SHRLG International Women’s Day 2022 – Celebrating Women in Sport


FWB Park Brown were delighted to kick off their Success in the City Series on International Women’s Day. We were joined by Shona Bell, Chief People and Engagement Officer at  Scottish Rugby, Jilly McCord Former Scottish Rugby player and runner up in the 2019 series of MasterChef and Claire Nelson CEO of Netball Scotland.

This series seeks to showcase people who have successfully made or are making a difference in their chosen field. Our sports themed evening focussed on changemakers, three women who discussed the challenges and triumphs in their chosen areas.

#BREAKTHEBIAS was of course this year’s IWD theme. The differences in male and female power of earnings, resources given are stark and although there has also been positive change, there is still so much to be done.

FWB Park Brown was delighted to partner with Boroughmuir Rugby and Community Sports Club in Edinburgh who have a long term ambition to provide opportunities for girls to develop and participate in the game and create a structure that realises their potential to reach the highest levels of club, regional, Scottish and International rugby. Donations to this worthy cause can be made via – Boroughmuir Rugby & Community Sports Club – JustGiving

The session commenced with Shona from Scottish Rugby who talked openly around the gender imbalance on the board and their progress in rectifying that, the road to the Rugby world cup and the challenges where the girls teams had previously been expected to fly on budget airlines and the men’s team had a chartered plane for the journey. Shona discussed the need for investment and innovation to break bias and the recent success on the social media platform TikTok. Shona shared that they have had significant PE investment from CVC Capital Partners demonstrating a confidence in the future of Rugby in Scotland.

We then heard from Jilly McCord who shared her journey from Langholm in the Scottish borders to Rugby world cups in both Canada and England. Challenges with the infrastture around hosting foreign teams, the contracts from the Italian welcome in a townhall to their return leg welcome here in Scotland to a small rural Rugby Club with Dolmio pasta on offer, not the reciprocal hospitality that the Italians were expecting. The lack of investment in Women’s sport rang true through Jilly’s account of her career but a strong team around her and some results beyond expectations made for it to be a successful and fulfilling career. Jilly then of course had success in the 2019 Masterchef series, and was in the final with 2 other females who despite the competition being against each other, had never quite experienced support like it.

Our final speaker was Claire Nelson, CEO Netball Scotland, Claire talked us through achieving a UK Sales Leader role at a young age through sheer grit determination and ‘fake it until you make it approach’ and her lightbulb moment whilst hearing from the Ariana Huffington of the Huffington Post who told her, do something that you’re passionate about, follow your heart. Manging a young family of 4 children and realising she had to work for something that she was passionate about, she took the role at Scottish Netball and hasn’t looked back. Being creative, finding ways to ensure the team have what they need in an extremely underfunded sport by Women, for Women.

Our panel where then asked a variety of questions and shared experiences common thread around the lack of funding and support in Women’s Sport, our panel urged attendees to share, attend, invest and champion it. The Strathclyde Sirens are playing at the main Emirates arena on Saturday 14th of May where they’re aiming to have a sell out event, details around tickets and the Strathclyde sirens can be found at – Strathclyde Sirens – Scotland’s only Professional Netball Team (

We look forward to seeing you at our future seminars over the course of the year.

For further details on the Diversity series, or for more information on the Scottish HR Leadership Group, please contact Alix Meekison on

Get in touch

Contact the team at FWB Park Brown to discuss your individual or company requirements, or to discover more about our specialist services.