Canada The Working Group on Gender Equity in Sport Recommends Ways to Increase the Number of Women in Leadership Positions

Times India Today | : Nov 24,2018 07:16 AM IST

GATINEAU, Quebec, November 23, 2018

In a fully inclusive Canadian sport system, women will have equal representation as athletes, coaches, officials, administrators, technical support staff and board members. While gender equity has improved in recent years, women are still underrepresented in these decision-making roles.

There is also a need for more research to better understand the reasons why women and girls choose not to participate in sport, or not to move into the senior ranks of coaching or sport management.

The Working Group on Gender Equity in Sport, established in April 2018 by the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, met for the last time this morning to identify concrete actions and innovative ways to address these important issues. The working group explored several short- and medium-term actions, which touched on education, training, leveraging current structures to reach out to communities, developing an awareness campaign for Canadians, experimenting through pilot projects, and exploring innovative ways to collect disaggregated data.

The members of the working group gave their time, expertise and commitment to help our government make informed decisions about the future of inclusive sport, and their contributions will shape equity in sport for the next generation of girls and women.

Although this was the last official meeting of the working group, Canadians are invited to share their feedback about gender equity in sport through the online form.



“I owe so much to the incredible female leaders I had the chance to work with throughout my journey. We need more female role models for our girls so they feel empowered to participate and remain in sport. It is time we remove the barriers that prevent women from taking leadership roles in sport.”

—The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport 

“It is exciting and an honour to be part of this group of great thinkers, leaders and doers. There is excellent research, evidence and data and we will use that to close the identified gaps and take action to achieve gender equity in sport. Some significant changes are needed to create positive and welcoming environments for girls and women in sport. Together, we are committed to finding sustainable and appropriate initiatives at all levels.”

—Carolyn Trono, Director of Long-Term Athlete Development, Sport for Life Society, and member of the Working Group on Gender Equity in Sport

“Increasing the representation of women in sport leadership is critical for achieving equity for women and girls in sport. It is also key to building a stronger sport system. Girls and boys benefit from having female role models they can look up to, and sport is enriched by the talents, contributions and diverse perspectives that women bring. The persistent gender gap in sport leadership isn’t just a women’s issue, but a sport issue, and everyone has a role to play in creating change.”    

—Allison Sandmeyer-Graves, CEO, Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity (CAAWS), and member of the Working Group on Gender Equity in Sport

Quick facts

  • In Budget 2018, the Government of Canada announced a target to achieve gender equality in sport at every level by 2035. This included an initial commitment of $30 million over three years to: support data and research into innovative practices to promote the participation of women and girls in sport; and to support national sport organizations in promoting greater inclusion of women and girls in all facets of sport.

  • In April, Minister Duncan convened a Working Group on Gender Equity in Sport to gather the experiences, perspectives and insights of 12 champions for gender equity in sport. The group’s mandate also included providing a range of views and advice aimed at better understanding and serving the specific needs of women and girls in sport.

  • In June, the working group recommended strategies to increase participation and retention of women and girls in all areas of sport.

  • In August, the working group recommended short-term and long-term actions to eliminate gender-based violence in sport in Canada.

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