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More leadership roles for females

Scottish Rugby’s historic season for women

Jade Konkel
Jade Konkel: first full-time female

Breakthrough for gender equality

As the world marks International Women’s Day 2017, Scottish Rugby is proud of its focus on gender equality.

It has been an historic season for the governing body with the election of Dee Bradbury as the first female vice-president, while Jade Konkel became the first full-time female player to sign.

In a sport which is traditionally male-dominated, one-third of Scottish Rugby’s workforce is female and women are represented in all departments from IT to coaching development and the grounds team.

“I did not undertake this role to be a broad feminist gesture, purely that I thought I had qualities to bring to the role,” said Bradbury whose August appointment saw her also become the first female vice-president of a tier 1 rugby nation and a major sport in Scotland.

“I’m proud to be the first female vice-president of Scottish Rugby. Since the women’s and men’s unions integrated in 2009, it has become clear to me that Scottish Rugby is one of the most fully-integrated and welcoming sports for women.

“Women’s rugby is one of the fastest growing sports in the world and I would encourage more women to take up leadership and governance roles to ensure women and girls are fairly represented across all levels of our sport.”

International Women’s Day 2017 marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity while celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.

Konkel, who progressed to a Stage 3 player in the BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy, hopes her move will help inspire other girls to become involved in the sport.

The Scotland Women international said: “Becoming the first female professional rugby player in Scotland has been incredible.

“It’s a massive opportunity for me personally but equally as important it gives young girls something to aspire to and who knows how many women will be playing rugby professionally by the time they reach my age.

“Rugby has given me so much and I would encourage women and girls to give it a go as it’s a great social sport for all shapes and sizes.”

Dee Bradbury
Dee Bradbury

Women are represented on the Scottish Rugby board and council and are increasingly promoted to leadership roles across the business, with commercial & marketing, events, HR, women’s rugby & ticketing all headed up by women.

Kerry Halliday, who has climbed the ranks at Scottish Rugby to become the head of ticketing, said: “I started working at Scottish Rugby straight out of university nine years ago as an events manager.

“There is a great team ethos and I’ve been well supported both on a professional and personal level throughout the years.”

“Equality in the workplace and in everyday life is very important and it’s great Scottish Rugby recognises that both men and women have the ability and skill-set to help the business achieve its goals and continue to evolve.”

Scottish Rugby also signed the Scottish LGBT Sports Charter ahead of this season. Launched by the Equality Network, the charter includes five principles which aim to remove the barriers to sport for LGBT people and tackle discrimination.

This follows being awarded the intermediate level of the equality standard: A Framework for Sport in 2014. The framework was launched by the UK Sports Councils to address inequality within the sports sector.

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