The BKT United Rugby Championship has launched a powerful drive to encourage greater female representation in the sports workplace with the creation of the URC Women’s Leadership Academy, which gives women an opportunity to interact with and learn from some of the best in sport, identify new career opportunities within the industry, and tap into a global network of women in the business of sport .
The URC Women’s Leadership Academy is part of the BKT United Rugby Championship's focus on growing diversity and inclusion in sport under the competition’s “Take on Tomorrow” programme, which sees the BKT URC using their platforms and influence to create a healthier, stronger, more unified next generation who can take on tomorrow.
This is a global call for entries to a programme that has been created to address the 2023 research done by Sporting Insights in partnership with the Women’s Sport Collective, which revealed that 92% of women faced barriers entering the sports industry and that 8 in 10 women would like access to a mentoring programme with women working in sport to assist in their career progression.
Under the campaign identity of #empowHER, women around the world between the ages of 18-26 will be able to apply for entrance to the academy. A final selection process will identify the 25 successful candidates who will undergo a series of high performance CV-boosting workshops with leaders in the fields of Broadcasting, Sponsorship, Marketing and Communications, Digital Content, Technology and other sectors within the sports industry.
These workshops will include current female leaders and stars in sport sharing their experiences and journey, a critical look at the state of the sports sector and the employment landscape, the digital future of sport, leadership skills and principles, preparing for interviews and growing a personal brand, sports sponsorship, and event management and operations.
The candidates will be given various tasks and projects to complete within the framework of real-world experience at sports events, including BKT United Rugby Championship matches and activities. All participants can graduate, and the top “MVP” graduate will earn work experience at the BKT URC Grand Final on 27 May and a three-month internship programme to further her career within the sports industry.
A URC Women's Leadership Academy Alumni programme will also be developed to help create a strong and vibrant global network of women working in sport and to empower them through a new culture of shared learning and skills transfer that will keep growing the momentum of the academy.
“The business of sport and the entire landscape of the industry is evolving at such a rapid pace globally. Within the BKT URC we already have a growing base of incredible women who are transforming the industry through their amazing work. These women are powerful role models who are already inspiring the next generation, and the URC Women’s Leadership Academy is now the perfect vehicle to accelerate this change and give these women the opportunities they deserve,” said URC CEO Martin Anayi.
“Our message at the BKT URC is that rugby is for everyone. The URC Women’s Leadership Academy takes this further with the message that the sports industry is for everyone.”
The URC Women’s Leadership Academy is funded and supported by the CVC Foundation, which has a shared philosophy to partner with organisations that make a positive contribution to society.
Online registrations for the programme will take place between 22 February to 9 March.
Prospective candidates are asked to submit a short video biography of themselves explaining exactly why they want to be a part of the programme and their goals within the sports industry to wla.unitedrugby.com
Follow #empowHER on social channels.