As I write this newsletter, the Internet is still buzzing with the news that England has seen the Lioness’ come so close to world cup glory versus Spain and tentative whispers of ‘It’s coming home… again’ were not to be. So achingly close from a great squad of players who have every right to be proud of their achievements on the world stage.
However, the growing spotlight on the sport has also shed light on some uncomfortable truths, particularly concerning discrepancies in pay between the men’s and women’s teams. While there are great strides being made, such as the Welsh team’s decision to decrease the men’s team’s pay to facilitate the increase of the women’s, there is still much to do if equality is to be achieved.
As Wales Manager Gemma Grainger stated in an interview with BBC Sport Wales; “We want our players to embody Together Stronger, the collaboration with the men’s team is something we want to continue. Equality and making sure what we have here is equal, is so important to us. The women’s game is growing and will continue to grow.” Nike seem to have scored an own goal initially in relation to Mary Earps’ replica goalkeeper shirt; seems short-sighted to say the least, but a discussion for another time.
Indeed, creating equality in a team, workplace or any other environment will foster a greater sense of collaboration and unity, which in turn leads to collective success. In the case of Women’s Football, we have not only seen the increasing economic benefits driven by fans, TV and sponsors, but also, and perhaps more importantly, we have seen the legacy impact on girls who are inspired to get into sports and enjoying the physical and mental benefits that will stand them in good stead for their personal development.
Similarly, by creating space for collaboration and community in our workplaces, we can see greater innovation and productivity and the results will be just as exciting as the thought of the Lionesses going again and bringing it home next time!
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Rej Abraham, Sarah Torrington, Matt Byrne, Alex Handford