Where Does Your Sport Stand on Equality?

A new report from Sport Ireland has revealed that women make up 29 per cent of the Boards of funded National Governing Bodies of Sport in Ireland, but that there are some big players yet to hit 20 per cent and nine sporting bodies that have no gender balance at all.

This shows a significant step forward from the 24 per cent that was the case when the Sport Ireland Policy on Women in Sport was launched last year and highlights those that have done well together with those that have a way to go.

Leadership and Governance is one of the four key strategic areas in Sport Ireland’s policy and a key objective is to progress towards greater gender balance in board membership of funded bodies. A second objective is the related providing of a pathway for women aspiring to become leaders of funded bodies.

We have analysed the numbers and broken them down into five bands of those that have achieved the optimum balance of a minimum 60/40 split between genders (13), those that have hit 70/30 (11), those that are in the ‘improving’ zone of better than 80/20  (17), those that have yet to achieve that minimum acceptable figure (13) and the final group, consisting of eight organisations, have no gender balance at all with a collective 65 Board members all men.

There is really no justification for the latter group and those in the group above also need to take a long hard look at their own processes and pathways to ensure that action is taken to bring forward a more representative balance at a senior leadership level.

In this group are the GAA and the Camogie Association, both of whom are single-gender sporting bodies but that is not a reason on its own to have those at the top all drawn from that gender.  The Ladies Gaelic Football Association is one of three sporting bodies that boast an equal split.

The Irish Rugby Football Union also stands out as having only two of it’s ‘Board’ of 25 as Women.  Cycling Ireland, Triathlon Ireland and Cricket Ireland are three more significant sports, all members of Sport for Business, with more work to do in this area.

 

60/40

Ladies Gaelic Football Association (50 per cent balance)
Irish Wheelchair Association Sport (50 per cent balance)
Irish Ten Pin Bowling Association (50 per cent balance)
Special Olympics Ireland (46 per cent Women)
Fencing Ireland (45 per cent Women)
Hockey Ireland (45 per cent Women)
Rowing Ireland (45 per cent Men)
Mountaineering Ireland (44 per cent Men)
Gymnastics Ireland (44 per cent Women)
National Community Games (44 per cent Men)
Golf Ireland Transition Board (44 per cent Women)
ONAKAI (42 per cent Women)
Paralympics Ireland (40 per cent Men)

70/30

Basketball Ireland (38 per cent Women)
Horse Sport Ireland (38 per cent Women)
Irish Martial Arts Commission (38 per cent Women)
Volleyball Association of Ireland (37 per cent Men)
Irish Orienteering Association (36 per cent Women)
Irish Squash (33 per cent Women)
Irish Taekwondo Union (33 per cent Women)
Vision Sports Ireland (33 per cent Women)
Tennis Ireland (31 per cent Women)
Croquet Association of Ireland (30 per cent Women)
Raquetball Association of Ireland (30 per cent Women)

80/20

Irish American Football Association (29 per cent Women)
Irish Surfing Association (29 per cent Women)
FAI (27 per cent Women)
Irish Underwater Council (27 per cent Women)
Swim Ireland (27 per cent Women)
Athletics Ireland (25 per cent Women)
Canoeing Ireland (25 per cent Women)
Angling Council of Ireland (25 per cent Women)
Irish Sailing Association (25 per cent Women)
Olympic Federation of Ireland (25 per cent women)

Table Tennis Ireland (25 per cent Women)
Badminton Ireland (22 per cent Women)
Motor Cycling Ireland (22 per cent Women)
Baton Twirling Association (20 per cent Men)
Irish Ice Hockey Association (20 per cent Women)
Irish Tug of War Association (20 per cent Women)
Rugby League Ireland (20 per cent Women)

 

Less Than 20 Per cent gender Balance

Speleological Union of Ireland (18 per cent Women)
Cricket Ireland (17 per cent Women)
Deaf Sports Ireland (14 per cent Women)
Irish Olympic Handball Association (14 per cent Women)
Weightlifting Ireland (14 per cent Women)
Bol Chumann na hÉireann (13 per cent Women)
Triathlon Ireland (13 per cent Women)
Camogie Association (12 per cent Men)
GAA (11 per cent Women)
Cycling Ireland (10 per cent Women)
Pitch and putt Association of Ireland (10 per cent Women)
Irish Amateur Wrestling Association (8 per cent Women)
IRFU (8 per cent Women)

No Gender Balance

Bowling League of Ireland (All Nine Board Members are Men)
GAA Handball Ireland (All 14 Board Members are Men)
Irish Amateur Boxing Association (All Seven Board Members are Men)
Irish Clay Target Shooting Association (All Ten Board Members are Men)
Irish Judo Association (All Seven Board Members are Men)
Irish Waterski and Wakeboard Federation (All Three Board Members are Men)
Motor Sport Ireland (All Six Board Members are Men)
ROI Billiards and Snooker Association of Ireland (All Nine Board Members are Men)

 

“Boards are responsible for the direction & performance of Sport in Ireland. To do this well, all our Irish Sports need to draw on diverse perspectives and a variety of viewpoints in order to accurately represent sport and sportspeople in our country. The Women in Sport Steering Committee is committed to balancing board composition by increasing female representation to achieve gender equality.”

  • Lynne Cantwell, Chair of Sport Ireland Women in Sport Committee

“As part of Sport Ireland’s responsibilities under the National Sport Policy, we are monitoring progress and providing periodical public updates on the progress of our funded bodies towards gender diversity, in particular the make-up of boards. It is encouraging to see progress in this area and we will continue to provide support to our funded bodies to keep up the momentum.”

  • Una May, Director of Participation, Sport Ireland

“The work of the Sport Ireland Policy on Women in Sport and Women in Sport Programme invests in female leadership capacity, increases the availability of skilled female board members and guides governance best practice that supports gender equality. Publishing these biannual Board & Leadership statistics aims to help all sports in Ireland achieve these goals as we aim to help Irish sport thrive from grassroots to elite sport.”

  • Nora Stapleton, Sport Ireland Women in Sport Lead

Join us tomorrow when we will look at a number of courses and programmes currently in place across sporting bodies to encourage women in Leadership roles.


Image Credit: LinkedIn

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