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Women in Sport report claims 'serious gender discrimination problem' within sector

By Tom Walker    25 Jun 2018
38 per cent of the women surveyed said they had experienced "active discrimination" due to their gender, compared to 21 per cent of men
We led this research to provide the sport sector with in-depth understanding of the issues that affect women in the sport workplace
– Ruth Holdaway

Sport should focus on having more women leaders, in order to bring about cultural change within the sector, according to equality charity Women in Sport.

The call comes after the charity published its Beyond 30% – Workplace Culture in Sport report, which suggests there is still a "serious gender discrimination problem" within sport.

Based on a survey of more than 1,000 people working within sport, the report shows that women feel less valued, experience gender discrimination and believe they are paid less for doing the same role as men. Many also face more challenges to progress and feel "unfairly judged".

38 per cent of the women surveyed said they had experienced "active discrimination" due to their gender, compared to 21 per cent of men.

The report also found that ‘women’s tasks’ are still in evidence throughout the sector.

“History, tradition and – in certain sports – a men-only starting point, have all contributed to creating a culture which can feel like a ‘man’s world'", said Ruth Holdaway, CEO of Women in Sport.

"I recognise that the sport sector is committed to stamping out gender discrimination, but our report has highlighted that where negative behaviours exist deep within the workplace culture they often go unseen and therefore do not get addressed.

"By bringing transparency to the issue we can now work with sector leaders to change it."

Holdaway added that the report – a survey of 1,152 women and men working in sport, plus 42 in-depth interviews, carried out between September 2017 and March 2018 – will be used to educate organisations.

“We led this research to provide the sport sector with an in-depth understanding of the issues that affect women in the sport workplace," she said.

"Now we want to work with sports organisations to build a more inclusive workplace culture, where both women and men can reach their full potential.”

To download and read the full Beyond 30% – Workplace Culture in Sport report, click here.

Women in Sport  Ruth Holdaway 
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