Olympic Council of Ireland President Sarah Keane was a guest panelist at the International Federation (IF) Women in Leadership Forum which concluded today in Lausanne with the approval of a 10-point action plan designed to increase possibilities for girls and women in sport both on and off the field of play.
The three-day forum was jointly organised by the IOC and ASOIF as part of efforts to bring more women into leadership positions in all levels of sport, including management, coaching and officiating positions. Around 60 representatives from across the Olympic Movement took part in the discussions, including women in mid or senior positions from 23 Summer and Winter Sports Federations.
The Forum was closed by Lydia Nsekera, Chair of the IOC Women in Sport Commission, and ASOIF Executive Director Andrew Ryan.
Chair Nsekera told the participants: “This Forum was an opportunity to meet other female colleagues from National and International Federations to share respective experiences. We must know that we have a place in sport! Power is not reserved for men, far from it. It is also reserved for us. We must also understand that our fight cannot succeed without support from men!”
The Forum was the latest recommendation to be implemented from Olympic Agenda 2020, the IOC’s strategic roadmap for the future of the Olympic Movement. Recommendation 11 stipulates that the IOC works with IFs “to achieve 50 per cent female participation in the Olympic Games and to stimulate women’s participation and involvement in sport by creating more participation opportunities at the Olympic Games.”
The event featured two days of intensive training designed to enhance leadership skills in areas such as communications and mentoring, and marks the starting point of closer and more structured collaboration between the IOC, ASOIF, IFs, NFs and NOCs with regard to the positioning of female candidates in leadership positions.
Marisol Casado, IOC Member, ITU President and IOC Women and Sport Commission member, provided the opening remarks at the Opening Session, while IOC Executive Board Member and IOC Athletes’ Commission Chair Claudia Bokel spoke on gender equality within the framework of Olympic Agenda 2020.
2. Promote research to monitor the evolution of gender equity and drive best practices. Revisit and consider the research: “Gender Equality and Leadership in Olympic Bodies”; and the “Asset-Based Approach to Sport Governance.”
3. Request that IFs ensure that gender equity is included in their governance principles.
4. Request each IF to nominate an employee in charge of gender equity.
5. Request stakeholders to develop recruitment and succession plans which specifically target and support female leadership.
6. Request stakeholders to establish and maintain target percentages around female leadership. This should be monitored by the Gender Equity Working Group.
7. IOC/Olympic Solidarity to consider more support for projects targeting women in leadership, such as:
a. Female Leadership Workshops
b. Training for male leaders around gender equity
c. Mentoring and coaching support
8. Encourage IFs to develop more family-friendly working practices for both genders.
9. The IOC, ASOIF and IFs to work together to encourage full use of the Gender Equality e-platform.
10. Respective stakeholders to cascade the principles outlined in this 10-point plan to national/regional/continental sports organisations.