Scottish Rugby has backed International Women’s Day 2017 and highlighted the positive impact that women are increasingly having on the sport north of the Border.
The SRU says women across the country are integral to the success of of the game from playing, coaching, refereeing, volunteering and governance perspectives.
“From the pitch to the boardroom, Scottish Rugby is proud of the steps made so far towards equality in what is a traditionally male dominated sport,” said the governing body which made history this season when clubs elected Dee Bradbury as their first female Vice President in 153 years.
The historic vote also saw Dee become the first female Vice President of a Tier 1 rugby nation and a major sport in Scotland. Dee will become the Scottish Rugby President in 2018/19.
“I’m proud to be the first female Vice President of Scottish Rugby,” Bradbury said.
“I did not undertake this role to be a broad feminist gesture, purely that I thought I had qualities to bring to the role.
“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.”
In another first, Scottish Rugby signed their first full-time female player this season, Jade Konkel, who progressed to a Stage 3 player in the BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy.
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.”
International Women’s Day 2017 celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.
One third of Scottish Rugby’s workforce are female and women are represented in all departments from IT to coaching development and the grounds team.
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.
“Moving to lead the ticketing team three years ago has given me an insight into a different area of the business and has provided me with the challenge I was looking for. It has also given me more responsibility and allowed me to broaden my skills and develop my career.
“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 skillset 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 principals which aim to remove the barriers to sport for LGBT people and tackle discrimination.