We are delighted that the Hon. Grant Robertson has signed up to become the first Ally of Gender Equity in Aotearoa Sport! Known for his passion for all things sport, Minister Robertson has also been a tireless advocate and change agent for gender equity.
This can especially be seen in his commitment to launching the Government's Strategy for Women and Girls in Sport and Active Recreation which strives to achieve equity for all women and girls as well as seeking to understand and address the multiple barriers women and girls can face. There is a long list of pioneering gender equity achievements the Minister has spearheaded across his roles as Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance, Minister for Infrastructure, Minister for Sport and Recreation.
We caught up to have a quick two minute Q&A with the Minister...
Q. What does being an Ally mean to you?
Being an ally to me means taking an active stance to promote, support and mihi to women in sport and recreation and sport. It means taking the lead from women and girls as to what needs to be done, and being a consistent and active advocate for those issues.
Q. What is your favorite female sporting moment?
I find it hard to go past the Silver Ferns winning the 2019 Netball Word Cup. It was the ultimate ‘phoenix from the ashes’ moment. Within 18-months of the trauma of the Commonwealth Games, to win, and win so well was a remarkable achievement. The team was unified, focused and inspired. It was a wonderful celebration of talent, resilience and teamwork.
Q. What does gender equity mean to you?
It means recognizing that to achieve an equal outcome we need to be aware of the systemic and historical bias that have affected women, and the importance of applying resources and support that rectify those structural issues.
Q. Tell us about a great female in sport who you know and why you admire them?
I admire Sophie Devine, Captain of the White Ferns. She is an extraordinary athlete, an all rounder in her sport. She is also a phenomenal leader. She has been open about her own vulnerabilities, and is a massive inspiration to those around her.
Q. What advice would you give others about being an Ally or about gender equity in sport?
Listen. Be prepared to shift your focus to what the female athletes and participants are telling you matters. And be prepared to step back and let their voices lead and be heard.