Dee Bradbury of Scottish Rugby talks at Startup Grind

by Nathalie Nilsson
Content marketing and sales assistant

June 7, 2018
Reading Time: 3 minutes

On the 31st of May we settled down for another fireside chat with Startup Grind, this time led by Forbytes' very own Marlene Lowe. For this Empowering Women's Month, the speaker was not our typical startup success story. The star of the show was Dee Bradbury, Vice President and soon to be President of Scottish Rugby. The passion and dedication displayed was something we can all learn from, whether or not we play rugby ourselves.

​Speaker bio

​Though she has been an athlete all her life, Dee only started playing rugby at the age of 38. However, jumping head-first into a male-dominated, or male-populated as she prefers, area was not new to her. She followed in her parents' footsteps and joined the police force, where she spent far more years than she originally intended. After retiring from a career primarily investigating sexual crimes and child protection inquiries she has embraced rugby wholeheartedly.

​The fireside chat

Dee Bradbury is not only becoming President of Scottish Rugby in August. She will also become the first female president of a Tier 1 country rugby team. When asked if a lot of attitudes have changed in rugby over the years she disagrees.

"I think within Scottish rugby itself there hasn't been very many attitudes to alter," Dee tells us. It is true that there are many that are not quite used to seeing women in the field, but it has not been a struggle. With a chuckle she says that it is fairly common for people to ask her husband what it is he does at Scottish rugby when they attend post-match dinners. The old expectations are there, but she is confident that common sense and patience is the solution.

When asked if she thinks that we should introduce more rugby into schools she answers with a swift "Absolutely." Whether to combat obesity, to encourage teamwork, or a healthy way to get your aggressions out, rugby can be the solution. Unfortunately, sports, and not just rugby, have suffered from steadily diminishing numbers these past 20 years. Dee believes that having more rugby in school would help turn this trend, together with other efforts. The long underappreciated girls' rugby is starting to reap the rewards of new successful investments to promote and support it. Additionally there are initiatives such as Tartan Touch which have greatly increased the number of participants and are great social get-togethers to boot.

This time the standard question that we ask the star of the event is a little different. Rather than giving tips for how to make your start-up a success, we stick to the theme of the month.

What advice would you give women who want to make their way into very male-populated areas?

  • ​Absolutely believe in yourself and be ambitious.
  • ​Be ready and willing to work hard.
  • ​Be honest with others, but most importantly be honest with yourself.

​Missed the event?

​If you missed the event you need not fret. The interview with Dee Bradbury was filmed by Product Forge and it can be found on YouTube.

​About Startup Grind

Startup Grind is powered by Google for Entrepreneurs and is a global startup community designed to educate, inspire, and connect entrepreneurs. With monthly events all over the world, it aims to feature fireside chats with successful local founders, innovators, educators and investors. They share personal stories and lessons learned on the road to building great companies. Their values of; making friends, not contacts; giving, not taking; and helping others before helping yourself, speak to us as an organisation. We are pleased to be part of the Startup Grind community.

​Next Startup Grind event

​On the 21st of June 2018 Startup Grind will host its next event in Edinburgh, this time featuring Andrew Johnson, a mindfulness and behavioural change expert. Tickets to the event as well as more information is available via Startup Grind Edinburgh's website.