Trailblazing Women - Émilie Castonguay
Photo credit https://www.nhl.com/canucks/news/emilie-castonguay-named-assistant-general-manager/c-330129258
Former player agent Émilie Castonguay made astonishing history in January when she became the Vancouver Canucks first ever female assistant manager working in the front office. In the recent NHL draft there were many women on the floor including five AGM’s. Following behind her, Cammi Granato joined the front office for the Canucks and mentioned "There were times I didn't think this was an option for women. Growing up, there was no representation, so it wasn't something that I thought would happen in my lifetime," Granato said (CBC, 2022). Over with the Toronto Maple Leaf’s, Hayley Wickenheiser was promoted to AGM of player development. Along with the New Jersey Devils, Kate Madigan was promoted as an AGM as well as Meghan Hunter with Chicago. With women moving into large roles in a very male dominated sport and organization it really shows an historical breakthrough with the times. Being such an historic day, it goes to show that women can be qualified to have a position and voice in sports such as hockey. Not only is it creating equality and diversity in a sport where women didn’t have much of a role in for a long time, but it proves that women are able to bring different perspectives, knowledge, and opinions into the game. When choosing to hire people for roles, especially GM or AGM roles, it should have to do with talent, skill and the right qualifications for the position whether they are male or female, which is exactly what we are starting to see here in the NHL.
Not only are we seeing women fill front office roles in the NHL, but the Montreal Canadiens also brought on Marie-Philip Poulin who is a three-time gold medalist as a player development consultant. The LA Kings have also added Canadian Olympic Manon Rheaume as a hockey operations and prospect adviser. The number of women coming into these important roles and breaking down the barriers that were once there is a such a breakthrough for all women, it shows a massive mindset change in the hockey culture and will only grow from here on. It is not just a massive breakthrough for women, but for minorities as well. The San Jose Sharks hired their first ever black general manager Mike Grier, this is a motivational and inspiring time for women and minorities, and all can hope that this will continue more and more. The people being hired for these positions all have talent, diverse opinions, and knowledge. With this breakthrough of Trailblazing women and minorities, we can hopefully expect their voices to increasingly be heard and valued for these important positions in professional sports. It has been a long journey for women trying to fill these roles, some women will still face discrimination and lack of equality in this era of professional sports, but it is a very large step and going in a great direction.
“NHL's Glass Ceiling Finally Shattering as More Women Move into Front-Office Roles | CBC Sports.” CBCnews, CBC/Radio Canada, 8 July 2022, https://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/nhl/nhl-glass-ceiling-shattering-more-women-front-office-roles-1.6514970#:~:text=0-,%C3%89milie%20Castonguay%20knew%20she%20wouldn't%20be%20an%20anomaly%20for,in%20an%20NHL%20front%20office.
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