It is time to celebrate the eleventh edition of our Sport for Business listing of 50 Women of Influence in Irish Sport, in partnership with AIG.

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.

There has been substantial progress in this time.  By the end of this year, the vast majority of National Governing Bodies of Sport will have at least a 60/40 gender balance, and the aim is to go higher, with Sport Ireland setting a target of 50/50 by 2027.

This is as it should be.  Internationally the gender split in doctors ranges from 46 percent female in New Zealand to 48 percent in the UK, 52 percent in France, and 54 percent in the United States.  Sport has for too long lagged behind.

The gender gap is targeted to be non-existent by 2027 in terms of participation and the profile of our elite athletes is as high for Leona Maguire, Rachael Blackmore, Kellie Harrington, Katie Taylor, and Katie McCabe as it is for the best of our men.

We are nearing the point where sport is sport regardless of gender.

In media, sponsorship, attendance, and in funding, the gap remains too big but it is only in doing what we do to highlight the wrongs that we make them right.

This year’s list will draw from all the multiple areas that make up sport.  From the fields of play to the corridors of power, from the boardroom to the studio, and from every corner of the country.

We are proud to build it once more with AIG, an organisation that has pledged its 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.

This year once more, to keep things fresh we will introduce a higher limit of freshening it up with at least 40 percent 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 2023?