Play Like a Girl: a conversation with Rhonda Taylor

This past summer, I had a chance to catch up with Rhonda Taylor and learned she was writing a book. I naturally assumed it would be about HR, because what else does an HR pro write about? I was pleasantly surprised to learn it was actually about her experiences as a woman in the very much man’s world of hockey in Canada.

As a girl growing up in Canada, with older brothers playing the sport, Rhonda naturally wanted to play hockey too. She learned early on to hide her hair in a tuque so she would get picked for pick-up teams. After all, hockey isn’t for girls. But Rhonda wasn’t a girl to put up with that!

Rhonda went on to play more hockey and even get an actual seat at a real table with Hockey Canada. And now Rhonda has shared her experience in a memoir “Offside.” Even if you aren’t a fan of hockey, or even sports, it’s hard to deny that sports offers a look into society, one that can be examined and even used as a testing ground for changes to society. There’s a reason that Title IX was traditionally thought of as the “girls in sports” amendment to the Civil Rights Act. We are seeing a lot of momentum with the #TimesUp movement, helping to give voice to those who have been held back, to those who have felt helpless in the face of “this is just how it is.”

I knew I wanted to have Rhonda on the #HRSocialHour and having Anne co-host this episode was a no-brainer. It was such a delight to talk with an “old school” feminist like Rhonda, with someone who fought to sit at the table and held her chair for many years. I want to encourage you to not only listen to our episode and purchase her book to learn more about not only her journey, but what she learned a long the way.

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