A recent report in the UK conducted by Women in Sport claims to have found that incidents of discrimination because of their sex were faced by 40% of women in the sports industry. However, 72% of the males in the industry said that they found no inequality, found the report.
The study was based on a survey that was carried out over a period of seven months and included 1,152 members in multiple roles in sports administration at national governing bodies, leisure organisations, county sport partnerships and sports charities.
The findings of rese5rach were described to be hugely significant by Ruth Holdaway, the chief executive of Women in Sport.
The report also noted 30% of women claiming to be victims of inappropriate behaviour from men.
“What really concerned me was the overarching 40% of women having experienced discrimination – that is a problem we have to solve urgently,” Holdaway said.
A networking culture that helped jobs for the boys, a dearth of opportunities for women for progressing into more senior roles, feelings of being undervalued and gender pay gap were also highlighted in the report.
“None of us want to work in a sector where that is the case,” Holdaway said. “How will we attract women into our sector if 40% feel they’re held back by being female? We’d never been able to quantify that before.
“We’ve shown there is an issue here. Women are experiencing something different from men and it’s preventing them from progressing. Now we can start to build consensus around making that change.”
According to Holdaway, to bring about change, it was important to including a male perspective. “It’s the first time we’ve chosen to talk to men and women in the industry, so we’ve got interesting data about men’s perceptions about gender and the gender gap and how that’s different to how women perceive it.
“That tells a lot about why the problems exist. If men are in the leadership roles and can’t perceive the problems then they can’t fix them.”
targets for women on sports boards was helped to be brought about by Women in Sport’s influential Trophy Women research in 2012. The role of the chief operating officer was offered for the first time to a woman by Manchester United when they announced the name of Collette Roche for the role in April this year. Roche was formerly the executive director of the Manchester Airports Group. On the other hand, the Buildbase chief executive, Kate Tinsley and lawyer Rupinder Bains – the first Asian representative at the top table, were inducted a as non-executive directors by the Football Association.
a new focus is now offered by the report that is called Beyond 30% – Workplace Culture in Sport.
“We’ve now got mandated targets of 30% women on boards for all sports organisations,” Holdaway said. “To be compliant with sports governance code and be able to access public funding all organisations will have to have 30% women on boards. That’s step one. But we’ve always known that is never going to be the solution.
“We want women all the way through the organisations. What’s significant about this report is this the first time anyone has looked at the barriers impacting women from top to bottom.”
(Adapted from TheGuardian.com)