Hey <<First Name>>,

My International Women’s Day message: every day is International Women’s Day.

I was having a very ‘challenging’ day when I tweeted this. And looking at it again with a few days to think about it, I have zero regrets.

I think most women would agree, it’s not a choice. Men though? Now we’re talking. This theme only works for me if we’re asking men what they’re ‘choosing to challenge’ about gender inequality this International Women’s Day (and every day).

If your sports organisation is asking women to do the emotional labour around thinking about what they would 'choose to challenge', make sure you're also asking men what it is they're doing to support us. 

Is your organisation also sending men on leadership courses? Or do you think it's only women who need to learn how to be good leaders and for men, it's innate. Hot tip: it's not. 

Something to think about.

Women in sport leadership

Someone who does the hard yards every day is Chyloe Kurdas. She’s the Female Engagement Senior Manager at Golf Australia, the Director of Own Journey, a keynote speaker and an AFLW commentator. ⁠⁠

She spoke to Leigh Russell for Women of Sport.

I'm a gender equality strategist, supporting and influencing senior leaders and their organisations to create gender empowered systems, structures and cultures. 

I always had a passion for sport, was good at it, and had a wonderful time as an athlete - but these were not the things that led me to working in sport. 

I was very conscious that I wouldn't get to achieve my potential as a footballer as there were too many doors closed to me and my peers all throughout my career. In my time as a volunteer administrator at my club and with the Victorian Women's Football League, there was always a door that we had to open or a barrier we had to overcome to just get access to the simplest of things (like full ground lighting, change room access, ground access). ⁠⁠

⁠⁠I've always had a strong sense of social responsibility and obligation, and as such have always felt a need to create change for those who came after me. If I'm not happy with the experience I had why would I not try and change things for others, so they didn't have to go through what I did? 

And so now, I work in sport, trying to shift hypermasculine systems, structures, and cultures, so that other girls and women don't walk through life not knowing what they could have been.⁠⁠

⁠⁠Through what I do, I hope to inspire in three ways:

  1. Men - to help lead change by acknowledging and using their powerful platforms to influence their spaces and peers to remove the barriers that inhibit the ability of people to achieve their potential

  2. Women - to continue to show up, play a role, back themselves in and be present for the girls and women after them

  3. Systems, structures and cultures - so that barriers to full participation for anyone in the community are removed.⁠⁠

⁠⁠Want to hear from more women in leadership? Leigh’s project is answering the question of ‘where all the women are’, one incredibly talented leader at a time. Follow @women_of_sport_ on instagram

Follow Chyloe Kurdas on twitter

Leadership appointments

League veteran Jessi Miley-Dyer becomes the World Surf League’s head of competition.

“I'm very excited to have Jessi lead Tours and Competition," said Stephanie Gilmore, seven-time WSL Champion. "She has a holistic view of the tour since she was a CT athlete and a Surfer's Representative, and has worked at WSL in different capacities. It's also very important for future generations to have women in leadership positions, so Jessi's appointment is transformative and inspiring."

Olivia Thornton will take up her position of CEO of Cricket ACT next week.

“The success of Cricket ACT is reliant on our relationships and Liv has repeatedly demonstrated her ability to develop, respect and maintain excellent working relationships with key stakeholders at all levels,” said ACT Cricket Association Chairman Mr John Miller.

Web Summit on Female Leadership in Sport 

I registered for this epic 3 day web summit focused on women in sport and leadership. There are some amazing speakers from all around the globe. 

It starts tomorrow and sessions are at a very respectable time for those of us in Australia. Have a look at the agenda and register if you would like to join me. 

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Have a good week sports fans!
Danielle Warby
Advocate for Women in Sport

Twitter: @daniellewarby
Copyright © 2021 Danielle Warby, All rights reserved.

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