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Case Studies Leadership Programme

The European Hockey Female Leadership Forum by EHF

By 21 December 2020No Comments

The European Hockey Female Leadership Forum- which first edition was held in March 2019, is part of EHF action to impart changes.

Indeed the European Hockey Federation is striving to promote gender balance and drive change forward at a rapid pace on and off the field.

Brief outline of the initiative

Among the multiple aims of the Forum is a desire to attract more women onto the EHF Executive Board.

In August 2019 the EHF would be calling for the election of three women onto the Board, so the EHFL Forum was a great opportunity to get a feel for what will be required as a Board member.

The European Hockey Female Leadership Forum 2019 edition brought together 27 women from 22 nations to network and hear from speakers in the world of sport. The women receive differing levels of resources and encounter a diverse set issues.

The forum offered a mixed o netwroking opportinity, inspirational keynote speeches and interactive sessions to learn more about their fellow delegates and their ambitions. Therefore particpants were able to lean on each other for support and guidance throughout the weekend.

This support has continued as the women are active in a WhatsApp group.

Some are now in the process of implementing female leadership forums in their own countries or stepping up for election.


2 days


Every two year


EHF internal funds


10 000€ in total (Aprox 370€ per participant)

Key elements of the European Hockey Female Leadership Forum


Women only

Country of origin

Belgium (where EHF is based)

Country/Region of implementation

Affects member associations throughout Europe

Number of participants

27 women
(21 countries represented)

Core objective of the Programme

☒ Women empowerment (identifying barriers and working on strengths, creating a community)
☐ Supporting organizational change (strategy for developing diversity, implementation of specific policies, support to change makers)
☒ Allies buy-in and support (mentors, men championing)
☒ External Scrutiny (Pledge board, Indicators, celebration of success…)
☐ Other => Please specify:

Actions implemented

☒ Internal Diversity & Inclusion Strategy for a safe workplace with equal rights (please specify): EquallyAmazing charter to be released in June by EHF which is in addition to this programme. It will recommend actions to help member associations achieve gender balance.
☐ Commitment of men - please specify:
☐ Personal development training - please specify:
☒ Role model highlighted: 5 persons from the 27 have highlighted the desire to be involved in the SWinG project. All guest speakers have expressed desire to support as role models for the 27
☒ Networking (women network, men network or mixed) - please specify: Held first European Hockey Female Leadership Forum in 2019. Saw 27 women from 22 nations come together to learn from inspiring speakers and network with each other
☐ Mentoring (unique or mixed gender, please specify) (experienced & wise guide)
☐ Coaching (ability to inspire and grow people/Foster emulation/ Being influential)
☐ Events (sharing with other companies) - please specify:
☐ Other - please specify:


☐ Online e-learning Module
☐ Online seminar
☐ Workshops
☒ Conference
☐ Self-Assessment tool
☐ Consolidated educational/training programme
☒ Other - Please specify: EquallyAmazing Charter (and campaign)

Identified Key Success Factors

- Representation of women from an array of nations; opportunities for the women to network (ex. coffee breaks, dinner, mini workshops in between speakers)
- Assuring women in the room that they would have the President and the EHF’s support in their journeys.

Transferable bites/elements

- Networking
- Obtaining speakers who are notable in the relevant field


It looked as if we have opened a hidden window by organising this forum. It was amazing and also emotional to notice how ready 27 women, from 22 member associations are to take the step up, all in their own way. The different speakers felt their energy and eagerness and reacted passionately. What energy! I am very confident to meet the future with this social capital behind us.

Marijke FleurenEHF President

I came to learn and get to know people and learn about other federations. I got really amazing feedback. I’m starting to believe that I can really make a change. No matter your background, big or small country, you can still be a leader and make amazing things happen.

Ivett StojanovicParticipant from Serbia

I didn’t know what to expect. I came with an open mind. The entire weekend stoked a fire within me. Everyone who presented reflected a piece of me and characteristics that I may have. It was really impactful, grabbed at the core of me and said ‘what are you gonna do with it’. There are so many ways to get involved. I’ll think about where I can contribute. The first thing I’ll do is present to Hockey Ireland what I learned here. And then I’ll challenge myself to act.

Lisa JacobsParticipant from Ireland

Source of information: Interview + Online documentation

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An initiative selected as a case study of the SWinG library of leadership development initiatives.  

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