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IS-AUR-Samarb.progr. Norge Frankrike

Gender equality through sustainable work life for leaders and coaches in sport

Tildelt: kr 0,10 mill.




2024 - 2025



This collaborative and cross-cultural project responds to the European Union initiatives and the International Olympic Comitees objective for increasing gender equality in sport. Worldwide, women in top leadership positions in sports is reported to be 8.4–20% for coaches and 10-30% for leaders. Efforts to increase women's access to these positions have not yet been successful, despite initiatives such as courses and mentoring programs for women. The persistent issue lies in the fact that the sporting domain remains predominantly masculine. An "ideal" top leader- and coach is often depicted through masculine discourses as someone who is tough and invulnerable. Consequently, more feminine identities and experiences tend to be marginalized. This hierarchical understanding on gender is deeply rooted in sports organizations and is perpetuated and reinforced by top leaders themselves, resulting in unquestioned assumptions about "how to be" a top leader that are difficult to change. Additionally, top leaders and coaches work within a highly competitive and individualized sport environment, where there is an expectation to work 24/7. If this 'masculine logic of ruling' is maintained, alongside the highly pressured jobs, achieving sustainable working conditions for all leaders and coaches are challenging. To be able to achieve gender equality in the sport context, we argue that a novel approach is needed, and suggest a shift in perspective. By focusing on sustainable work conditions for all (top) leaders and (high-performance) coaches in sport, we promote strategies that instead of “fixing the women” will “fix the system”. A better understanding of how women top leaders and coaches experience their workplaces, as well as how they envision a more gender-equal and sustainable future, is needed. In this project, we aim to get this insight from a wider diversity of woman leaders in sport working on differentiated organizational levels and systems and in different cultures.


IS-AUR-Samarb.progr. Norge Frankrike