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The future of Coaching? Gender Equality

A sports psychologist I was talking to recently told me that the simplest way to effect change is to the take the following path:

  • Raise awareness
  • Take responsibility
  • Take action

This is even more pertinent when you are asking people to effect cultural change. The culture we are looking to change is the demographic of coaches in the UK. Currently women only make up 17% of the qualified coaching workforce. Cultural change is no small task, but there is power in numbers, and if everyone understands the current landscape and can take responsibility to make a small change, big things will happen.

The forthcoming UK Coaching Summit at The Vale Resort in Cardiff (June 2-3) has a really positive focus on gender equality in coaching. Day 2 (June 3) has three sessions dedicated to this very subject:

  • Following a keynote from Toni James, adventurer and motivational speaker, the day kicks off with a debate focussing on women in coaching. The panel will present their thoughts in this area and then open up the floor to discuss the issues and identify ways forward.
  • This will be followed by an interactive seminar from Dr Leanne Norman and Dr Faye Diddymus (Leeds Beckett University). They will be presenting the findings of their ground breaking research around the careers, lives and wellbeing of female coaches.
  • After lunch, I will be hosting a community of learning where I look forward to discussing solutions to creating a more gender equitable approach to coaching and how to engage more female coaches into sport. This is a very informal session which will showcase the good practice out there and facilitate discussions to find appropriate solutions for you and your organisation.

To whet your appetite and as a starter for 10, sports coach UK has created a couple of short films which highlight the importance of having more women coaching:

Women in Coaching: The facts

Women in Coaching: The Ambition

We all want more people playing our sport and being more active. Finding solutions to the retention of females in participation and increasing the numbers in our coaching family helps us all. Let’s work together to recognise the current issues and find the solutions that really work.

All that is left is for you to take action: I look forward to seeing you in Cardiff. We have less than a month so please make sure you book now to avoid disappointment.


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