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‘I was left bullied and belittled in what should have been my dream job’

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A former female employee of Cricket Scotland has told STV News she quit her role at the organisation after being bullied and verbally abused.

The woman, who STV News is calling Jane as she spoke on condition of anonymity, said she was subject to bullying for more than a year by Gus Mackay, the former boss of Cricket Scotland.

She said: “It was a great opportunity for me, and I wanted to do a great job doing it, but I think things started to unravel quite quickly.

“I was probably three months in when the first situation arose, where I thought maybe this isn’t the job for me, maybe I shouldn’t be doing it.

“It would depend on the day to be honest but it could be anywhere between a reasonable conversation and actually yelling at you in front of other people – it’s humiliating, it’s degrading, it’s upsetting, it’s potentially scary, he’s a big guy.”

Jane, who worked in the organisation for a little over a year, says what started as her being belittled in her job and spoken to in a rude manner soon turned into verbal assaults and bullying.

In another incident, witnessed by a second female staff member, a different member of staff learned Jane had been speaking with independent advisors about misogyny and bullying.

They said they would pin Jane “by the neck against the wall” when they next saw her in the office and “tell her exactly what they thought of her”.

“I felt genuinely afraid for my physical safety,” said Jane.

“It’s shocking, really upsetting. Everybody knew that this person knew where I lived, had access to my phone numbers, and there was no protection offered at all.”

STV News has been handed a copy of statements taken three years ago from employees, which formed an internal report into the culture around and treatment of women at Cricket Scotland.

Jane was one of the employees who contributed to that process. In the end she quit her job rather than return to work.

Mr Mackay told STV News his departure from Cricket Scotland as CEO was not the “result of any formal disciplinary process”.

Report exposes misogyny and sexism

The revelations come after a report released on Monday into misogyny and sexism within Cricket Scotland raised serious questions about the way the organisation operated.

The damning report speaks of “antiquated attitudes and behaviours towards women”, “a toxic environment” and “high degree of prejudice towards female staff and players”.

It concluded there was:

  • A long heritage of cricket being a man’s game and antiquated attitudes and behaviours towards women in the game are still prevalent, particularly at club level
  • Evidence that suggests that over the years women have been treated differently from their male counterparts and that specific needs of women are often dismissed or not considered
  • A period prior to the Changing the Boundaries report was issued where individuals in senior leadership positions were outwardly discriminatory towards women and displayed bullying characteristics. During this period, the evidence suggests that staff and players lost faith in CS’s senior leadership, including the board.

Trudy Lindblade, the new boss of the organisation, has apologised and vowed to make major changes.

She told STV News the report is a “damning indictment on how Cricket Scotland was able to accept those behaviours and let them go on for a period of time”.

Lindblade said: “It was a really difficult read because there are things in there that should never happen to anybody in their employment, and for it to happen at Cricket Scotland – a sport that we love – for it to come through and see it there in black and white, it was a very difficult read at the time.

“There’s a lot that we can do to change. It’s going to take time though and that’s really important to know, that we can’t change attitudes overnight. We’ve got a new strategy that we’ll be releasing over the coming weeks and that strategy will have a key focus on the women and girls game.”

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