environment friendly, where people want to come and want to stay and want to make it a career.”
The three Caesars properties — Caesars Atlantic City, Bally’s Atlantic City, and Harrah’s Atlantic City — currently employ women in 40 percent of positions that are manager-level or higher. According to recent data, that puts the three Jersey casinos at the same percentages of gender balance as the general public.
However, the Caesars company at large has 43 percent of its management roles filled by women. So, the Atlantic City group must work to catch up to its cohorts, let alone achieve the company goal.
Equal gender participation in leadership pays dividends
So far, the program has yielded results that are both intangible and tangible. For one thing, the explicit removal of the glass ceiling increases engagement across the entire Caesars workforce.
No longer does a segment of the company feel limited in its growth potential. The management situation becomes necessarily more meritocratic by widening the pool of applicants.
More capable employees in management positions have translated to improved business results.
“We looked at properties that already had more diverse representation at higher levels of management and found that they outperform on multiple metrics,” Jones Blackhurst said. “So there’s a business case to be made.”
Caesars takes its time to achieve goal
She also stressed the need for care and consideration, however, and not simply a rush to fill a numerical quota. That care, she said, is the reason why Caesars is allowing itself until 2025 to accomplish its goal.
Karie Hall, vice president and general manager at Harrah’s Atlantic City, said the initiative is paying dividends.
“We think our customers and key stakeholders in our community have already noticed a difference, and this initiative will only have a more positive impact moving forward,” she said. “Our customers can walk in any of our restaurants right now and see a female executive chef or general manager running those restaurants. In addition to myself, our heads of finance, legal, and marketing for our region are all women.”