It's time to work together to rewrite the future and show that inclusion is the way forward: A call to action from our Chief Purpose Officer, Fiona Morgan.
‘It’s not about people walking in front of each other. It’s about people walking together, side by side – we are stronger together. Working together is better for business and better for sport.’
I joined a Gender Equality in Sport panel hosted by The Female Quotient at the Mobility Hub yesterday and one of the inspiring panelists I spoke alongside, author of The Slum Queen, Rouble Nagi said these empowering words and it keeps replaying in my head.
And, actually here at COP28, it has been a stark reminder of the change that still needs to happen so we can walk side by side.
I, like Hilary Clinton, have been surprised at the lack of reserved seats for women at negotiation tables at COP28 – at the biggest stage for climate action right now. Clinton highlighted that the ‘absence of women in COP28 climate talks is a major worry’, and I couldn’t agree more and this was particularly highlighted at the world leaders photo taken last week.
It’s easy to get lost in the challenges and barriers faced when driving inclusivity in sport and business but we have to keep pushing and showing the value of change. Like many sports, sailing has historical cultural issues around inclusion. The World Sailing Trust found that 80% women and 56% men believe that gender balance is an issue in our sport. This is something we have been keen to address at SailGP – through our Women’s Pathway and Inspire Programs – to ensure gender equity lies at the heart of our Championship.
We believe that our racing at SailGP has a huge opportunity to create a gender equitable sporting league where all athletes can compete together – at the very top of the sport – side by side. Where the physical differences between men and women are deemed not to have any effect on performance, in fact, diversity will enhance competition.
We introduced the SailGP Women’s Pathway in 2021, to accelerate the training and development of female athletes and close the gap in our sport. Since then, we have seen female athletes racing on every F50 in 100% races.
And, here in Dubai, as we Race for the Future and highlight one of our areas of focus– Inclusivity – I am excited the world’s best female athletes will for the first time train together on the F50, gaining valuable time on the water. We are doing everything we can to get a female driver on the startline by Season 6 at the latest so watch this space.
So the time is now, we need to work together to rewrite the future and show inclusion is the way forward, to make sport and business better.
Let's keep racing for the future!