Rugby-Welsh Rugby Union chief promises review after sexism allegations

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By Reuters
Rugby-Welsh Rugby Union chief promises review after sexism allegations
Rugby-Welsh Rugby Union chief promises review after sexism allegations   -   Copyright  Thomson Reuters 2023

– The chief executive of the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) said the governing body will review their processes and procedures in order to ensure the welfare of employees after allegations of sexism were made in a BBC documentary.

In the BBC Wales documentary, aired on Monday, several former female WRU employees, including Charlotte Wathan, who resigned as the WRU‘s general manager of women’s rugby in February 2022, made allegations about comments and behaviour that they said were sexist and discriminatory.

“I am sorry to see how individuals who have worked for us felt. Our culture was not where it needed to be, when we have employees not feeling confident enough to speak up between 2017 and 2019,” WRUCEO Steve Phillips said in a statement on Tuesday.

“Following this programme, we will again review the process and procedures we have in place to make sure all staff feel safe and supported to speak up about anything that makes them feel uncomfortable,” the chief executive added.

The governing body said on Monday it had not participated in the BBC programme because of confidentiality clauses agreed when it settled its case with Wathan.

The WRU said most of the complaints had been dealt with “amicably” beforehand, although in a statement it said it would reopen a case after the BBC programme highlighted new evidence.

Phillips said on Tuesday that he strongly condemned the use of racist, homophobic or sexist language of any kind.

“We strive to maintain the very highest standards at all times and present a governing body which makes the whole of Wales proud,” he added.

“We have consulted with our staff and we will re-examine our structures and procedures to make sure our employees find a business that is caring and sensitive to their needs and welfare and creating a safe and secure environment for everyone that comes into contact with us.”