It is time to celebrate the tenth edition of our Sport for Business listing of 50 Women of Influence in Irish Sport.
It has been a decade of real progress in the respect and consideration given to Women in a sporting world that not so long ago was almost exclusively the preserve of men.
What has happened in sport has been an echo of what has happened before in areas of education, employment and opportunity.
The gender gap is narrowing but we are not yet at a point where we can just refer to sport and rest easy that the gender of it is immaterial.
In media, in sponsorship, in attendance and in funding, the gap remains too big but it is only in doing that we will change opinion and behaviour.
Doing like the women who dominated last year’s sporting headlines. Rachael Blackmore, Kellie Harrington, Leona Maguire, Ellen Keane, Katie McCabe and many more.
Doing like Vera Pauw, Sarah Keane or Dr Una May, reaching the top of their game through talent and determination, proving every day that women can have the skill sets to perform in a sporting context, counter to the words of a leading sports administrator of only a few short years ago.
We are proud once more to do so this in partnership with AIG, an organisation that have pledged their commitment to equality in their partnerships with Gaelic Games, Tennis, Golf and more, for whom “Effort is Equal” and with whom we have ambitious plans to extend the reach of this annual celebration of the Women who are making a difference.
They will be drawn as before from the worlds of leadership, of partnership, of storytelling and of performance.
We began this journey in 2013 when challenged that we would never be able to produce a list of twenty Influential Women in Irish Sport. The 20 stretched to 30, then 40 and 50 and it still does not do justice to the talent that is out there.
This year once more, to keep things fresh we will introduce at least 30 per cent of fresh names from last year. That will be the hardest part to have some names replaced but if it was too easy it would be of less value.
The list we will build over the coming weeks is a snapshot of those women who are making a mark on how sport is played, consumed, grown and delivered.
They are part of making the role of women in sport unexceptional by being exceptional in what they do.
Recognition of their contribution is rarely asked for but is fully deserved, and we want your help in identifying those who you feel should be among them.
We will start to publish the first of this year’s list on Sport for Business next week, and share them for all across social media in parallel.
So, who do you think should be on the list for 2022?