International Women’s Day: How to make it as a female in sports tech, by the women who have

Each year, International Women’s Day brings renewed awareness of, and commitment to, women in sport. The sports technology industry is far from an equal world, but we’re trying to change that. For each aspiring female sports scientist, strength and conditioning coach, or head of performance, there will be an influential female figure on their radar who has conquered a traditionally male-dominated field.

Over the past year, we’ve been shining a spotlight on these practitioners through our Women in Sport series. In this article, we bring together the collective wisdom of our interview subjects to find out what the next generation of sports performance practitioners can do to break into the industry.

Suzy Russell (PhD Researcher at Netball Australia, Mental Health Coordinator at Queensland Rugby Union)

“As an undergraduate, I didn’t realise that failing was a part of learning. We need to flip the failing mindset to a growth mindset, as failure is a part of the process as long as you learn from it. Be brave enough to be bad at something new.”

Hannah Jowitt (International Pathways Analyst at ECB)

“Persevere, and seek out as many opportunities as possible to get some hands on applied experience, because it really is invaluable in opening doors for you.”

Naomi Datson (Senior Lecturer in Sports Performance Analysis at University of Chichester)

“Being able to relate and communicate with different people will be a significant part of your role – you’re working with lots of different people, so emotional intelligence is a must-have. If you can’t form the relationship first, you have no hope in leading them from a sports science perspective.”

Cheryl Cox (Athletic Performance Coach at University of California, Berkeley)

“College athletics has been one of the most challenging yet rewarding experiences of my life. Before you apply for a full time position, it is important to complete an internship and network with current collegiate professionals so that you have realistic expectations of the job requirements and daily workload. If you decide to pursue a job in college athletics, understand that you will have ups and downs as you navigate and create your own path. Everyone’s journey is different so don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it or to stand up for yourself when you need to.”

Alice Sweeting (Head of Sports Science at Western Bulldogs)

“Accepting constructive feedback and being able to work independently are important. Always have the confidence to give something a go…even if it doesn’t work the first time round, there is always a lesson in having a go.”

Kate Starre (High Performance Manager at Fremantle Dockers AFLW)

“Elite sport is brutal for both genders but it can’t and shouldn’t be ignored that sports science and particularly strength and conditioning is still a man’s world. You definitely have to be assertive and prove that you are at least as good as your male counterparts.”

Tahleya Eggers (Sports Scientist at Parramatta Eels)

“When it comes to your work – always embrace the new and value adaptability. Be willing to be constantly learning. But when it comes to yourself – embrace authenticity and value what you can bring to the industry as an individual, and as a woman.”

Read our Women in Sport profiles:

#1 Hannah Jowitt, International Pathways Analyst, ECB

#2 Kate Starre, High Performance Manager, Fremantle Dockers AFLW

#3 Tahleya Eggers, Sports Scientist, Parramatta Eels

#4 Shona Halson, Associate Professor, Australian Catholic University

#5 Cheryl Cox, Athletic Performance Coach, University of California-Berkeley

#6 Naomi Datson, Senior Lecturer in Sports Performance Analysis, University of Chichester

#7 Alivia del Basso, Strength and Conditioning Coach, West Coast Eagles

#8 Michelle Truncali, Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach, University of Notre Dame

#9 Tania Gallo, Head Sports Scientist, North Melbourne FC

#10 Alice Sweeting, Research Fellow, Western Bulldogs

#11 Júlia Vergueiro, President, Pelado Real Futebol Clube

#12 Rachel Finlay, Head Sports Scientist, Tasman United

#13 Suzy Russell, Mental Health Coordinator, Queensland Rugby Union