I’ve never been one to publicly champion women. Not because I don’t know that we’ve been marginalized since the beginning of time, but because I know that we are capable of excelling to the same heights as men in all intellectual endeavors.
Women’s abilities in math, science and law are equal to those of men. So is their ability to produce complete nonsense about sports betting.
Ladies are putting out worthless betting picks just as often as men are.
I’m not going to link to examples because this article isn’t meant to be negative. Instead I am here to finally, publicly champion women.
Sports betting is the most entertaining type of gambling content to watch, read and listen to. There are several mainstream shows like ESPN’s “Daily Wager” which provide unsophisticated betting advice. Huge companies like Barstool Sports and DraftKings have podcasts designed around rookie betting analysis.
Because consumers react favorably to a mix of personalities, these shows feature both men and women. There is room for creators to showcase the bad opinions of both sexes.
There Is Room Behind the Counter
The landscape behind the scenes of the sports betting industry does not mirror the entertainment being broadcast to the public.
Men almost entirely hold the skilled technical and engineering jobs in the sports betting space. Female engineers, data scientists, analysts and so on are rare.
Those in charge of hiring are partly responsible. There are gender biases and a hesitancy to go against cultural norms. Sports betting businesses aren’t targeting women.
It’s also not on the radar of many women to seek out those jobs. There is a lack of representation. Women aren’t suggesting to their female friends that they look for opportunities in the industry because women aren’t in the industry to begin with.
There are, though, opportunities in small sports betting companies with room to grow. Deep-pocketed investors are likely backing a good number of these companies. Everyone wants a piece of the next big thing in the rapidly expanding sports betting industry. Salaries for both entry-level and higher-skilled positions are competitive. Lenient schedules that stray from the traditional 9-5 can even be beneficial for mothers.
One Woman Making Her Way
A few years ago I sold my pitch about the growing sports betting industry to my friend Sarah Tolagson.
Until then the extent of her experience with sports had been watching games with her father and rooting for her home teams. She had never placed a bet and didn’t know how sports betting worked on either side of the counter.
But she had spent thousands of hours playing poker tournaments online. She’s smart, analytical, and between her time spent in poker and years of playing World Of Warcraft, I knew she would have no problem in a male-dominated environment.
After reading The Logic of Sports Betting twice, she was hired at DeckPrism (now Huddle), an in-game odds origination company, as a quality control analyst. In less than a year she went from quality assurance to grading bets, junior trading, writing operational manuals and more.
Soon our conversations about what spring break plans to make with our kids included how we would find the time with March Madness; me betting college basketball games and her creating schedules for the trading team.
Around the Industry
After gaining a solid foundation at DeckPrism, she went to work with Prophet Exchange, America’s first peer-to-peer betting exchange.
Working for an exchange appealed to her. She said it was, “giving the users an opportunity to not only stick it to the man (traditional books) but also be the man (book bets.)”
With Prophet Exchange, she started off as an operations associate making sure the site was operationally sound. She has since moved into product, acting as liaison between operations and the engineering team working on new features and content for the platform.
“I’ve always enjoyed finding information that gives me an edge, and the sports betting industry provides a way to use that natural part of myself,” she said.
“There are a lot of parallels between poker and sports betting and being able to use my analytical thinking to solve problems in a dynamic and fast-paced environment is something I love.”
Finding Opportunities for Women in Sports Betting
I’m not on a crusade to introduce women to sports betting, either as a skilled bettor or a skilled operator. But I am a fan of alternative career choices. I’d like for more females to know that the sports betting world is wide and opportunities exist for them outside of content creator.
A diversified workplace will lead to an increase in creativity and innovation whether it be in design, engineering or product development. There is no reason that women can’t succeed in these positions.
The greatest obstacles for them to secure those roles is their lack of exposure to the industry and my assumption that the men in charge of finding talent don’t have women on their recruiting list.
“It’s an exciting and ever-changing landscape,” Tolagson said. “Where each day brings new challenges, opportunities, and surprises ensuring that work remains engaging and never monotonous.”
Changing a Way of Thinking
I grew up with an unconscious bias that men and women are better equipped to handle different skilled roles. Then I read a quote from Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg that exposed my bias and flipped it on its head.
“When I’m sometimes asked when will there be enough [women on the Supreme Court] and I say, ‘When there are nine,’ people are shocked. But there’d been nine men, and nobody’s ever raised a question about that.”