Women occupy only 20 per cent of management positions in the sports industry and are severely underrepresented, according to a study entitled “Women’s Careers in the Sports Industry” by Jung von Matt/Sports and Odgers Berndtson HR consultants. The biggest challenges include the lack of networks, underestimation, male dominance and the lack of compatibility between family and career. The Hamburg-based sports marketing agency has launched the Equal Play initiative in mid October 2019 for more diversity in the sports industry.
Raising share of female decision-makers
Management is still too homogeneous even though the sports industry need diversity to flourish. “There are too few women at the top of associations and clubs, and the economic and cultural benefits of diversity have long been proven,” said Katja Kraus, Managing Director of Jung von Matt/Sports. The sports industry needs responsible individuals and role models who initiate change. Among other things, Equal Play aims to set up a platform that enables women in sports to network, draws attention to their needs and highlights the current developments, Kraus added.
Promoting structural change in sports
The career paths of women in various management positions in clubs or associations were analysed for the online survey including that of Michaela Röhrbein, General Secretary Deutscher Turnerbund (DTB) and Marco Bode, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of SV Werder Bremen. The interviewees outlined challenges they have encountered so far. Hopes are now high that the results can stimulate structural change in the sports industry.