HUSH on … Women’s Sport and Women in Sport; there is a difference.

Tatjana Haenni – Director Women’s Football, Management of Switzerland

There have been great strides in Women’s Sport and Women in Sport in the past 20 years with more media coverage and accessibility for engagement. Yet is this because the platforms are more readily available? Has the acceleration of digital transformation played a part? And is it just in participation rates? What about the business of sport?

Yes, having more opportunities to raise awareness of Women’s Sport does help, yet the comparison to Men’s Sport and Men in Sport is still there, even-though they are different offerings altogether.

There are two topics in relation to women and sport:

  • Women’s Sport – playing the game
  • Women in Sport – working to provide the game

These are not the same thing, but both important for the development of sport in society, which Tatjana Haenni referred to during an event at the WFS in June 2020. With the power of sport on culture, there should be opportunities for women to participate and contribute to the business growth. It is time to create a more sustainable system and bring in more women to the business side; women have a different outlet and imagination. In terms of education and storytelling, media need to do more to demonstrate the adversity women have faced in Sport, both on the field and over.

Commonwealth Super-Welterweight Champion Stacey Copeland alluded to the power of sport for women in relation to her appearance on the award-winning Games Changers Podcast with Sport Business powerhouse Sue Anstiss.

We need women in sport for a better product and service, and a better structure for women’s football. It is a business case and biggest opportunity for sponsorship, participation etc. If you don’t have a business plan you aren’t going to see results. There is a momentum for a commercial model for women’s football. We need the money to come in, but you need a decent plan!

What can be done to influence change? Showcasing more role models in both topics of sport for women by highlighting opportunities for women in participation and business. During a recent event with the MEI (Major Event International), Dr Deidre Anderson from the National Rugby League Players Association made a compelling point that Sport expects women to adjust to the environment they are presented with, instead of the framework of sport changing to involve women. There should be accessibility at all levels of sport.

Sources:

The Game Changers – S4 Ep3 Stacey Copeland https://www.fearlesswomen.co.uk/thegamechangers/stacey-copeland

MEI – Is Sport the last Gender Equity Frontier? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jndjZocxOWg

WFS – Women’s Sport: The Necessary Steps For A Progressive Future https://www.youtube.com/embed/TMfTU1FJ7P0

WFS – Women’s Leadership In Global Football https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mbCrsBqv2B8

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