On the occasion of International Women's Day on March 8, Euroleague Basketball asks the question: What is the status of gender equity at the highest level of European professional basketball?
To get the answer, the new documentary "Table Talk: Women in Sports" brings together four female leaders in their fields for an informal conversation to discuss, at both a personal and professional level, their roles in four sectors of the basketball community.
Roser Queralto, the Chief Business Officer at Euroleague Basketball, hosts the discussion in her native Barcelona while sharing her own opinions and experiences in the league from its founding in 2000 until today.
"From the management perspective, I see a huge difference between the number of women that you could see in meetings when I started and the ones we can see now," Queralto explains in opening the discussion. "And you cannot imagine how many times when going to a game with one of my colleagues, they thought I was the wife of one of them."
Une Marija Jurkstaite, from Zalgiris Kaunas, provides her views as the Chief Business Officer of the signature EuroLeague club in a basketball-obsessed market, Lithuania.
"In my organization we don't even divide people into males and females," Jurkstaite states. "Actually it's really never a question that is raised and it's not what matters. What matters is your motivation, it's your hard work, it's your personal values, it's how you are a team person or not a team person."
Sukran Albayrak, a former Turkish national basketball player who is now a TV sports presenter BeIN Media Group, brings anecdotes from her careers both on and off the court.
"My secret is don't give up. Winning or losing doesn't matter, but don't give up and keep pushing," she says during the talk. "Also in the media sector, women don't have to be only in front of the camera. It's also nice to see them behind the camera."
Anne Panther, from Germany, offers her unique vision as the only current female referee in Euroleague Basketball.
"In the past I always thought I have to do the same as the men, like my behavior or like my presentation on the court, for example, and that was not good," Panther explains. "Now, what I say to young referees [is]: just be yourself, don't start to copy anybody, just be yourself, work for yourself, set goals and work for them....It is not about the gender, it is only about the job on the court."
Together, their conversation sheds new light on the vital importance of women in the basketball business environment – and on the opportunities and challenges that they face.
"Table Talk: Women in Sports" adds to Euroleague Basketall's commitment to premium, long-form content by taking the discussion beyond the court to encompass all aspects of the sport and its protagonists. The first Table Talk adds to a body of original productions that started with the Insider EuroLeague Documentary Series – in-depth studies of the game's biggest stars – and was enhanced this season by The Journey, an eight-month series that puts fans behind the scenes with five different EuroLeague teams all season long.