At Kindred, we are passionate about diversity and are committed to building a diverse team with an inclusive and equitable workplace for all. We spoke to Snehal Richter about her career at Kindred. Snehal manages one of our seven key customer experiences: Be In Control.
Tell us about your career at Kindred?
I started at Kindred in 2012 as a Java developer in the Customer Team in Stockholm. The Customer Team, now known as the Player Account Services Team, is responsible for the ‘Join and Leave’ journey, which works with the onboarding of customers to our sites and apps.
In August 2015 I became the Agile Lead for the team and worked on planning and distributing work, facilitating and continuously improving the team’s processes, risk management, representing the team in different forums, while continuously trying to maintain and improve the team spirit. In June 2016 I took the role of the Product Owner, collecting, documenting, researching and prioritising requirements for the products that the team is responsible for.
I always wanted to do right by the customer and provide them with the best experience and the right tools to enjoy gambling in a safe way. I take pride in Kindred’s responsible gambling initiative and always wanted to work more with it. I also wanted to take the next step in my career. So, in 2019 when the Experience Model was formed, I became the Experience Owner for the ‘Be In Control’ Experience. I work with leading the vision, strategy, design and execution of experiences that help our customers stay in control and help Kindred remain a leader in trust, integrity and player safety. I also provide leadership, managerial support and personal development to Product Owners within my Experience.
The online gambling industry is very exciting, and each day brings new challenges. Working in the ‘Be In Control’ experience means dealing with compliance requirements daily and at the same time trying to improve the customer experience. My job keeps me on my toes, and I never have a boring day!
Tell us about yourself, what do you like to do when you are not working?
Right now, when I am not working, all my time is spent with my two-year-old daughter. Every mother would know and agree that spending time with your kid and watching them grow is so rewarding!
Apart from that, travelling has been on top of my list and I’ve travelled to a lot of fun places (pre-Covid-19 of course). I’m an adventurous person so my trips were usually combined with activities such as scuba diving, shark cage diving, ziplining, etc.
I’m also into board games, Bollywood dancing and spending quiet time with a good fantasy book.
What is the biggest challenge you have overcome in your career so far?
There have been numerous challenges throughout my career but my professional journey in its entirety is something that I am proud of. Leaving my country to make a life and career in a place with a completely different culture and language, I had to overcome several challenges: making new friends, learning a new language and social norms. Also gaining the trust of an organisation to finally be in a position of a leader. With the various kinds of biases that you can imagine one would face in my shoes, being here, interviewed as an inspirational woman, sums up my biggest professional achievement.
One of Kindred's values is Dare to Challenge. What does that mean to you?
For me, it means “Never take no for an answer!”
One of the reasons I am where I am within Kindred is possibly because I truly embody this value as an individual. Being an Experience Owner had been a long-standing dream of mine and the opportunity arose during my pregnancy. Many would say that it would be hard or even impossible for a woman who is about to go on maternity leave to be successful in securing this role.
But in the spirit of ‘Dare to Challenge’, I not only applied, but gave it my all during the interview process; and I got the job, but it would not have been possible without the right attitude. Kudos to Kindred who showed once again, how we operate on a fair and unbiased level and selected me for this role despite my maternity leave being only a few months away.
What do you think needs to improve to get more women into senior positions in business?
Reminding everyone that these biases do exist - open and honest conversations go a long way! Beyond that, there needs to be a conscious effort in every industry and organisation to look at their own employee demographic. Find out what percentage of women are in senior roles compared to men and then take active steps to promote their talented employees, irrespective of their gender. Culture, biases, open and honest conversations, along with focused efforts to lessen the gap, all play a part in addressing this issue. Women must also take matters into their own hands and dare to reach for higher positions.
If you could give one piece of advice to other women looking to progress up the career ladder, what would it be?
Don’t let anything get in your way - reach for the sky and believe in yourself. Aim high and let everyone know what you are made of!