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From Dream Chasers to Game Changers: MaryKate Siegel and Women Changing The Game

It’s competitive, it’s fast-paced, and it’s the dream career path for some. The sport industry is one of the fastest growing industries, with many people trying to find their niche and compete for their spot working for a sports organization. More than ever before, women are becoming increasingly interested in sports professions. In a male-dominated industry, it is important for women to encourage and learn from each other as they work toward achieving their goals. 

MaryKate Siegel, host of Women Changing The Game

For MaryKate Siegel, sports have always been a key part of life. She began playing soccer at a young age, before branching into other sports, such as track in high school and field hockey throughout college.

 “I loved being active and being part of a team,” said Siegel. 

It was when Siegel was in high school and her school had hired an athletic trainer, that she realized she could pursue a career in sports. To Siegel, working in athletic training was the way she could pursue her love for sports and turn it into a job. Though she did not stick with athletic training, it opened the door to the world of possibilities and career paths within the sport industry.

 “My sports journey has been a whirlwind and I’m grateful for every experience I’ve had along the way!” Siegel said. 

As a woman actively working in sports, Siegel is no stranger to the fact that the journey is not linear. She started out by working for a minor league baseball team, doing things like dancing in the dugout and wearing costumes to entertain the fans. She eventually worked her way up to higher positions on professional teams, where she has had many doors opened, including opportunities to travel with the teams. 

“I got to where I am by working hard every step of the way and taking an unconventional path knowing that it would pay off in the end,” Siegel remarked. 

All nonlinear journeys have their challenges, which Siegel was very quick to point out. In a predominantly male industry like sports, women may feel pressure to prove themselves or live up to certain standards, but Siegel has not let feelings of false illegitimacy weigh her down.

 “Sometimes I’ve gotten imposter syndrome working for professional male teams,” Siegel admitted. “I always make sure to be confident in myself and know that I deserve to be in the spot that I’m in.” 

Siegel working at a football game

With the challenges that women face in the sport industry, Siegel emphasizes that it is important to have a good support system, whether that be family or friends. With others behind them, women can become more competent in navigating their path in the industry, which is what inspired Siegel to get into sports media and start the Women Changing The Game platform.

 “I realized that I didn’t have the best help in college to find a job in sports. I didn’t specifically have a sports major in school so it was tough to find a network of women or people in general to go to and get advice or guidance from,” Siegel said. “I wanted to create a platform where girls and women could come together and help each other navigate the industry.”

Women Changing The Game began as an Instagram page that highlighted women working in sports and told their stories. However, Siegel felt like she was only scratching the surface by just posting on social media. 

“I felt the need to talk in depth with them [the women] and ask them all of the questions that could help other girls get their dream role,” Siegel explained. 

Through the podcast, Siegel gets to talk one-on-one with iconic women in the sport industry. Her favorite moments on the podcast are hearing about the different paths that women have taken in the sport industry and how they have gotten to where they are now. 

“It’s comforting realizing that we are all on a unique path to reach our goals and that everyone’s stories are different,” Siegel says.

Siegel posing in Women Changing The Game merch

Siegel’s goal for the podcast is to equip women with what they need to go out and achieve their goals, create equal opportunities in the sports industry, and expand a network of passionate professionals “ready to be the change.” So far, Women Changing The Game has done just that. 

“I love hearing that girls have nailed an interview or gotten a job because they took the advice of one of our guests…I just hope for it [the platform and podcast] to continue to be a motivating space for us to break barriers,” Siegel says.

Regarding the future, Siegel wants to continue to grow to reach more women and girls from all over the world, expanding the community of those who are passionate about sports.

For those who dream of having a career in sports, Siegel’s advice is built on confidence.

“Be confident in yourself and in your dreams,” she says. “Believe that you deserve a seat at the table and don’t stop chasing your dreams until you reach them!”

 Through the platform’s rise to success, Women Changing The Game has opened and continues to open doors to women so that they can go from chasing their dreams to living their dreams and being game changers. 

Edited by Emma Habel

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