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Case Studies Leadership Programme

Programme Dirigeantes by the French National Olympic Committee

By 14 October 2021No Comments

In January 2020, the CNOSF French National Olympic and Sports Committee launched the programme “Dirigeantes” (Women leaders). Led by Sarah Ourahmoune, Vice-President in charge of gender equality, it aims to support the feminisation of sports governing bodies and to promote the commitment of women in sport.

Brief outline of the initiative

The programme Dirigeantes is intended to launch a dynamic around this subject through various actions designed for and with a public of women leaders and future women leaders as well as men leaders. It is meant to promote gender equality in the sport movement’s governing bodies, from clubs to federations!

A support programme consisting of networking breakfasts, webinar, workshops and conferences, both face-to-face and remote, “Dirigeantes” is aimed at all women who wish to exercise an elected leadership function within the sport movement as well as their allies, with the aim of sharing experiences and good practices. In parallel, throughout 2020, a series of videos were broadcasted on the “Sport en France” channel. Presented by Sarah Ourahmoune, they feature portraits of women in positions of responsibility, sharing their experiences and advice.

After a successful first year, the programme has roll over in 2021 as such:


  • Conference #1 on Tuesday 9 March – 6.30-8pm: Does parity stop where power begins?
  • Conference #2 on 18 May: The place of women in the media.
  • Conference #3 on Friday 18 June: State of play following the federal elections and actions implemented within the federations.


3 workshops of experience sharing, experts’ interventions and networking intended for a group of participants registered by order of response until the limit of available places, organised remotely or at the Maison du sport français:

  • Workshop #1 on Thursday 4 February: Managing employees and/or volunteers: the main questions to ask
  • Workshop #2 on Friday 19 March: Knowing yourself and your staff: different profiles
  • Workshop #3 on Tuesday 18 May: Speaking in the media

Approx 2 days of content (6 events of 2 hours each + networking events)


Yearly since 2020


Internal budget from the French Olympic Committee



Key elements


Women only

Country of origin


Country/Region of implementation


Number of participants

20 to the network
& 650+ to the open events

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
☐ Commitment of men - please specify:
☐ Personal development training
☒ Role model highlighted
☒ Networking (women network, men network or mixed): every month a so-called Masterclass was organised throughout the country to reach as many women as possible
☐ Mentoring (unique or mixed gender, please specify)
☐ 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: Thematic Networking breakfasts

Identified Key Success Factors

- A national initiative led by the umbrella organisation
- A well balanced mix of various elements (conference/webinars/networking)
- Building on an history of programmes

Transferable bites/elements

- Building confidence through information, training, networking, experience sharing


"I soon realised that in order to change things on the ground, I first had to act on the leadership. Through this programme, we put forward management notions, we explain how to create a political network and how to speak in public."

Sarah OurahmouneVP of the French National Olympic Committee & Founder of lteh programme

Any additional information you deem relevant regarding this Leadership Programme

It builds on the continuity of a policy carried out for a quarter of a century by the CNOSF and French sport – from International conferences to being actively involved in European Projects.

Source of information: Interview + Online documentation

Check Out More

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

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