Over 65 representatives from National and International Federations (IFs), National Olympic Committees (NOCs) and experts kicked off the second IF Women in Leadership Forum today in Lausanne, Switzerland, ahead of International Women’s Day on 8 March. On the agenda: women leading in sport.
Following a successful inaugural edition last year, the three-day Forum jointly organised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) is once again bringing together female leaders in sport to discuss gender equality. Combining training and mentoring sessions by two experts as well as panel discussions, this year’s gathering aims to identify concrete measures to increase development opportunities and the recruitment of women in decision-making positions at all levels of sport, including management, coaching and officiating positions, in line with the IOC Executive Board’s call to the Olympic Movement last December to achieve a minimum target of 30 per cent of women in leadership roles by 2020.
In her opening speech, Chair Lydia Nsekera stressed to the participants: “We need to continue these good results and not weaken in our efforts to ensure that even more women are elected to positions of responsibility within IFs, national federations and clubs. This is another of this Forum’s objectives: to give you helpful advice on performing your role, but also to enable you in turn to become mentors for other women working or seeking to work in the world of sport.”
We need to continue these good results and not weaken in our efforts to ensure that even more women are elected to positions of responsibility within IFs, national federations and clubs.Lydia Nsekera IF Women in Leadership Forum Chair
In turn, ASOIF President Ricci Bitti said: “In my view, striving for gender equality within our organisations is interlinked with good governance. It is not about ticking any boxes, but about developing a favourable culture and then implementing certain principles consistently across all organisational policies and activities.”
Striving for gender equality within our organisations is interlinked with good governance.Ricci Bitti ASOIF President
In this period of the electoral cycle, the Forum is a unique opportunity to help prepare a large number of women in middle and senior management positions in NOCs, National Federations and other international organisations to successfully stand for election.
Commitment, cooperation and partnership
The IF Women in Leadership Forum is working to expand the women-in-sport network, and provides a unique opportunity for sports federations to share best practices and effective strategies for increasing the number of women in leadership roles. Through panel discussions, mentoring and practical workshops, the Forum enables participants to share their experiences and expertise, enhance their leadership skills and empower themselves to, for example, stand for election in a sports organisation, or become mentors for other women seeking to work in sport.
Such commitment and cooperation have already borne fruit on the field of play as the Olympic Movement moves closer to 50 per cent female participation at the Olympic Games. Women accounted for 45 per cent of athletes at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro last summer, and 51 NOCs had more women than men in their Olympic delegations. The IF Forum is focused on achieving similar progress in coaching positions, sports management, sports administration and other aspects of sport.
Following the Forum from afar
On Tuesday 7 March, panel discussions including an inspiring introduction by BBC Sport Director and Olympian Barbara Slater will be streamed live. Find here an overview of the programme and panellists.
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