Women in Gaming: Monica Rangel, 888holdings

Monica Rangel WiG

Today for ‘Women in Gaming‘, we speak to Monica Rangel. Monica is the Head of PT Markets for 888holdings, as well as a partner at the lottery company 4LeafLotto. In addition to these, she is the part-owner of Gamesoft/Gamelabs.

Monica has been in the iGaming industry for over 12 years and has encompassed numerous areas such as marketing and affiliates, business development and regulatory framework in diverse markets.

It’s needless to say that Monica has quite a bit of knowledge when it comes to online gaming. And today, she’s going to share some of that with you.

AffiliateINSIDER: How has gender equality within the online gambling industry evolved since you first started? 

Monica Rangel: “Our industry has matured and been in the right direction when it comes to gender equality since I started in iGaming over 12 years ago. We’re seeing more women in leadership roles and across organisations, our numbers are growing. Having said that, let’s not assume all is perfect and doesn’t require positive change.

“Now is not the time to take our foot off the gas. We need to talk more about equitable career development, equal pay and career time progress. In the immortal words of James Brown: ‘this is a man’s world’ still. We have a long road ahead before we can claim balance in equality, but we are rising and working towards it.”

AI: What changes would you like to see happen over the coming years? 

MR: “Diversity is always good for business and I would love to see stronger policies implemented to diminish this gap between genders and roles, education measures which empower women and men to take their goals a step further, learn from one another and grow together.

“I would love to see a buildup in under-represented areas, such as leadership and decision-making roles, truly equal participation and responsibilities.”

AI: What are the biggest career challenges that you have had to overcome, and which skills were vital in helping you to do this?

MR: “Probably because of the way I was educated, I always believed that being a woman was an advantage in business. We’re talented at seeing the bigger picture, getting a holistic view of our products and markets, and in a split second drilling down to detail if necessary. We manage our times, families, homes and business with a ‘multiverse’ mindset – which makes us unique and effective.

“The biggest challenge in my career was dealing with discrimination for being pregnant, several years ago, in one of the largest companies in gaming back then. I was told by my superior that women are diminished in their capacities when they are with child and that they should simply not work while raising a family. Yes I know, absolute rubbish isn’t it!

“But you know, that was such a turning point for me. I felt so empowered and strong, my resilience and ability to turn that terrible moment into a goal and  at the same time my stubbornness at excelling when told I would fail. Thriving in my career while watching that event become a blimp in my rearview, though still using it as an learning example for colleagues and friends, has made realise how resilient I really am. So now I feel blessed to work for a company like 888 where gender equality is a reality, and where women and men are equally valued for their work and worth!”

AI: In a digital marketing sense, how do you see the iGaming industry evolving as we enter the recession and beyond? 

MR: “I believe that in the post-COVID era, we need to assume that both customers and businesses will emerge with a whole new set of priorities, attitudes towards leisure and work, and even values that were previously-considered written in stone. We all had to learn how to evolve and adapt; this time at warp speed, given the challenges that immediately arose.

If the way that individuals work has changed, as well as their mindset, we should be prepared to change when it comes to our digital approach. Not long ago social media was dropping in figures and now for most it has become a renewed passion, like a long-lost best friend. Social media will be key again and we have to relearn how to engage with players in this setting. Our lingo must also change, as remote work increases, online shopping, online communicating, our ability to effectively convey our message must also change, generic one-size-fits-all just doesn’t cut it anymore, in gaming or otherwise.” 

AI: Who have been your biggest role models throughout your career, either famous or not?

MR: “I wouldn’t call him a role model as such, but Massimo – one of my first bosses – was a very important reference for me in iGaming. I will never forget the lessons he taught me.

“For many, in all honesty, he was an unpleasant manager – always screaming, very loud. But at the same time he was intelligent, no-nonsense, challenging and thought-provocative, with a knowledge of the industry and years ahead of his time. I can’t say he was the best in leadership skills, but he treated everyone equal and expected to be challenged in return.

“He was one of the first to surround himself with very bright women, like my good friend and colleague Natalie Berenato, who I could easily name as a role model to so many. At the end of the day, Massimo helped me achieve the best of myself. He wasn’t always easy and in many ways steered me in the opposite direction when it comes to managing people, but not all role models are linear I guess. It’s all about the lessons you learn and the true takeaway for your development.”

AI: What is the most important piece of advice you can give to women starting out in our industry today?

MR: “Know your worth! A few years back, someone told me something like “if you want to land on the moon, shoot for the stars”… and it didn’t dawn on me till much later in life.

“We so many times undermine ourselves and our confidence, with our perception of what others believe and what is our true value. Negotiate with confidence, be fierce and assertive, don’t be afraid to ask and be bold.