In 2023, the International Women’s Day campaign is titled #EmbraceEquity focussing on the importance of forging harmony amongst diversity and inclusion with equality being the ultimate goal.
Working in sport since she was 19, Emma Loraine now sits as the Head of Membership at Melbourne Storm. Looking over both the membership sales and operations, she ensures the Club not only gains and retains members, but fans gets the best experience and value with their membership.
Joining Storm in late 2019, Emma’s first two seasons were COVID affected with the Club either fully or partially relocated out of Victoria, creating a challenging membership and ticketing space. With a solution-orientated approach, it opened up the opportunity for Emma to be a part of what she describes as “one of the greatest initiatives I’ve seen across sport in Australia”.
This was of course Storm’s ‘Victoria, this one’s on us’ campaign which saw Storm
give all game access members in Victoria from the two years prior a free membership in 2022.
With years of experience, Emma gives great insight into the impact organisations can have when they prioritise promoting gender equality.
What does International Women's Day mean to you, and can you speak to how important it is for sporting organisations (in particular) to honour these days?
“International Women’s Day to me is to celebrate how far we have come and to also continue the conversation around work still to be done in the space. I think we’ll know we’ve got it right as a society when we no longer need a day for it and it’s no longer a conversation but it is our reality.
“It’s important for workplaces to honour these days because if it’s important to one of us, it’s important to all of us. For the younger staff members coming through that might not feel like they have a voice, knowing that their workplace is standing up for their rights can go a really long way.
“Further to that, for sporting organisations, I think it can be a really daunting workforce to enter into and we need everyone to feel supported.
“We need our staff and fans to know that we support their right for equality, and especially around International Women’s Day we need female staff and athletes to know that we support their right for equal opportunity.”
Is there anyone that inspires (or has inspired) you in your career?
“My very first CEO in my career was and continues to be one of my biggest inspirations.”
“I didn’t have a female CEO but the way he cared for and treated every individual equally in our workplace no matter who they were and what role they played, continues to stick with me and is something I try to carry with me every day.
“One of my current inspirations is our CMO here at the Storm Group.
“I’m so grateful for all of the support she provides to our team, she’s worked really hard to get to where she is now, the way she goes about things is something to aspire to and the fact that she continues to actively learn and grow not just for herself but also for those around her is an attitude that I want to take into the rest of my career.
“We’re lucky at Storm to have a good mix of male and females across the workplace and to see that continue through to our executives is really important.”
Why do you think diversity in the workplace is so important?
Diversity in the workplace is so important because there’s no point having 10 of the same people around a table trying to make change or be innovative, you need different types of people and different types of thinkers to get the best results. It’s also important for young people coming through the sports industry to be able see people like them in all aspects and all levels of the business to have something to aspire to. And that doesn’t just stop at women in the workplace but all diversities.
What is the most important message you want to send out to young women thinking about their careers in sport?
“I have two pieces of advice for young women coming through.”
“Don’t be afraid to take the leap, you don’t have to know exactly what you want to do or where you want to end up in your career to get started.
“Sometimes we do still have to work a little harder than some to be noticed for the right reasons, but don’t take that as a reason not to. Take it as a challenge to give it everything you’ve got and make your career your own.”