The advance of respect for Women in Sport has accelerated in recent years and is already in a better place than many might have imagined. But it has still got a long way to go to achieve the parity of esteem we have been pushing the agenda on for a decade. We have been far from alone but progress is all about today and tomorrow and we cannot ease up.

Change generally comes in the smaller rather than the larger gestures. In the everyday improvements that add up over time to make a real difference.

It’s the 24/7 spotlight that matters and to keep that on, Sport for Business, with the support of our Women in Sport Partner Lidl will, each Friday for the next 24 weeks, highlight seven things in the week gone by that have been important to note in the world of Women in Sport.

Week Ending November 11th, 2022

One: Rising Viewership

On Thursday morning we covered the launch of new research into the visibility of Women’s sport on TV in the UK.

It has revealed the positive impact the Women’s Euros has had on growing women’s sports consumption in the UK, not just for football, and in attracting a young, female audience.

27 percent of the 15.8 million new viewers of women’s sport in 2022 (based on not watching any other women’s sport in 2022) from the Women’s Euros have gone on to watch more women’s sport in August and September, with 46 percent of those going onto watch women’s cricket and a further 46 percent watching more women’s football.

Excluding major international women’s football tournaments, a record 27.4m have watched women’s sports in the UK on TV between January-September, up from 26.6 million in 2019. Viewers have also watched for 271 minutes so far in comparison to 196 minutes in 2021.

Read more about the full report here…

Two: Irish Times Called Out

Kilmacud Crokes called out the Irish Times on its respective coverage of its Men’s footballers winning a Leinster semi-final last weekend (extensive), versus its Women going one step further and winning the Leinster title (not a single reference).

There was a fair amount of comment on social media with Irish Times columnist Joanne O’Riordan admitting it was not good enough, a sentiment shared by Guinness sponsorship boss Rory Sheridan.

We will be doing one of our regular reviews of Irish Sports Media coverage in the coming weeks. Will this have sent a shot across the bows?

Three: Game of the Year

When England played New Zealand in the Women’s Rugby World Cup Final at the Kingspan Stadium in 2017 it was, without doubt, one of the most thrilling games seen that season.

“What a game, what an atmosphere and what an occasion.” wrote Ryan Bailey in the 42.ie at the time.

Now they go head to head for the ultimate prize in the small hours of Saturday morning. It will be worth setting an alarm for.

Four: Expanding the Women’s National League

The SSE Airtricity Women’s National League will welcome in new teams for the 2023 season.

Galway United and Shamrock Rovers have been invited to join the top tier of the women’s game at senior level to bring the total to 11 teams.

Galway United will take over the slot vacated by Galway WFC to ensure the continued development of Women’s football in the region, while Shamrock Rovers will re-enter a team having previously been involved for three seasons when the League first began in 2011.

Five: Shels Land the Double

Shelbourne completed the domestic Women’s football double yesterday by lifting the EVOKE.ie FAI Women’s Cup following a 2-0 victory over Athlone Town in front of a record crowd in Tallaght Stadium.

Goals from Player of the Match, Jessie Stapleton, and club captain, Pearl Slattery, saw Shelbourne overcome Athlone on a day that showcased the best of women’s domestic football with 5,073 spectators in attendance.

The game was televised live on RTÉ2 television and broadcast as the main element of Sunday Sport on RTÉ1.

Six: Women’s Sports Network Launched

The first-ever network to focus on female athletes, the Women’s Sports Network, launched last week, offering 24/7 streaming of original programming, live events, documentaries and a daily studio show “Game On.”

It is free to the viewer, supported by advertising, and is accessible in the US on services including Amazon

The Women’s National Basketball Association and the Ladies Professional Golf Association have both expressed their support for the service.

Seven: Image is Important

Image magazine does not regularly feature in a sports fans reading list but over recent weeks it has published an illuminating series profiling Women in sport across Football, Rugby, and this week Cricket with Laura Delaney in the chair.

Serious questions about them as athletes and as people. Reaching out to a new audience for whom sport is becoming increasingly relevant.