It started out as a ‘what if?’ and yesterday the Game Changer Network came to life as a brand new mentoring group for Women in Business and Women in Sport.
AIG and Sport for Business gathered top business women from PwC, KPMG, Trinity College, RTÉ Sport and from the advertising and marketing world and have put them together with star players from across a spectrum of Irish sport.
These include Rugby World Cup Ireland Internationals Lyndsay Peat and Sene Naoupu, Dublin Ladies Football All Ireland winning Captain Sinead Aherne and Ireland Hockey international Rebecca Barry.
The individual pairings will meet, talk, share some of the lessons they have learned through sport and business and find ways that they can each help each other.
“There is a strong momentum towards equality in sport and diversity in the workplace and this felt like a right idea to see what we as a group could do to help each other in ways that we have imagined but will discover in reality over the coming months and hopefully for a long time into the future,” said Louise Kidd, who asked herself, and then others, that fateful first question of ‘what if?’
Kidd is Head of Liabilities and Financial Lines at AIG Ireland and a former All Ireland winner herself with Dublin GAA in 2010. An undertaking like this needs a strong internal champion to drive it forward and she has proven to be just that.
“This is a start, and it’s an exciting one,” added Sport for Business Founder and longtime advocate of Women in Sport Rob Hartnett.
“We set out to form a first wave of Women who have learned from sport and brought that into a career in business and who want to help forge a clearer path for those playing at the moment for whom a helping hand or even just a different perspective can make such a huge difference.”
“Each of the pairings who met, many of them for the first time at the launch breakfast in residence on St Stephen’s Green are excited for what this can deliver.”
“It will be different for each person and we will learn a lot from what they say about what they gained, how they made their connections and what we can add into the mix in future waves.”
“Within hours this was becoming real with conversations opening up with different networks and individuals who want themselves to assist.”
“There have always been more formal and informal structures where Men have ‘given back’ and helped those whose boots and shoes they once walked in. We want the Game Changer Network to be that for Women in Sport.”
“I’s not a big political statement and we are not aiming to change the world but it will make a difference in different ways and the hope is that what we have started here today will help in a small way to make sport better for those who play, make business better through nurturing real talent and make individual lives a little easier through lending a helping hand.”
Would you like to be part of a future wave of the Game Changer Network? Or contribute in some way towards making it stronger for those taking part? Contact us today and let’s see what is possible.
AIG are among the more than 230 organisations that play an active part in the Sport for Business community.
Sport for Business features regular interviews and events with our members providing exclusive insight on the relationships that work best for sport and business.