A three-year project launched today will give 11 women involved in British sport the skills and experience required to take on senior decision making roles.
The Women and Leadership Development Programme has been developed by UK Sport in partnership with the British Olympic Foundation (BOF) and the Central Council of Physical Recreation (CCPR) to help tackle the issue of women’s representation within the highest ranks of British sport. Research has shown this needs to be addressed in order to bring about cultural change in democratic decision making processes.
Each participant on the Programme will have a Personal Development Plan which will identify skill and knowledge requirements and set out how these will be met. A variety of learning methods will be utilised, from workshops and presentation, to attendance at relevant international events. All participants will also be teamed up with a mentor, usually an established woman leader, to provide additional support.
Those selected to take part in the Programme are:
- Emma Atkins – sportscoachUK
- Penny Briscoe – British Paralympic Association
- Melanie Curds – UK Athletics
- Danielle Every – Football Association
- Alison Faiers – England and Wales Cricket Board
- Lyne Greenwood – Northern Ireland Sports Forum
- Sue Hornby – British Canoe Union
- Margaret Nolan – British Cycling
- Emma Reed – British Judo Association
- Lucy Smith – British Gymnastics
- Heather Williams – British Triathlon
Success on the Programme will help aid progress towards the target of 30% women in senior sporting positions as set out in UK Sport’s Strategy Framework for Women and Sport.
"The Women and Leadership Development Programme provides a unique opportunity for those involved to boost the role of women in sport both in the UK and overseas," said Sue Campbell, Chair of UK Sport. "Not only will these women directly boost the level of representation in leadership positions, their achievements will encourage and inspire others to strive for similar heights."
Jan Paterson, Director of the British Olympic Foundation, added: "The British Olympic Foundation is delighted to be working with our partner organisations on such a seminal initiative.
"We hope to play our part in achieving the International Olympic Committee’s goal of increasing the number of women in leadership and administrative positions within the Olympic Movement. The Women and Leadership Development Programme will no doubt serve to encourage women from across the sporting spectrum to achieve."
Through their three years on the Programme, participants will focus on a number of core themes including communication, influencing skills, sports law, national and international sport structures and good management practices. To provide ‘real-life’ exposure to leadership, each participant’s own organisation has committed to provide opportunities to learn and develop, for example by allowing them to observe relevant meetings and take up suitable appointments when they arise.
"The pool of resources for sport and recreation has always been limited so it makes absolutely no sense that talented women in the sector are not making it to the top as often as they deserve," said CCPR chair Brigid Simmonds. "This Programme should help more women in sport fulfil their potential and help more of CCPR’s member organisations make the most of the skills they have at their disposal."