The European Lotteries - Celebrating International Women’s Day 2023

Celebrating International Women’s Day 2023

Every year the 8th March marks International Women’s Day. The important role and recognition of women in the lottery sector as well as gender equality in the workplace are crucial for the advancement of society and ensuring fairness and inclusion of all. As a commitment to society is one of our core values, EL and its Members work to continue to empower women and recognise their important societal role.

For the first time ever, EL’s recent 2021 report considered sustainability topics such as diversity, equity, and inclusion, and found that out of full-time employees, women represented 50 percent. Together we can actively contribute to finally closing the gender gap and making the world a fairer and more equal place.

EL's Women's Initiative in Lottery Leadership (WiLL) Mentoring Programme

EL is proud of its WiLL Mentoring Programme which is designed for female leaders in the lottery sector who want to realise their fullest potential. With a focus on skill and knowledge development, the Programme aims to create new opportunities for junior and mid-level women in the EL Membership, as either a mentee or mentor. The mission is to drive high-performance business growth through supporting the advancement of women into top positions of lottery management, leadership and responsibility. The 2022-2023 WiLL Mentoring Programme in Europe was officially launched during a successful kick-off webinar and takes place with Mentors and Mentees over a six-month period. Further information is available here.

Today we hear from inspiring women in the lottery sector as we gear up for the launch of a dedicated module for the WiLL Programme on the EL e-learning Platform.

In the words of Stéphane Pallez, EL 1st Vice-President, Chairwoman & CEO of La Française des Jeux (FDJ) and champion of the Programme in Europe: ”WiLL continues to grow, creating a path for talented and passionate women. Both mentors and mentees will benefit from this experience and contribute to build an environment that not only accepts diversity, but also celebrates and promotes it.”

Romana Girandon, EL 2nd Vice-President, President & CEO of Loterija Slovenije d.d. adds: ”12 years ago, when I was going to sign an important international contract in Helsinki, I was the only woman signing the contract out of 30 or 40 men. And I was not even the lottery president at that time, I was only authorised to sign by my male boss. Since then, when I'm looking around myself in the lottery industry, I think things have changed a lot. More and more of us are in the most responsible and most influential positions. And there's also a network of women colleagues as well and the programmes like WiLL. It's important that we continue to do what we're doing, like promoting best practices, establishing programmes like this one (WiLL), inventing new initiatives to voluntarily join on a European level, and encourage members to join us.”

And, Elisabeth Römer-Russwurm, Managing Director Lottery Business, Austrian Lotteries and Mentor of the 2022-2023 WiLL programme gives the following advice: ”Believe in yourself, set high goals and pursue them consistently. Take all the support you can you get and learn to delegate as early as possible in both your professional and your personal life. I think the leaders of the future must be open to diversity and see the opportunities in it. The leaders must be more like a coach, on the side of the employees, and encourage them to work independently. This applies to both men and women. Leaders must be newly oriented in this fast-changing world we are working in. ”


Lucy Lenaers-Mathieson

Communications Officer




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