Diversity and Inclusion in Sports Tech – insights from Spotlight Sports Group



Spotlight Sports Group are on a journey when it comes to Diversity and Inclusion and have begun a long term change programme to move towards being a truly diverse organisation. We caught up with Nicola Graf, their Head of Talent Acquisition to find out more.

What does diversity and inclusion mean to you?

A workplace where everyone feels welcome, included and supported.  It means equal opportunities to develop, equal pay and equal respect.  Everyone should have a voice and feel supported.  For me it means looking beyond the CV, getting to know what a candidate brings as their whole self.  How can they challenge us and bring a range of perspectives that enable the organisation to achieve great things? It is not a box ticking exercise or a numbers game, but a mindset of inclusivity.  sports tech

What are your greatest challenges when it comes to increasing representation of women in tech?

I think inroads are being made by the academies and bootcamps that give women an opportunity to retrain and target underrepresented groups.  The increase in flexible working has created more opportunity for women, particularly women returners, which is great.  This is not necessarily an issue just for tech but there is still quite a focus on full time hours in the majority of organisations that I come across, and there is some work to be done in creating more part-time opportunities and accepting that part time working doesn’t mean doing a full time job in part time hours.  Many women I speak to find that their employers are willing to adjust their hours and pay but what they’re expected to deliver doesn’t necessarily reduce in line.

One of Spotlight Sports Group’s challenges is that we are male dominated and that can put women off because of the assumption that a woman will feel isolated or unwelcome.  But I think this assumption is wrong.  We have a very welcoming culture and I have certainly never felt that I don’t have a voice here.   We are female friendly in terms of flexibility, hybrid working and in some cases, fully remote roles.

What tips would you give to women in tech looking to excel at interview stage?

  • Invest time to research the company, role, your interviewer, potential interview questions or discussion points and any other relevant topics so you can go into your interview fully prepared
  • Show that you have a genuine interest in the role, the company, and its mission. That will translate into authentic enthusiasm and passion, which goes a long way in an interview!
  • Have confidence. Recruiters don’t need you to know absolutely everything, but that you are confident and comfortable in the skills and experience that you do have, and that you can talk about them with ease.
  • Most companies are looking to hire more women, so you have every right to feel wanted and appreciated!

Why do you think it’s so important to create and live by a set of company values?

To enhance the culture (collaborative working), ensure everyone has the same goal and setting the standards and hold people to account for their behaviour.  Values can help to define the identity of the organisation.

At SSG our values are focussed on excellence, team work, being focused yet flexible and trust. When we’re creating websites it’s essential that the quality of the content is faultless because our customers rely on the data and journalism we provide. A website can’t come together without a broad range of people from relationship managers, product managers, designers, developers, testers, content writers, translators and all the central services teams so we have to 100% live by our value of “we are one team” and trust each other to deliver.

Much of the time we’re delivering things for the first time meaning that while we know what the end goal is, we have to flex along the way, and our industry is very dynamic so nothing stays the same for long.