Women casino executives talk mentorships, balancing work & home

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - The Southern Gaming Summit is underway. At a luncheon in Gulfport on Tuesday, some women in the casino industry said it's important to offer one another support. A panel discussion included women executives who spoke about a topic on many women's minds, how to balance work and family.

Overcoming adversity. Leadership. Dealing with difficult coworkers. Those were some of the topics at a Global Gaming Women event designed to let women in gaming share stories with other women in the industry.

"When I started in the business there was a real lack of mentorship for women.There is a little bit something different for women than men as far as the work life balance and some of the issues that we contend with," said Holly Gagnon, Pearl River Resorts CEO. Gagnon has worked in gaming for more than 20 years.

"People look for role models and I think this is a great opportunity to provide that," Gagnon.

The panel told the audience the idea that women can accomplish everything that needs to be done in the work place and at home is a myth. With all their career success, the executives said juggling their jobs and their families is still a struggle.

Suzanne Trout is the chief marketing officer for Rush Street Gaming.

"I'm a single parent with two daughters so I will tell you work balance is a constant challenge. There's a lot of debate. Can you have it all? Can you not have it all," Trout said. "We're not always going to do everything perfectly. I think we have to always know our families are a priority and do the best we can while we're at work. "

The panelists' advice to other women was to not be too hard on themselves and learn to say "No" sometimes.

"I have to believe that we're all on the over achieving. We're a little bit preprogrammed to say "Yes" and be pleasers particularly in the customer service business," said Gagnon. "Sometimes saying yes is not the right answer. Sometimes we have to prioritize and some things have to be a no or be delegated."

Global Gaming Women is about to launch a new online networking site will offer career and leadership advice as well as connect people with professional mentors.

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