She’s4Sports: Women in Sports and Tech: An International Women’s Day Event

Noora Popal
BarnBurner Sports Writer

@NooraPopal

Monday, March 16, 2020


Toronto, ON - She’s4Sports held another phenomenal panel for their second event in the Be Bold Speaker series: “Women in Sports and Tech” on Wednesday, March 11, 2020. This panel included Arwina Mogul, Camille Wallace, Jessica Hartwick, and April Whitzman. Another great event put on with the collaboration of Ryerson's GXS Lab. 

Arwina Mogul is the founder of Beam, which is an E-sports platform. She immigrated from the Philippines, and her company will bring in $120 million in revenue in the year 2023. Jessica Hartwick is a former professional hockey player and the founder of Hart and Stride Hockey Development Inc. This company offers BLADE Treadmill technology that can help athletes improve their stride. Camille Wallace is involved in the digital part of the Canadian Olympic Committee and is a mentor with Girls E-mentorship. And last but not least, April Whitzman, who among many things was a Digital and Marketing Manager for the Toronto Blue Jays and now works for a company called Rover. Rover helps sports businesses create and launch app content within the apps. 

When thinking about jobs in sports and technology, a woman having these positions is not the first thing that comes to mind. Since we live in a society where the sports industry is so heavily male dominant, it is uncommon to see women having serious leadership roles within the sports industry. 

It was extremely refreshing to see a panel of innovative and accomplished women talk about the very unconventional paths they’ve taken to end up where they are today. 

One of the important things that were discussed is the fact that one of the reasons there aren’t many women in top positions in the sports industry is that they are not applying. Applying for jobs that you may not be fully qualified for is important since men with half of the qualifications end up getting the jobs. 

A very saddening but extremely important part of that evening’s discussion is how to not let online “trolls” affect what you’re doing. There will always be people ready to show resentment towards you, but how you deal with it is your choice. You shouldn’t let their hatred affect you and bring you down, and you have to continue to build your brand. 

April, who had experience with the Blue Jays social media marketing, created an in-depth discussion about fan engagement, and how to figure out what gets fans excited. There were also discussions on the importance of engaging both males and females and get partnerships. Women make up a huge portion of sports fans, so finding out how to get them to engage was something she worked on. She gets to do some-what similar work with her new company.

Jessica talked about how women in Canada don’t have a direct path to sports like hockey. Especially since there isn’t a hockey league they can play for. Jessica pointed out that women find other ways to participate in sports, for example, opening their own companies or working for sports teams. She plays a very significant role of shaping a hockey player's stride. That is important to take individual time to learn what needs to be changed about a skaters’ stride. With all that she brings to the table, she did mention that she still constantly needing to prove herself, but that eventually things will it will pay off. 

Arwina touched on how she deals with the fact that companies that hire her do not know that her company is run by a woman. She deals with the misogyny by thinking to herself, “I’m going to make them so much money”. One of the struggles she deals with is that Esportsts very accessible compared to other sporting events. People spend way more money on sporting events like basketball and baseball, but not on e-sports. Additionally, tech companies have difficulties with getting their story out concerning promoting their product. This is where the technology and marketing worlds collide. 

With another She’s 4 Sports event done, keep an eye out for what Ainka Jess has in store for you next. Looking back at this panel and many previous ones, I can assure you that any She’s4Sports event will make you more informed about women in the sports industry.