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News 8 Mar 2022

Celebrating International Women's Day

International womens day

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

Today we stand in unity and solidarity with the many strong women around the world. 

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 2021-2022 WiLL Mentoring Programme in Europe was officially launched during a successful kick-off webinar in October last year and takes place with Mentors and Mentees over a six month period. Further information is available here.

”Lotteries have a role to play in the necessary evolution towards more gender diversity. They can make a big difference for women in many fields where they are not visible enough, allowing them to assume higher responsibility based on their abilities and to be fairly rewarded for their contributions. As a result of FDJ’s commitment to gender equality in the workplace, the proportion of women in management roles rose from 34% in 2015 to 42% in 2020, in line with the proportion of women employees in the company. It also applies to the Group’s Executive Committee.”
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Stéphane Pallez, President & CEO, La Française des Jeux (FDJ), 1st Vice President, EL Executive Committee

”International Women's Day is not only about women or a gender equality question, it is about a much wider social issue. It is about fairness, inclusion and quality of life of everyone. It is about equal opportunities for all. Working together at the top and at every level of an organisation is a great learning opportunity for both genders. It also holds an immense potential for any lottery and society as a whole. We have come a long way since 1911. But there is still a lot of work to be done, so today we can only celebrate our success to a certain extent. We have to keep improving. Every day. And as a good friend of mine said: "Let's teach our children as a part of a curriculum that the 8th of March is not about our mothers loving flowers."”

Romana Dernovšek, President & CEO, Loterija Slovenije d.d., EL Executive Committee Member

”Despite more than a 100 years of fighting, we are still a long way away from achieving full gender parity. As we mark International Women's Day 2021, let us all take a moment to reflect on how – each of us within our own remit – we can actively contribute to finally closing the gender gap and making the world a fairer and more equal place.”
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Iva Zorko, Policy Officer, EL

”Sadly the COVID-19 crisis is threatening to set back some of the progress made in recent years on the journey towards gender equality. Let’s celebrate women’s courage and determination today and make this the year to undertake greater efforts to achieve a truly gender equal world, which will be a better world for everyone!”

Jennifer Jachimow, Events Officer, EL

”The pandemic has once again demonstrated the crucial role played by women, who are often on the front line in dealing with the virus. Their professional inclusion and recognition at all levels, as well as gender equality in the workplace, are therefore essential for the advancement of our society.”
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Mélissa Jacquérioz, CSR, Data and Membership Officer, EL

”Two years ago our world was turned upside down. By becoming a mother during a pandemic, I have realised once again just how resilient women are. On International Women’s Day I applaud the work of all the women around us who are instrumental in supporting society – from health care workers to world leaders.”

Lucy Lenaers-Mathieson, Communications Officer, EL

EL has been working closely with the European Non-Governmental Sports Organisation (ENGSO) since 2009 in order to work on a common front to safeguard the integrity of sport and to strengthen the link between voluntary non-profit sports organisations. On International Women's Day, ENGSO published an interview with Honorary President Birgitta Kervinenwhere she thanked EL for the support. 

”The first goal of my work was to find support for ENGSO. We started negotiations and cooperation with the European Lotteries. I would like to thank their former Presidents Dr. Winfried Wortmann and Deputy Director General Friedrich Stickler for their trust and excellent co-operation. Our common values and understanding of the role of grassroots sport and voluntary work in society led to exceptional results. I am happy that the partnership with European Lotteries continues today.”

Birgitta Kervinen, Honorary President, ENGSO