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24th Mar 2022

Former WRU employee accuses individuals of joking about raping her and comparing her to Hitler

Daniel Brown

The woman claims there is a ‘culture of sexism and misogyny’ within the WRU

A former Welsh Rugby Union employee has accused individuals within the organisation of joking about raping her and comparing her to Adolf Hitler.

As reported by the Daily Mail, the female complainant claims that there is a ‘culture of sexism and misogyny’ within the WRU.

Sportsmail have seen a formal grievance letter in which the woman makes a series of allegations against individuals within the WRU.

The woman, in her forties, no longer works for the governing body and insists she reported several inappropriate incidents to the WRU, but no action was taken in response.

The woman claims an unnamed employee joked about raping her

She alleges that an unnamed employee joked about wanting to rape her and further claims that another man made sexist remarks about the Wales women’s team in 2020 – with the man said to have called on her to stop her ‘crusade’ over the women’s game.

The woman also alleges that the aforementioned man said women’s players did not know what it was like to be a professional rugby player as they had only played ‘a bit of netball’ and athletics.

Additionally, she stated that WRU employees used used racist terms such as ‘P***’ on a Zoom call. Her claims are yet to be proven.

Welsh Rugby Union

The woman, who is said to have worked in sport for over 20 years, was advised not to take on a role at the WRU by a senior manager who suggested that they will ‘eat you up and spit you out’.

She also claims that a senior WRU employee said she was ‘a bit like Hitler’ and that she was told she has a way of bringing people on her journey like a ‘cult leader’.

It is added that the woman says she was reduced to tears by this and reported the incident. She reported feeling bullied and victimised.

In her formal statement she said: “I became increasingly limited as to what I could and couldn’t do in my role and started to feel utterly helpless.

“I was having to walk past more and more inappropriate behaviour in order to survive. Following on from this, I walked out of the office and phoned the chief executive and said I was done.”

The Daily Mail report that, in 2019, a mediation meeting was held at a Cardiff hotel where she was told the employee who made those alleged remarks was ‘a nice man’.

Welsh Rugby Union

Preliminary hearing between claimant and the WRU

A preliminary hearing was staged between the claimant and the WRU at the Employment Tribunal last week.

Her grievance letter says 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’.

She added: “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.

“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.”

A WRU statement read: “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.”