Since 2015, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and International Federations (IFs) have participated in an annual forum with a view to closing the gender gap on and off the field of play. With the 5th IF Gender Equality Forum cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a series of six online sessions was held during September and turned out to be a huge success.
Organised by the IOC in collaboration with ASOIF and the Association of International Olympic Winter Sports Federations (AIOWF), the sessions attracted approximately 600 participants, including IF and National Federation Presidents, Executive Board members, Secretaries General, chief executives, committee members and senior managers. The aim was to share examples of initiatives and toolkits that can be adapted and implemented by IFs; inspire and encourage federations to embrace change; and develop action plans to address gender equality in sport.
The webinars addressed the following pressing topics:
- Leadership: Entrenching Gender Equality in Electoral Processes
- Leadership: Developing the pipeline of female governance candidates
- Developing the pool of female coaches
- Developing the pool of female Technical Officials
- Gender Balanced Portrayal
ASOIF collaborated closely with the IOC in order to identify speakers and best practices from its member federations. Marisol Casado, the chair of ASOIF’s consultative group dedicated to Diversity and Gender Equality and ITU President, said during the opening session: “We must take the opportunity this current crisis provides to rebuild and innovate our progress towards a more inclusive, gender-equal and sustainable Olympic Movement. Throughout my career and in my various roles, I have seen that the best work can be done when it is done as a team. When we work together, we have access to different ways of thinking, and therefore more ideas.”
Gender equality was also addressed in ASOIF’s Third Review of IF Governance, published in June 2020. The results in this area showed that work remains to be done when it comes to female representation in IF leadership positions.
Theses webinar series are yet another example of an innovative platform for exchange triggered by the ongoing global health crisis.
You can relive the webinars, highlights, as well as the full videos, here:
Participants are being encouraged to carry on the conversation on the IOC LinkedIn community group dedicated to gender equality. The group has already gathered some 800 like-minded individuals, all working to advance gender equality in sport.