Updated June 8th with addition of Survey.
We were privileged to play a small part last night in a gathering of influencers looking to contribute ideas on the next stage of development for Women in Sport in Ireland.
The National Indoor Arena at the National Sports Campus was the venue for around 50 leaders from the wider world of sport at NGB, local authority, sport Ireland and media level to talk, listen, share and perhaps inspire ‘what next’.
Sport Ireland has commissioned Clansult and SOS Sports, led respectively by Lisa Clancy and Sarah O’Shea to produce a report looking at precisely that question.
There is an online survey which has now gone live and we would urge you to engage and have your say. You can access the survey here.
They are taking in information from best practice around the world and looking at how advances can be made in terms of governance, leadership, performance, coaching, influencing and other key areas ahead of a report to be published in the Autumn.
There will be no magic bullet solution. A quick shout out of positives and negatives at the start of the session showed that we have a good understanding of the landscape in its broadest sense but it is in drilling down through specifics that trends will emerge.
On the leadership front, Sport for Business asked the question of Irish sport in October 2014 as to how many women were engaged at Leadership level as part of a wider-ranging survey of attitudes to women.
Of 72 sporting organisations affiliated to Sport Ireland, we got twelve responses. Others declined to answer on the basis of perhaps being afraid of how the lack of women would look or because they didn’t have the time or the resource.
We asked 11 questions on the percentage of women involved in leadership roles, as employees, as members, as well as in areas that individuals felt could be improved upon.
Maybe that was too early in the journey towards greater recognition that sport is and should be for all women and men, girls and boys.
Perhaps now is a time with the wheel has turned a few more revolutions to ask again and to demand rather than request that answers are given.
In order to make progress, you have to be fully aware of where you are at any given moment.
This new initiative, under the heading of #WeAreSport promises to discover that and to draw a map of where we go to next. It’s important to do it, and important to get it right.
When we gather for our annual Conference on Women in Sport on November 29th the output of this exercise will be high on the agenda.