Making a difference together: IF Gender Equality Forum to reinforce gender equality in sport

Today, participants at the 4th IF Gender Equality Forum in Lausanne took an important step towards the shared goal of boosting gender equality in the Olympic Movement, with comprehensive discussions and the exchange of best practices.

Fifty IF representatives in charge of gender equality and inclusion in their respective Winter and Summer Federations collaborated and exchanged concrete mechanisms to implement effectively the IOC Gender Equality Recommendations.

Funding allocations, mechanisms to increase the pipeline of women for decision-making positions, governance, tracking and monitoring, coaches and technical officials at the Games and the collaboration between IFs, National Federations (NFs) and National Olympic Committees (NOCs) were the main topics discussed at the Forum. It was organised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in partnership with the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) and, for the first time, the Association of International Olympic Winter Sports Federations (AIOWF).

IOC/Philippe Woods

The recommendations are part of the Gender Equality Review Project, developed to strengthen gender equality across the Olympic Movement

Since last year’s Forum, several IFs have reviewed their own organisation to address the gender gap across the different problem areas. This is the case for the International Ski Federation (FIS), whose Secretary General, Sarah Lewis, is leading this effort. A participant at the Forum, to share her Federation’s best practices, she explained that:

“The FIS member National Associations expressed their commitment to evolve gender equality in the organisation and leadership of the sport to equally reflect our outstanding female athletes. The IOC Gender Equality Report served as a key catalyst to benchmark our status and activities to focus on key steps to improve the deficiencies.”

All participants were able to exchange and share the progress made since last year’s Forum and share concrete challenges they had overcome or needed help with. Beth Brooke Marciniak, a member of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) Board of Directors and Global Vice Chair at Ernst & Young, gave a compelling speech to the audience while discussing the importance of gender equality for the Olympic Movement with Marisol Casado, an IOC Member and the only female President of a Summer International Federation (International Triathlon Union).

IOC/Philippe Woods

“Supporting women in sport leads to more women leaders across all sectors, stronger communities, and stronger economies. Sport empowers women leaders and contributes to gender equality globally”, said Beth Brooke Marciniak.

In addition to table discussions, participants received from the IOC a thorough update on the status of implementation by the IOC of the recommendations of the Gender Equality Review Project.

The IOC presented the results of the IF Gender Equality survey conducted at the end of last year, which assessed how the IFs are advancing on gender equality and served as a basis for the discussions that were held today.

IOC/Philippe Woods

This fourth edition of the IF Gender Equality Forum was a successful step in the right direction, giving the IOC and IFs a platform to develop and share solutions.

Marisol Casado concluded: “The forum today provided a good opportunity for IFs to share insights and discuss the mechanisms needed to implement positive change in their respective organisations.”

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