HomeAthletesJess Yates, Jessica Sergis Discuss Women’s Empowerment for NRL 2023

Jess Yates, Jessica Sergis Discuss Women’s Empowerment for NRL 2023

Jess Yates, Jessica Sergis Discuss Women’s Empowerment for NRL 2023

Fox League launched the 2023 National Rugby League’s (NRL) last month with an all-star event and talent line-up ahead of the NRL Telstra Premiership Season covered on Foxtel and Kayo Sports.

In an exclusive interview with Ministry of Sport, Fox Sports host, Jess Yates and NRLW athlete, Jessica Sergis, discussed the significance of women empowerment in a male dominated industry and what’s more to come for future programs.

Women In Sports Media:

As the landscape of women in sports media has changed drastically over the years, Fox is planning to implement more programs to reflect viewership.

Yates shared about the massive shift in programming on Fox Sports and Foxtel.

“We’ve had an all-female panel rugby league show, which was the first of its kind and really exciting to be part of. But I think what we’ve really done is try to put key females who are front and centre, really reflecting women because there are as many women who love watching sport as there are men and kids,” said Yates.

Commenting on the programs, Yates said that Fox Sports is invested in continuing to support the women’s game in whatever discipline, whether it is rugby league, motor sport or cricket.

“We’re making sure we’ve got the right programming in and around our live components, so more magazine shows, expert analysis and making sure we’re promoting the athletes who’ve been playing the sport on stage to then transition into the media,” said Yates.

Yates’ individual journey began as a sports reporter and she is happy to say that is not the norm anymore and that she sees female faces and voices everywhere.

“When I first started as a sports reporter, most of the press conferences I would go to, I was the only woman and for a really long time, I never worked with any other women.”

“Now, we’ve been given an opportunity to hold a position of power to be front and centre in broadcasting, to have an opinion, buy into the debate conversation and actually set an agenda…we are right on the cusp of gender not being a big topic anymore, rather your expertise,” Yates said.


Sergis discussed how Fox is helping female athletes grow in sports media and the initiatives been offered.

“I think Fox league is going above and beyond, you’d only see male presenters on air and now they’re more open with the talent…. having an NRLW really opens that part of us to ask players to get up and get on board.”

“It gives you the life skills, communication skills, as well as it gives us an avenue into different areas so I’m very happy to be on board again for 2023,” said Sergis.

Commenting on the skills you can gain, Sergis shared some words of wisdom for future athletes wanting to jump into media.

“The best advice that I’ve received is the more that you say yes to and the more you do, the better you get…. these things still scare me to this day but I feel you don’t know what you’re capable of unless you do it,” Sergis said.

Finally, Sergis shared that she feels hopeful for the forthcoming equality for women, to be a part of something she feels equal and welcomed in.

“We have male presenters, female presenters and everyone’s just equal here.”

“We’re not competing for us to do better, we are inclusive and want to help one another out…the growth of our game has been incredible, and it just shows that we can play football and everyone can watch it and support it as well,” said Sergis.

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