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June 13, 2024 Women in Digital

The Game Changers: Women in Sport & Tech event, hosted with the support of our partners Cisco and Data #3, marked a pivotal moment in the journey toward inclusivity and innovation in both sports and technology. Set against the backdrop of the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games, this event highlighted the significant opportunities for women in these fields and explored how we can collectively drive technology collaboration in the lead-up to this global event.

The event was a melting pot of ideas and insights from trailblazing women reshaping the landscape of sports and tech. Our speakers shared their experiences and strategies for fostering inclusivity and diversity, offering a roadmap for how companies, especially those led by women, can drive technological advancements and create more opportunities in the lead-up to the 2032 Brisbane Olympics.

Emphasising Representation and Mentorship

Highlighting the importance of representation, Annie Devitt, Founder at iNSPIRETEK, emphasised the need for more women in non-female-founded companies and on boards and tables. She shared her journey with iNSPIRETEK, demonstrating how she leveraged opportunities to raise funds and hire a (male!) CEO, even after interviewing 30-60 women, promoting allyship and equality. Annie’s story is a testament to the power of representation and the impact of seeing women in leadership roles.

Advocating for early intervention, Thelma Dzwowa, Community Operations Manager at Brisbane Broncos, discussed the necessity of running mentoring programs in schools. By exposing young girls to different pathways and current industry plays, we can inspire them to pursue careers in sports and tech. This early exposure is crucial in maintaining their interest and participation as they grow older.

Adoption of Sports Tech

Technological advancements are revolutionising fan engagement and athlete performance. This technology is now being rolled out across the Brisbane Broncos, with Thelma providing insights into how football tokens and engagement are taking off in Europe, sports betting is booming with an $89 billion market, and fantasy sports are rapidly growing. Holographic technology and AI are customising and enhancing fan experiences, making sports more interactive and engaging.

Promoting Equality and Allyship

Addressing the topic of equality, Elia Hill, Managing Director of Connecting in Consulting, spoke passionately about handling it with eyes wide open. She highlighted the importance of equal prize money, as seen in tennis, and emphasised that we must “get that ladder and lift them up.” Her message was clear: true progress comes from deliberate actions to promote equality and support one another.

“Get that ladder and lift them up”

The Importance of Storytelling

Stressing the power of visibility, Natalie Cook, Founder of The Aussie Athlete Fund, reminded us that “you can’t be what you can’t see.” She emphasised the importance of telling and sharing our stories and by doing so, we create unexpected connections and opportunities. Her journey in fundraising, learning to handle rejection, and persevering is a powerful example of resilience and determination.

Strategic Planning for 2032

Focusing on long-term strategy, Annie shared her insight on how 95% of her revenue comes from international markets. She stressed the importance of starting now for the 2032 Olympics by objectively analysing strategic plans to play a part in the games. Companies must ask themselves, “How can we impact the games?” and align their strategies accordingly.

Opportunities and Challenges

The Game Changers: Women in Sport & Tech event was a celebration of the trailblazers and innovators driving progress at the intersection of women, sports, and technology. By sharing experiences and strategies, our speakers provided actionable solutions for fostering inclusivity and diversity. As we look towards the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games, it is up to all of us to ensure women are given equal opportunities across both the sports and tech sectors.

Join us in this journey as we continue to advocate for change, inspire the next generation, and celebrate the women changing the game in tech and sport.



Do you know someone who is forging their leadership path? Nominate them for the 2024 Women in Digital Awards!