Gender Equality – SportWorks TOGETHER

Event Gender equality in sports - SportWorks

Gender equality is not a women’s issue; it is a shared responsibility for everyone.


At the SportWorks TOGETHER Gender Equality event, we were fortunate to hear from four extraordinary women experts on gender equality in sport.


They strongly emphasize that for there to be real change, we must change the culture. 


Would you like to know more about how IOC and international sports federations such as FIBA, FIH, and FIVB are addressing this issue?


Watching this event, you will find countless takeaways, inspiration, actions, strategies, and open questions to keep digging into this topic, together. 


Before pressing play, we encourage you to take ‘paper and pencil’ because it is full of compelling insights. 


During the first presentation, Marijke Fleuren  President of the European Hockey Federation and Board Member of International Hockey Federation (FIH), insists that gender equality is not a chapter or a paragraph; It needs to be part of everything. 


FIH has a remarkable position in gender equality issues and is often an example of good practices for other organizations. 


Would you like to know how to build and sustain a 50/50 sport? 


Marijke Fleuren gives three key points to achieve it: Focus on the field, focus off the field, and focus on communications. Then, from her rich experience, she shares the lessons they have learned so far with concrete examples and valuable pieces of wisdom.


In the second presentationElisabeth Cebrián Scheurer – Head of Women in Basketball FIBA, points out that one of the main challenges is making all agents and stakeholders involved in sport understand the benefits of integrating diversity at all levels.


Although she assures that much remains to be done, she is confident that they are moving in the right direction. 


She invites us to take a tour of the main pillars of FIBA’s gender equality strategies. After rigorous studies and reports, they identified 6 main areas of development on which to base their strategy: Players, coaches & referees, fans, competitions, leaders, and administration. 


Would you like to know more about the projects they are implementing in each area? Elisabeth Cebrián allows us to take a closer look at exciting projects such as WILEAD, with which they promote women’s leadership around the world. 


During the third presentationAlise Kessler – Head of Volleyball at Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB), inspires us with the example of FIVB actions. 


She takes us through statistics and data that point to Volleyball as a gender-balanced sport. 


Volleyball is proud to have the first true double-gender competition in Volleyball and the world: Volleyball Nations League (VNL). This league launched in 2019 has an equal format, matches, and earnings for women and men. 


While this is impressive, shouldn’t it always be so?


FIVB is hopefully inspiring other federations with its performance. 


Alise Kessler also explains some concrete initiatives to elevate equality through role models and ambassadors. In addition, she gives us some insight into campaigns such as #Equaljersey, with which they promote volleyball players who wear the same jersey model regardless of gender. A valuable example of the importance of communication.  


In the fourth presentationSandra Lengwiler – Gender Equality and Inclusion Manager International Olympic Committee – IOC tells us more about the IOC journey in gender equality. 


She acknowledges the responsibility of the Olympic movement in identifying and leading the best practices to achieve gender balance in sport. 


The IOC approach is very data-driven, and they are committed to change from “inspirational to action.” Their strategy is based on defining wichs steps need to be taken, determining who is responsible for achieving those goals, and setting a timeline. 


Sandra Lenwiler stresses once again the importance of the cultural shift needed, and insists that we need to change the norms and structures that perpetuate the inequalities. 


She talks about the progress made on equality and the challenges that lie ahead—aiming to catch up with the parity achieved in the participation of athletes in the Olympic Games in all positions, especially in governance. 


Attending these four fantastic presentations gives us the possibility to draw a privileged picture of the current situation of gender equality in sport. 


And if that wasn’t enough, after the presentations, you can enjoy a summary of what happened in the discussion groups that we had the pleasure of hosting with the valuable help of Michelle Guiliano, our guest host, and the moderators who conducted these discussion groups. 


There is still a lot to be done to achieve equality, but we all might agree that this is a path we must walk together. 


Many of us are on the road to equality. Will you join us?


We encourage you to share your thoughts on this topic. Let’s keep the conversation alive and continue to move forward together.  



Behind the scenes 

Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in SportWorks TALKS, SportWorks TOGETHER, Women in Sport


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