G2E News: The Women Behind G2E

Editor’s Note: As expectations around diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) continue to rise, G2E is taking intentional steps to elevate diverse voices through our digital content and at G2E Las Vegas in October.  This article is the first in a series.

According to the All-In Diversity project, in 2019, the gaming industry was almost equally split between people identifying as male and female, 53 vs 47 percent respectively. Yet women only make up 23 percent of C-level roles and 15 percent of CEO/Managing Director roles. While great strides have been made around DEI, there is still more work to be done.

Here at G2E, we are fortunate to be led by an incredible team of women. In honor of Women’s History Month and this year’s International Women’s Day theme, #BreakTheBias, we spoke to members of the G2E team about their background, how they’ve been mentored in their roles and helped empower others, and how they plan to #BreakTheBias.

Korbi Carrison, Event Director, G2E, RX

When I arrived in Las Vegas from Minneapolis, working in gaming was the last thing that I wanted to do. I had the incorrect impression that the industry was all casinos and people working 24/7. While people in this industry are very dedicated and work hard, there are large parts of the industry beyond the bright lights and casinos themselves. I found my way into the supplier side of the business where I had the privilege of working with many talented people that have become friends for life. That parlayed into my role today as G2E’s Event Director. It’s fun to be part of something bigger, that brings entertainment to so many people.

It seems to me that more women are visible in higher roles in the industry than ever before. My personal experience was that women often had to start their careers in administrative roles; we finally are beginning to evolve away from that. I appreciate that people are making a conscious effort to hear diverse voices in the workforce and that elevating women’s voices is included in that. Visibility and accessibility is key.

I have had the support of many colleagues and leaders, both male and female. Mentoring is important and takes effort. I can honestly say that in my career, I have received and given at least as much empowerment through informal situations as I have through formal mentorships or reporting structure.  I love learning from people as much as I enjoy sharing my experiences and viewpoints.

Being accessible is the first step in ensuring inclusivity. I make efforts to be with our team members and stakeholders whenever possible. I learn so much from everyone on our team and I miss being around them when we aren’t able to work in close proximity. Working with people and having time to get to know them as individuals offers insight into their experiences and hopefully encourages everyone to share their opinions, which is a pathway to inclusivity.

None of us have all the answers, but when we collaborate and support each other, we become better.

Meredith Pallante, Vice President, Global Events, American Gaming Association (AGA)

Working for trade associations, my career in events spans several exciting industries. I started my career with Association for Manufacturing Technology learning the ins and outs of tradeshows, which served as a steppingstone to CTA and working on CES—the largest tradeshow in the nation. All of that prepared me to my role today leading G2E and events for the AGA. My two years at the AGA have been some of the most challenging for the industry and I’m proud to have played a role in supporting gaming through it.

It’s clear gender equity and inclusion have become a priority across the industry in recent years. Still, I think there is work to be done, especially at the top. It’s why we’ve sought out new and diverse voices to highlight as G2E speakers and put this conversation on the keynote stage in 2021. As the global gaming convener, G2E can play a role in raising the conversation and making progress.

Empowerment is the process of becoming stronger and more confident. Surrounding myself with many strong, confident women in my life both professionally and personally is essential to my own empowerment.

I’m an open book with the women I know, sharing my stories of both success and failure inside and outside of the business world. My hope is that by being open, vulnerable, and real others can see an example of a real women with a multitude of pressures and joys, working hard but more importantly, caring for others, and invested in their success. Sometimes my confidence and power has come by knowing I have people who believe in me and who want the best for me.

Allison McCoy, Education Content Director, G2E, RX

My career in the gaming industry began in 2004. Immediately prior to entering the gaming industry, I had been working for a start-up consulting company. Senior management was made up fairly equally of men and women, and my boss was an amazing woman who had been in management positions for more than 30 years. She is one of the most influential people I’ve encountered in my professional life and taught me so much about business, relationships, confidence, and that performance outweighs anything else.

It was at one of my first gaming conferences that I realized how few women there were in the industry, and, at the time, almost none in senior-level positions. I was fortunate to have an extremely talented woman as my manager for those first few years. She was an excellent mentor and I learned so much just by watching her and how she managed and lead in a predominantly male environment.

Over the years, I’m happy to see more women in senior management positions. A few years ago, I attended the Global Gaming Women (GGW) Development Conference where I spent two and half incredible days with some remarkable women from various areas of the gaming industry. Since then, I continue to try to pay it forward with my involvement in the GGW community as well as through the Emerging Leaders of Gaming program.

As the content development director for the G2E education program, I strive to #BreakTheBias by creating diverse panels of expert speakers from all areas and backgrounds. There are so many spectacular women within the industry, and I am delighted to be able to provide a platform for them to shine.

Sam Nagel, Marketing Director, G2E, RX

I’ve always been interested in the casino gaming space. I attended the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was a hospitality and tourism management major, right around the time that MGM Resorts International was approved to build a casino in Springfield, MA. I was enrolled in a Casino Management course and was fascinated by the ins and outs of the industry.

Fast forward to 2017, after a few years at RX, I was brought on to the G2E team as a marketing manager. Eventually, I became the Marketing Director for G2E and have become immersed into the casino gaming industry. The G2E team has been led by strong women since I joined the team. With encouragement and mentorship, I have been able to grow in my role and become more of a leader over time.

Diversity and inclusion is not only a personal passion. At RX, diversity and inclusion are key priorities to create a positive and supportive working environment. I’m on the leadership team of the RXUS Pride employee resource group and participate in various activities to promote DEI in the workforce. A goal of mine is to not only incorporate these activities into RX, but to bring the same values to the G2E brand. For example, whenever we approach G2E content, the team always makes sure that we are engaging people from a wide range of backgrounds, experiences, and ideas in order to achieve real inclusivity.