Why the sports industry needs more female leadership

Women in sport

Sport is sexless, yet at the same time it is inherently sexist. In the eyes of many, sport is something that men partake in far better than women.

That simply is not true. The 20th Century saw the encouragement of female participation in sport and with the new millennium this has only continued to grow.

We have seen Billie Jean King beat Bobby Riggs in one of the “Battle of the Sexes” tennis matches. Meanwhile, memories of Brandi Chastain stripping to her sports bra after scoring the World Cup-winning penalty for USA in 1999 still permeate the mind. There have also been the steps taken by the All Lawn Tennis Club to give women equal winnings to men in the iconic Wimbledon tournament.

However, these are just three of very few sporting moments involving women that have been well documented, and most of which usually involve tennis in some degree. Although female participation has increased over the years, there is still an exceptional gulf between female and male leadership roles in the world of sport.

The clearest example of the devoid nature of female leadership is the English’s Women’s Super League. Despite this football league being for females, it is mainly men that occupy the managerial roles. The top league is made up of eight sides, yet just two have a female in the top role. These two clubs are Chelsea – who, if the football betting is to be believed, could have the unique distinction of having simultaneous male and female champions of England – and Sunderland, respectively.

What does that say for women when they have to play second-fiddle to men in a sport that is theirs? Men have often looked on in disdain when broached with the notion of competing in sports against women, and it is only right that women do the same.

Look at how Helena Costa was treated at Clermont Foot. The 36-year-old was the first female manager to ever take control of a male football club. She lasted 49 days and didn’t even manage a competitive match. No manager should be driven from a club because of prejudices which should have been left in the last millennia. Sadly that is not the case.

So why do we need women in sporting leadership roles?

For one, this is the 21st Century and hence this argument shouldn’t even be given a platform to verbalise. Why, when we live in a society in which men and women are treated as equals, should they be treated any different in our sports? How can we triumph the Western ideals of liberalism and individualism when we operate with gender-segregation with our sports? We need more females in leadership roles as they by right deserve to be there.

Sport in unisex, yet at the same time it is uni sex. That is abhorrently wrong.

The fact that we are having to even talk about it just shows how inept and unjust the Western world still is. Once equal status is granted to females in the realm of sport we can truly say that we are leaders of the free world.


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