Southern Vipers all-rounder wants to educate the game on issues affecting women

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Former England international and Southern Vipers all-rounder Georgia Elwiss has joined the ECB’s ‘Women in Cricket’ employee network as its first female professional player.

The newly appointed group are exploring their key focus areas throughout 2023 which include: being the voice for women working in cricket, raising awareness and educating the game on issues affecting women and connecting women across the game.

Having represented her country on 54 occasions, Elwiss brings vast experience to the role where she will sit on the committee and represent the player’s views.

A week on from International Women’s Day, Elwiss gave her thoughts to the player’s association on her new role and the benefits of collaborating with the ECB.

Elwiss blog post on Women in Cricket:

The theme of 2023’s International Women’s Day was ‘embrace equity’. I think this sums up perfectly the need for equal opportunity between men and women in cricket.

We have never asked for the same pay – just the same opportunity. Give us access to the best facilities, pitches and coaches and watch us thrive.

I’ve seen huge change over the course of my career. I signed my first professional contract in 2014 and it was worth £7,500. Now, there are nearly 100 professional female cricketers in the country with substantially higher salaries than this.

As I have grown older (and wiser), I have developed interest in how best to level the playing field. Women have so often been an afterthought and a tick box exercise but over recent months, through my work on the EDI Working Group at the PCA, I have been amazed to learn the work that is going on behind the scenes at both the ECB and the PCA to include underrepresented groups in cricket.

The Women in Cricket Employee Network is a new group that the ECB has set up as part of their EDI Action Plan to empower people to make positive change across cricket, with a view to helping cricket become the most inclusive sport in England & Wales.

Shruti Saujani and her team have set up four employee networks: ‘Women in Cricket’, ‘LGBTQ+ Community in Cricket’, ‘Disability in Cricket’ and ‘Race in Cricket’ which are open for all people employed within cricket.

I wanted to open the door to players being able to join these networks and on the back of this I’m delighted to say I have joined the ‘Women in Cricket’ network as the first professional player.

I’m looking forward to being part of something bigger and building networks and friendships with other women in the game. My hope over the next few months is that other players will be encouraged to join these groups too and contribute to growing the game together.

Georgia Elwiss

Southern Vipers & Birmingham Phoenix

If you want to get involved, contact Shruti Saujani on raisingthegame@ecb.co.uk. Players in the groups will be supported by PCA EDI Director, Donna Fraser.