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Cricket Scotland accused of prejudice against women

Women involved in Scottish cricket face a toxic environment and a high degree of prejudice, a new report has found.

Cricket Scotland accused of prejudice against women
Cricket Scotland accused of prejudice against women

The report, commissioned by Cricket Scotland, stated that sexism is very much alive in the sport and that antiquated views are still prevalent.

Trudy Lindblade, chief executive officer of Cricket Scotland, described the findings as a “damning indictment”.

A previous 2022 report found the then leadership of the sport in Scotland to be “institutionally racist”.

On Monday Ms Lindblade said that behaviour took place which was “disrespectful, demeaning and deeply concerning” towards women.

The latest assessment was undertaken by independent firm McKinney HR and was compiled after various interviews with current players and staff members.

It found:

  • Evidence that over the years women have been treated differently from their male counterparts and that specific needs of women are often dismissed or not considered.
  • That sexism is very much in evidence within the cricket game in Scotland. The examples show a high degree of prejudice and discrimination towards both female staff and players.
  • No evidence to suggest that there are current examples of misogyny, which is described as a hatred of women.
  • Root causes leading to sexism were identified, including the make-up of committees, embedded male behaviours and under representation of female game officials.

Ms Lindblade, who took over as chief executive officer last October, said: “It is evident that Cricket Scotland allowed behaviours to take place that were disrespectful, demeaning and deeply concerning, and that these were allowed to continue for a significant period.

“This is completely unacceptable, and I wholeheartedly apologise to every single person who was affected and let down by the governing body.”

Cricket Scotland accused of prejudice against women
Cricket Scotland accused of prejudice against women

She added the report highlighted that the organisation had a lot of work to do and pledged to make the sport “welcoming and safe for all women and girls”.

Ms Lindblade said that some of the report’s recommendations had already been acted upon and a new strategy for dealing with the problem would be released soon.

She told BBC Radio’s Good Morning Scotland programme that Cricket Scotland now had a robust disciplinary and complaints process in place and urged anyone affected to become involved.

She said: “There has been a significant change in leadership and personnel.

“We have to be be patient, but that’s OK because we know where we want to go.”

Ms Lindblade added: “Everybody wants to move past this time that we’re going through.

“It’s been a really difficult time, whether you’re an employee playing on the weekends, or whether you’re a member of a club or a committee.

“Everybody is ready to look forward and we all want to do that together.”

‘Institutionally racist’

The report made nine recommendations for Scottish Cricket to implement, including Increased investment in the women’s game, establishing a process to call out sexism and discrimination in the sport and creating a “clear and transparent process” for complaints.

The new study comes less than two years after Cricket Scotland’s governance and leadership was found to be “institutionally racist”.

An inquiry by funding body SportScotland also concluded that those who raised issues were ignored or side-lined and a culture of “racially aggravated micro-aggression” was allowed to develop.

The review highlighted 448 examples that demonstrated institutional racism.

An anonymous survey was carried out as part of the review, with 62% of those who responded saying they had experienced, seen or had reported to them incidents of racism, inequalities or discrimination.

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