WISE Up: Empowering more women with the right skills at the right time

APRIL 1, 2024

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Dear WISE Community,


Lately, I've been thinking a lot about the early part of my career. Before I found my way into the sports industry I was at Aetna, and whenever I moved into a new position or was given different responsibilities, the company sent me to its Institute — right across the street — to learn whatever skills my bosses thought would help me succeed. At the time, I didn't appreciate the value of this focus on my personal development, but I can say now with assurance that the grounding I received then is still paying dividends today.


Those long-ago learnings are why I'm so committed to offerings that are designed to empower greater numbers of women in entry-level and mid-career jobs with the kinds of broad-based business and leadership skills that confidently position them for advancement. Our , for example, exposes you to bigger picture topics outside areas of typical focus, such as business operations, strategic planning, and finance. At the same time, the program provides an opportunity to forge relationships with fellow participants and alums who will become a powerful network to carry with you — and no doubt help you to advance your career by leaps and bounds.


In today's WISE Up, we're featuring a woman who has advanced all the way to the top of an emerging yet already powerful industry. Amy Howe, CEO of FanDuel, feels like she trained her whole life for her current role, which she considers the most exciting chapter of her career — the kind of path I wish for every WISE member.



Kathleen Francis

Chair and President

One-Question Quiz: Movie Edition

says the highest-grossing female-centric sports movie of all time is A League of Their Own (1992). But what is the highest-rated female-centric sports movie (according to )? Keep reading to find out.

The WISE Interview:

FanDuel CEO Amy Howe

Amy Howe

Amy Howe helms one of the undisputed giants of the burgeoning online sports betting industry. She spoke with us about what's next in her world, why this is her ideal job, and why other WISE women might want to consider making the leap as well.


On the joys of online sports betting:

"You don't need to be a statistics expert to have fun. The vast majority of our users are recreational bettors who wager small amounts to make a game more interesting. There's a social aspect, too, when friends all bet on the same event. When you're all in it together, it creates communities and a shared excitement. For that, the underlying statistics of the game matter less."


On fighting misconceptions:

"We understand that there may still be some stigma attached to the previously illegal industry. That is why we are committed to promoting responsible gaming in the regulated and legal marketplace. The energy and effort that continues to go into building this sector the right way is considerable, including helping to launch the Responsible Online Gaming Association (ROGA) in partnership with six other operators. We're constantly educating consumers about how to maintain betting as a form of entertainment, as something that enhances the live sports experience. Our efforts are housed under three pillars of player protection. First, we provide tools that allow customers to place limits on their time, wagers,, and deposits and provide a monthly statement that transparently provides players with all of their activity. Next, are our advocacy programs through important partnerships with Kindbridge, Epic Risk Management and Operation Hope. And finally, we are raising awareness with Craig Carton, our National Responsible Gaming Ambassador."


On what's next:

"Today, approximately 50% of the country can legally place a bet. Over the next 10 years, though, we anticipate that number to increase, and that will push us from a $10 billion industry to an estimated $40 billion market. From a consumer perspective, there will be more integration between live events and betting. And the user experience will be even better, with more personalization and a more intuitive interface."


On why she moved into online sports betting … and why you may want to as well:

"I feel like I've prepared my whole life for this job. I was a competitive athlete; I worked at McKinsey; I engaged with professional leagues while at Ticketmaster. And I have three sons who are sports enthusiasts. This is by far the most exciting chapter of my career, with my professional and personal passions coming together. From a career perspective, if you are a competitive person and love sports, this is a great space for you. It's dynamic and fast paced — things literally change weekly — intellectually challenging and fun. Also, and I'm a little biased here, our culture is incredibly engaging."


On her — and FanDuel's — commitment to women:

"It's a privilege to use my platform to pay it forward. We've put two programs in place. One is a two-day offsite where the company's top 100 female leaders bond, share stories, and participate in programs built to instill the tools necessary to navigate the barriers that hold us back. We also instituted a six-month mentorship program for emerging women leaders."


On why diversity of thought matters:

"To use a sports analogy, you'd never recruit only quarterbacks or wide receivers. We're in a very competitive space; we need to bring in the best and the brightest, whoever they are and wherever they come from. If you look at the statistics of companies who do well with DEI, the numbers are compelling: 25% to 30% are higher performing. This is not about checking a box."


On why WISE matters:

"I love how WISE leverages existing platforms, like how it offers the Multiplier Summit at MIT's Sloan Sports Analytics Conference. The organization goes to a place where there are already amazing women and leaders gathered and creates networking opportunities for talented young women. The more we all do, the more progress we'll make around gender diversity in our sector."


On lessons learned:

"A few things helped me get to where I am: Being open to new opportunities, trusting myself and those around me, and being comfortable with ambiguity. I always say to my team, 'The only certainty is that there will be more uncertainty.' Finally, my favorite thing to impart to my kids is that they have to build grit as if it were a muscle. You're gonna get knocked down, personally and professionally. Being able to pick yourself back up is an invaluable skill."

Industry WISDOM:

Online Sports Betting 101

Sports Betting 101 video

Interested in a career in sports betting? Learn the basics in this video.

FanDuel data scientist Kristy Bell recently spoke at the WISE Multiplier Summit about her job — specifically, how she uses data to help set the odds. If you aren't sure what that even means, the following sports betting primer, graciously compiled by Bell, will help. (For a more in-depth education, click on the video link above):


  1. The odds: The main thing to understand is that odds imply probability. The higher the odds, the less likely it is that an event will occur, which is why you will get paid more if it does. Conversely, the more negative, or lower, the odds, the more likely an event is to happen, and, thus, the less money to gain if it does.
  2. The most popular bets:
    1. Money line: This is a straight wager on who will win. How much is paid is determined by the odds.
    2. The Total or Over/Under: This is a bet on how many points will be scored by both teams. The oddsmaker sets a "line" — say, 47.5 for a football game. If you believe the two teams will together finish the game with more points than that, take the "over." Think they'll score less? Bet the "under."
    3. Spread: This bet is dependent on how many points you think a team will win – or lose – by. This number, set by the oddsmaker, essentially evens the playing field, as it is added to the underdog's final score before determining the winner.
  3. Prop bets: These bets cover "propositions" not necessarily related to the final score, such as statistics (e.g., how many touchdowns will a player score?), occurrences (e.g., who will score the first touchdown), or random events (how long will the national anthem be?).
  4. How to start: With a small amount, like a dollar per bet, until you are comfortable with all the choices.
  5. An insider's note: It's a common misconception that sports books have "extra" information. It is not true. Oddsmakers use the same information that is publicly available to customers — game logs, stats, websites, social media — to create the odds. That said, sportsbooks do build models that help them make sense of all the data. Generally, though, anything that is difficult for bettors to predict is probably also a tough call for bookmakers.

Let's Go! Women on the Move

Kari Cohen now: Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel, New York Red Bulls; formerly: General Counsel for the club.


Claire Czerniuk now: Director of Game Presentation, Entertainment and Field Marketing, New York Red Bulls; formerly: Interim Director Game Presentation, Golden State Warriors.


Michele Ghee now: Chairwoman of the Board, PlayersTV.


Susan Pikitch now: Chair, LPGA Foundation Board of Directors.


Kelly Reisdorf now: Interim CEO, USA Shooting.


Pri Shumate now: SVP, CMO, Miami Dolphins; formerly, CMO, Columbia Sportswear.


Patricia Yanez now: Director of Marketing, New York Red Bulls; formerly: Senior Manager, Global Kids & Family Program Marketing, Paramount+.


Inspired to make your own move? , with new daily listings from leagues, teams, agencies, online sports betting companies and other exciting employers.


Want to be featured? Send us your exciting job news: newsletter@wiseworks.org.

Worth the Click

WISE buzzer beat: (Forbes, paywall)


WISE glass-cliff concern: (Business Insider)


WISE leadership lesson: (HBR podcast)


WISE self-care counsel: (New York Times gift link)


WISE wildcard conversation starter: (Reuters)

Order Grown Woman Talk

Professional Development Opportunities

April 24-May 29


The pace of career growth slows for women once they enter middle management. This virtual, interactive, high-quality training imparts the right skills at the right time to propel women into the ranks of senior leadership. Gain the competence and confidence you need to expand your horizons and position yourself for advancement. ELCP classes meet on Wednesdays for six weeks. .


Studies have shown that women who have had mentors are promoted earlier and are more satisfied in their jobs than those who have not. But it's not always easy to find a mentoring relationship — or to find time to meet even if you do. WISE Within eliminates the obstacles. Our digital platform matches mentees to mentors, gleaned from our 6,000 members in 25 local chapters. Mentees can adjust criteria to search our mentor directory.


Other benefits include:

  • Maximum flexibility: duos choose schedule, meeting style and length of engagement (up to three months).
  • Geographic options: Mentees can stay local or seek someone with specific expertise anywhere in North America.
  • Year-round sign-up.
  • WISE-provided support and resources.

to become a mentor or mentee.

One-Question Quiz Answer


Million Dollar Baby (2004), which earned seven Oscar nominations and won four: Best Picture, Best Director (Clint Eastwood), Best Actress (Hillary Swank) and Best Supporting Actor (Morgan Freeman). Hoop Dreams (1994), the basketball documentary, is Metascore's highest-rated sports movie overall.

We'd Love to Hear From You! Ideas for WISE Up? New job? Just want to say hello? Email us.