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The Star Sydney leadership team has reached a 50/50 split of men and women following two recent appointments to the executive group reporting to the Chief Operating Officer (COO).
The Star Entertainment Group has a target of 45% women and 45% men representation in leadership roles across its properties in Sydney and Queensland, while the remaining 10% reflects scope for any gender identity, including non-binary gender identities.

The result also signals the success of an ongoing commitment to improvement in gender representation. Five years ago, the equivalent leadership team at The Star Sydney comprised 23% women.
The Star Sydney’s COO, Damian Quayle said that achieving gender equality in the leadership team was the result of a focussed effort including the development of a talent acquisition and recruitment pipeline, fostering an inclusive and diverse work environment and implementing a group-wide gender equality strategy.

“I am incredibly proud to say that my leadership team reflects a more balanced representation of genders, of our workforce, of our community and the millions of guests we welcome each year,” Mr Quayle said.
“I wholeheartedly believe that equal representation drives better teamwork, a wider base of experience to drawn upon and ultimately greater performance.”

The Star Entertainment Group’s Chief People and Performance Officer, Kim Lee added, “We recognise that diversity – of genders, different cultural backgrounds, experiences and ideas is critical to creating a welcoming environment for our guests and team members. With more women being elevated to senior roles than ever, The Star is on track to meet its targets.”

Following the appointments of Sandra Thefs and Christina Lambert, the team now comprises three women and three men.

Speaking of the two appointments, Mr Quayle said: “Sandra adds over 25 years’ experience in the gaming industry to the team. She most recently spearheaded delivery of Sovereign, The Star Sydney’s $250 million premium entertainment and gaming venue.

“Since taking on the role as Director of Hotels, Christina has truly excelled. She has led The Darling Sydney in maintaining its pre-eminent position as the only luxury hotel to receive the coveted Forbes’ Five Star award. She is now also responsible for developing a program that ensures that level of service and guest experience is delivered across our entire property.”

Sandra Thefs, who has been with The Star since 1995 – first as a dealer at Treasury Brisbane, then venturing south for the launch of ‘Star City’ in 1997 said a strong network of advocates were key to her progression.

“Throughout my time with The Star, I have always been supported in my ambitions to progress my career by my peers and my managers,” she said. “They instilled the confidence I needed and encouraged me to take up opportunities I might not have otherwise pursued.

”As Chair of Balance at The Star, our gender equality network, I have seen firsthand the progress we have made in a short space of time.
“Although there is more work to be done to achieve parity across the board, we have clear direction from our Executive team, a newly released gender equality strategy to help our targets and a committed workforce all working towards the same goal.”

The Star Sydney’s Director of Hotel and Guest Experiences, Christina Lambert, said she is thrilled to be part of a leadership group that values equity, diversity, and inclusion.

“I have had the pleasure of leading The Star Sydney’s hotel team over the last two years, and excited to extend my role into guest experience across the property,” Ms Lambert said.
“It is important for me to see a balanced representation of genders in our teams, and I’m grateful to be part of that and ensuring it is reflected across all levels of The Star’s operations.

Sandra and Christina join Samantha Apps on The Star Sydney‘s leadership team. Ms Apps joined The Star Entertainment Group in 2017 as General Manager, Group Procurement where she led the transformation of that function, increasing benefits delivery by 150% over her first two years. She moved into The Star Sydney’s leadership team in February 2021 as General Manager, Hospitality and Group Supply Chain. A passionate advocate for diversity and inclusion, Ms Apps is an active ally and member of the ‘Proud at The Star’ committee that champions a safe, inclusive and welcoming environment for LGBTQI+ team members and guests, and NSW state representative on Chief Executive Women’s Connect Committee that supports the pathway to the C-Suite for talented women across Australia.