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Former employee alleges culture of sexism and misogyny within the WRU

24 Mar 2022 2 minute read
Cardiff on match day. Picture by Richard Croft (CC BY-SA 2.0).

New questions have been raised about the culture within the Welsh Rugby Union after a female employee reportedly sent them a letter accusing colleagues of joking about raping her and of comparing her to Adolf Hitler.

According to the Daily Mail, who has seen the complainant’s letter, the woman alleges that a culture of misogyny exists within the WRU. Racist terms were used on a Zoom call and a member of staff made sexist remarks about Wales’ women’s team, she said.

The woman subsequently left the WRU and that departure is now the subject of an employment tribunal.

In a statement, the WRU said that the employee’s grievance “was taken extremely seriously” but “not unheld” and that they would not comment further while the Employment Tribunal claim was ongoing.

The woman’s letter, sent to the WRU in April 2021, said she was “suffering with work related stress and extreme anxiety caused by multiple, systemic failings of the WRU to provide a fair and supportive environment within which to fully execute the demands of my role”.

“In 20 years of a robust professional career working across the private, public and third sector, never have I experienced some of the behaviours I have been exposed to at the WRU,” she added, according to the Daily Mail.

“I am utterly disgusted by the way I have been made to feel. I am shocked that in 2021, I am experiencing barriers to purposely inhibit the development of the women’s game in Wales. I am exhausted. I am broken.”

The letter widely reported in today’s media is likely to add to the sense of crisis within the WRU, who are responding to a string of crises both on and off the field.

There have been questions about the game’s governance, with the WRU board dominated by representatives from amateur clubs, and poor results for the regions and the national team, who were beaten at home for the first time by Italy on Saturday.

The WRU said in a statement: “The grievance was taken extremely seriously by the WRU and was the subject of a comprehensive investigation by an external law firm. Following that investigation, the grievance was not upheld.

“No further comment will be made at this time given the ongoing employment tribunal claim.”

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