Co-hosted by KPMG, BOSN, Hong Kong Rugby Union Community Foundation, and Refinitiv, the Women in Sports Leadership Breakfast was a huge success to bring awareness to gender equality in sports.
In light of a week full of rugby events in Hong Kong, a group of women leaders including Dee Bradbury, Raelene Castle, Claudia MacDonald shared many takeaways, telling stories from Rugby Australia, Scotland Rugby Union, England Rugby, along with local tennis player Venise Chan and Spartan racer Nicky Inge sharing stories from a professional player's perspective.
Castle, CEO of Rugby Australia, said during the event, "to see men and women here is important because everyone needs to be involved in this conversation. The message of aspiration is important for the women, but the message of support is important for the men, and the need to sponsor that message at the highest level."
"Pay parity is an incredible step forward, and full credit to the Olympics for bringing Sevens in as gender equal. That drives a lot of responsible decision-making by national bodies. They know their men and women should be promoted equally," Castle continued.
Scotland Rugby Union President Bradbury commented, "Rugby has always been welcoming anyway and I think that has to do with the values of the game, like respect. It wasn’t so much about me being a woman. Most of the challenges I have had were personal, that I don’t like to fail and I didn’t want to fail. I think people should be recognised for the qualities they have, whether someone is male or female."
"I’d like to think that this generation will leave a legacy that someone’s gender is not an issue," Bradbury said.
"We’d been putting teams in mixed rugby, corporate rugby and had this sort of nexus of rugby but we saw a niche in women’s rugby. It’s just grown and to see them get into the World Cup made us all very proud. It shows how far you can come and quickly when given the right support," said KPMG director Kim Kan, a one-time member of the Hong Kong squad.
"During Hong Kong Sevens week there is always a lot of conversations about the men. It’s men, men, men. We want to get women into the mix now, and hopefully in the future the conversation will only be about who is capable and who is not."
Photos: Ike Images