Jade Zorab: Good leaders are self-aware

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Amber Gaming managing director Jade Zorab has described how pragmatism and regular exercise have enabled her to approach her new leadership role with confidence.

Zorab was director and head of corporate development at the Isle of Man-based gaming compliance business prior to becoming the firm’s managing director in April.

“To be a good leader you’ve got to know yourself very well. You’ve got to be very self-aware because if you aren’t, I just don’t think you can make solid and reliable decisions”, she said, speaking in conversation with Game On managing director Sarah Blackburn as part of iGaming NEXT Online: Bright Future today.

The keen marathon runner and triathlete said: “exercise has become a way to just make sure that I’ve got a healthy balance and I’m staying fit and active”, adding that it has also helped her find time to reflect on important business decisions and approach them with greater clarity.

Reflecting on Amber Gaming’s recent rebrand and shake-up of the management line-up, Zorab said: “When we did that there was a lot of consideration given to both our internal culture and the tone we wanted to set but to the external marketplace.

“And those are one and the same thing, we are really transparent, we believe that compliance should be applied pragmatically, and that we should be honest with both our people and our partners in business”.

However, she said she is not complacent about the scale of the role she has taken on. “I think the foundation is solid, but I feel a major sense of responsibility, respect is earned.”

Outside of her role at Amber Gaming, Zorab is a member of the board of trustees for Love Tech – a charity on the Isle of Man that aims to empower young woman to aspire to roles in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

“We tailor events for all different age groups. We do things with parents as well to educate them, but I think the intention is to lead very much by example, so nobody is excluded from events. Whilst our aim is to bring some parity to the table to say ‘well, actually, traditionally there maybe be a preconception that certain subjects are only for boys, or certain jobs are only for boys, and other things are only for girls, actually that’s not the case, there is loads of opportunity.”

Zorab, who considered a career as an intellectual property lawyer prior to coming into gaming about 15 years ago, said that she has faced discrimination at times in her career but believes it is a challenge faced by both men and women for different reasons.

“Yes, throughout my career – even in south Africa – people would look at me and say ‘gosh, you’re really young and you’re a woman, can you be involved in this sector, how will that work?’”, she said, but it is not something that has ever deterred her.

“If someone tells me I can’t do something, that just lights a fire in my belly. So I’ve never been put off by that, if anything I’ve just set out to prove them wrong”.

You can watch the session with Jade Zorab (Managing Director, Amber Gaming) and Sarah Blackburn (Managing Director, GameOn) on igamingnext.tv.

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