The potential of sport in addressing wider agendas such as health, economic and social inclusion is widely recognised.
Yet the sector is facing few challenges to unlock its potential and in particular in terms of good governance and integrity and in terms of modernising its approach to sustain and increase the number of active participants.
In this context, it becomes harder and harder to justify a contradictory situation women are facing. Indeed even if the practice of physical and sports activities tend to feminize in recent years, women and girls are still facing a glass ceiling as progress on women’s access to leadership positions remains limited.
However, this worrying imbalanced situation is not new and has long been identified. Few concrete initiatives and political documents have been aiming at tackling it. But a lot remain to be done and the SWinG project partners believe that any work to promote and improve gender equality in sport will certainly be beneficial to all.
Project Full Title
Supporting Women in Achieving their Goals
3 years’ project from 1st Jan 2019 to 31 Dec 2021
Co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme
10 partners from 7 countries
With SWinG, the consortium will work towards shifting the paradigm. It is not enough to aim at reaching few elected women in representative roles in sport governing bodies (to cope with quotas), what is needed is a new generation of women impact players in the boardroom.
For the first time at European level, a collaborative partnership will gather cross-sectoral stakeholders to develop a European version of the Anglo-Saxon concept of empowerment.
The final aim will be to facilitate and support emerging/aspiring women sport leaders in achieving a change-making position in sport governing bodies. Therefore the project will promote Executive Board as an option for women volunteers in sport while also focusing on motivation, training, and skills development for the participants.
The SWinG project objective can be encapsulating as such:
- Develop the necessary foundation for a qualified and systematic INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF FEMALE CHANGE AND DECISION MAKERS IN SPORT ORGANISATIONS in Europe.
- Ultimately BRING IN MORE DIVERSITY IN THE BOARDROOM
With SWinG we will create solutions!
3 pillars and 7 Steps:
- Knowing the context and environment
- Study and analyse the characteristics, skills and mindsets of women in leadership positions in the business and in the sport world.
- Analyse the electoral systems in force in sports organizations where SWinG candidates will stand for election (gender analysis)
- Testing a new approach
- Recruit aspiring women leaders (volunteers, practitioners, family environment …)
- Select female mentors from the corporate world
- Implement a collective and individual support plan for future candidates until elections (mentoring, training, networking …)
- Creating the seeds for future wide transfer of the SWinG approach
- Communicate and promote the importance and benefits of an integrated gender approach in sports organizations or will introduce the candidates (awareness of the entourage and management in place).
- Develop specific recommendations to identified key stakeholders (in particular sport federations, European Commission and National governments)
The SWinG journey will include:
- 7 Partner Meetings
- Orientation Session for Mentors and Empowering session for mentees, Autumn 2019
- European Workshop: “Sport in Europe: How to nurture and support Inclusion Riders / Game changers from within”, Sept 2020
- European Final Conference: “What if women were the missing ones to help the sport sector in its attempt to modernize?”, Sept 2021
- A mapping of current resources, strategies and initiatives on the state and status of female decision makers in sport organisations and companies (included states policy, policy recommendations, target established).
- A mapping of existing theories concepts and good practices and providing definitions and delineations of the central concepts around women leadership and empowerment.
- Drawing upon the mapping exercise to assess and describe trends and the potential strategies/scenarios going forward and driving the conceptualisation of the SWinG approach to practical implementation tips and recommendations.
- A user friendly traning handbook/manual coaching the reader on how to use the SWinG product effectively and efficiently, typically by providing application examples and usage scenario.
- A toolkit to help the mentees in their journey towards accessing Game-changing positions of decision makers: supporting the mentees getting into the appropriate mindset and being equipped with appropriate tools to run a campaign to get elected.
- A report sharing findings and good practices on the communication methods facilitating the process of supporting the mentees being equipped with appropriate tools to run a campaign to get elected AND facilitating a change in mindset in the sport sector.
- A toolkit to help the mentees lift their last internal breaks and barriers to act in Game-changing positions of decision makers. It will provide practical tips and recommendations to find their good work/volunteering/life balance
IO 8 – Insights report from the SWinG testing
- A report sharing findings and good practices on the project providing an accurate and deep understanding of the project impact based on a close evaluation and monitoring of the indicators developed through the IO3. The Insights report will translate large amounts of data into concise and compelling findings.
IO 9 – SWinG sustainability and transferability plan
- A report to drive the use of SWinG recommendations and nurturing approach in the future outside the partnership. This will give impact and sustainability for the organised sport sector in the future.
Our hope with the SWinG project is to lay the foundation for a paradigm shift and to explore new modes of cooperation between sector while providing women in sport the network and support they need to break the glass ceiling.
We will strive to identify and support 20 to 25 emerging women leaders in their journey towards election.
The time is now for sport to press for progress!
To Sum Up
Key elements of the SWinG project are as follow:
- In a nutshell: An ambitious project to DEVELOP & PILOT a new TRANSFERABLE APPROACH
- A unique opportunity: POSITION OURSELVES as reference point
- Our asset: The UNIQUENESS of the partnership: skills, competences, scope
- Our aim: Act as a CATALYST FOR CHANGE in gender mainstreaming while giving a tremendous boost to the access of women to leadership position in the sector