Women in Gaming Awards to host seven PokerStars finalists

Thumbnail image for PS Women logo.jpgOn June 27 The Women in Gaming Awards will be presented in London to women in the gaming industry who have made major contributions in their field. PokerStars is proud to have seven finalists nominated for their passion, hard work, and commitment to making PokerStars the industry leader in online gaming. The list includes finalists from various departments and different levels of experience but they all show outstanding leadership qualities and a commitment to excellence. The nominations are even more significant coming as they do on the heels of a recent announcement by the Great Place to Work Institute naming PokerStars to the list of Best Places to Work in the UK. Judging from these accolades, PokerStars is definitely doing it right when it comes to providing an environment where women in the industry can grow and excel.

Here is the PokerStars finalists list along with their category nominations:

  • Louise Penrose--Senior TV Producer--Hidden Talent of the Year Award
  • Kirsty Thompson--UKIPT President & Head of European Live Rooms--Star of the Future Award
  • Claudia Aviles--Payment Services --Leader of the Year Award (iGaming)
  • Lynn Hunter--HR Director--Team of the Year Award (iGaming)
  • Shanaz Aziz--Senior Support Manager--Industry Achiever of the Year
  • Joanne Haslam--PokerStars Women Community Manager--Inspiration of the Year Award
  • Carly Sawers--Affiliates Team Senior Manager--Affiliate Manager of the Year Award

    We asked two of the finalists to provide a few details on how they work to lead their department to exceed expectations. They were kind enough to provide us with lots of insight.

    Kirsty Thompson, UKIPT President & Head of European Live Rooms, and finalist for the Star of the Future Award mentioned the passion and challenges that make her team pull together. "The Events Team is so passionate about what we do and what we are trying to achieve that spirits are generally high throughout the events. But it's important to work as a team because sometimes you spend more time with the tour's event manager than you do with your own family!" Kirsty says that the events team is a good work environment for women because PokerStars has gone out of its way to make it a female friendly environment. "I've worked for many online gaming companies and have never known the majority of a department to be female before joining the PokerStars Events Team. I've worked in gaming for over fifteen years and have definitely seen a vast improvement in the opportunities given to women within the industry, from what used to be very much a gentleman's club."

    Carly Sawers heads up the Affiliates Team at PokerStars and manages an international team in seven countries. Carly is a finalist for the Affiliate Manager of the Year Award. In her fast-paced world, she says that the daily challenges keep it exciting and fresh and that the dynamic atmosphere ensures they never get bored. "From producing creative elements to negotiating deals, setting up tournament promotions, combatting fraud and managing our partners, the team all pulls together." In addition, she comments that PokerStars provides wide-ranging opportunities for women and the opportunity to achieve in an environment where "despite working in a male-dominated industry there are no roadblocks" to success. "The PokerStars affiliate team is made up of fifty percent women and everyone has the will and the right to speak their mind and ensure the team runs smoothly. Everyone has the chance to grow and evolve. With such a mix of experience from all over the world, the team is encouraged to learn from each other as much as possible to increase their knowledge and skills."

    The comments above reiterate the remarks form Eric Hollreiser, Head of Corporate Communications, in a recent post from the PokerStars Blog.

    "Here at PokerStars people have a passion for their work and an ethos that celebrates success and equally important--celebrates the way we achieve success. Our players know us for the unrivalled customer support we deliver. Our employees know us for the support we give each other."

    We wish all the finalists the best of luck in the upcoming awards, but as all good poker players know, it's not about luck, it's about making the best of the cards you're dealt. It's obvious that the finalists honored here know how to play their cards right to achieve outstanding results for the players and for their team.

    For more, see the details of the upcoming Women in Gaming Awards.


    Rebekah Mercer
    @PokerStars in PS Women