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Scotland Defender Joins Common Goal

Ryan Porteous pushes for gender equality with 1% pledge

Having seen first-hand the obstacles his elder sister Emma has had to overcome in pursuing a career in football as a woman, Ryan Porteous wants to use the game to foster female empowerment and to promote gender equality.

By joining football’s growing social impact movement, the 21-year old Hibernian defender becomes the first homegrown Scottish Premiership player within Common Goal.

Following his call-up for the Scotland national team for the first time over the international break, Porteous wants to use this moment to draw attention to the challenges facing women in society in terms of receiving equal opportunities.

His 1% will go towards collective project Global Goal 5 Accelerator which uses football to drive action towards achieving Global Goal 5: Gender Equality.

“I’ve joined Common Goal because it’s a really exciting project that has kicked on in the last few years and when I found out how easy it was to be a part of, it’s something I jumped at,” said Porteous.

“I was inspired to give back now because, given the current climate, given everything that’s going on in the world, any small margin that I, or any football player, can give will benefit a lot of people.

“1% might not be a lot to me or other football players but it can go a long way – it can make a big difference.

“I have just been with the senior Scotland team, a very proud moment for me, but we can’t lose sight of what is happening around us and the need for collective action is clearer than ever.

“I am excited to join the Common Goal team and help empower girls to have the chance to realise any goal they may have in football and in life.

Porteous caught wind of Common Goal through fellow member and Scottish international player Caroline Weir – with whom he shares the same player agency in 77 Sports Management, founded by tennis star Andy Murray.

Upon joining, Weir also spoke of her desire to raise awareness for the causes that are close to her heart: one of which being to tackle gender-based inequalities.

And following Ryan’s announcement, she is proud to welcome the latest addition to the team.

“Half of the Common Goal members are women, and as a player I am so happy to see that a 21-year old such as Ryan, with a bright professional career ahead of him, has not only been inspired by the example of his female colleagues to join the cause, but he has also pledged his commitment to driving gender equality,” said Weir.

“The world is changing quickly, and it is up to us all to decide the direction in which we would like to go.”

Though only at the start of what looks set to be a glittering career, Porteous’ future ambitions are as ambitious as they are grounded.

And moving forward, he hopes his commitment to driving social change through football will inspire other likeminded players to follow suit.

“Looking into the future, I want to try and play at the highest level possible,” said Porteous.

“I want to get a lot of [Scotland] caps, I want to be a regular in there, and I can only do that by continuing to learn and continuing to develop.

“As a person, I want to continue to learn about social change and contribute in any way possible that I can.

“For any other players interested in joining Common Goal, I would say: it’s really easy to join.

“It’s 1% so it’s not a big difference, it’s not going to impact your life too much. You probably won’t even notice it but it can go a long way in helping others.”