Category Archives: Research

Opportunities in the area of women in leadership roles in sport

There is no media outlet only targeting the area of women in leadership roles in sport. Most of the media outlets are targeting the whole area of women in sport or they are targeting the area of leadership. I’m a bit worried that my area of interest is a bit narrow. But looking at it from a different angle, I could be the hub for this area of interest. I know there are people out there interested in my area of interest so my job is to gather all this people in one place.

Women's Leadership Workshop Creator: Seeds_of_Peace

I know that the market in my area of interest isn’t massive but I think it is big enough for me to start-up a hub for it. Since there are no media outlets or other websites only covering my area it is hard to find statistics covering my area of interest. This means that I don’t know a lot about the number of people actually interested in my area of interest but the media outlets and websites covering women in sport or leadership have given me an idea.

I’m pretty confident that my area of interest will welcome my intervention because the people who are interested in my area don’t have a place to go. They have to troll around the web to find stories and information. This is very time-consuming, so having a hub where the important information and stories are published would be really helpfully for this people. So I need to gather the important information and stories as well as writing my own stories. This is going to be a lot of work but I think many people will find it helpful and it will build an audience.

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Filed under Research, Sport: Women in leadership roles

Timeline: Natalie Randolph named head football coach of Calvin Coolidge Senior High School (2010)

The news of Natalie Randolph being named head coach of Calvin Coolidge was broken by The Washington Post on 11 March 2010. Randolph was not formally named head coach until the day after, on the 12th. But The Washington Post had their inside sources.

The second article on this topic was published on the CNN website. The funny thing is that the CNN article was published on the same day as the article in The Washington Post but in the CNN article it says:

A high school in Washington, D.C., on Friday named a former women’s professional football player as its head varsity football coach… .

So the date on this article might be wrong because Thursday 11 March is the day before Randolph was formally named head coach. However, the story got recommended by nearly 6,000 on Facebook.

On Friday 12 March three stories got publish. NPR, weplay and DCist all published stories about Randolph being named head coach. NPR is the media outlet with the most readers of the three, which is reflected in the number of sharing and comments.

Other media outlets discussed and published stories about Randolph in the days after the announcement on 12 March.

13 March: SodaHead (opinion)

15 March: BlackAmericaWeb.com

16 March: ABC (video) & CBS (video)

17 March: National Women’s Law Center & Chick Talk Dallas

The reason why this topic was so popular at the time was because Randolph is a woman and not many women if any had done this in the USA before. So it was a breakthrough for women in a very male dominated sport, as football is in America. Some asked if Randolph would be able to teach boys football. However, most comments and opinions were of the positive kind.

PS. I tried to make a timeline for a story with only one URL but it was impossible to trace it for more than two steps back. I made several attempts without any luck.

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Filed under Research, Sport: Women in leadership roles

The audience of women in leadership roles in sport

My audience is women who are interested in a leadership role in the sporting industry. All of these women have a passion for sport. They either play, watch, read or write about sport. Or they may do all of the above.

Basketballer Danielle Adams Creator: cvorhisphoto

Sport Hydrant is an Australian online community for everyone that are interested in sport. But they have their own section called Sport for Women. This section has its own twitter account @SportForWomen with nearly 2,000 followers. This is an indicator that women’s sport has an audience.

Netball is the biggest women’s sport in Australia with nearly 3,400 Twitter followers. But their Twitter account @NetballAust is not very interactive. It’s pretty much only publishing news. Same with the ESPN Twitter account for women’s basketball in the United States, @ESPN_WomenHoop.

So the key is to get all this sports loving women to follow and interact with the material you publish. Most of the participants in my area of interest respond to questions. So a good strategy for increasing interaction in my area of interest is to post questions on Twitter or Facebook to start discussions. Posting opinion pieces can also be good to generate discussion.

In my area of interest most of the material is published either in the morning or afternoon, which makes sense because this is when most people have time to consume news. So I need to publish material in the morning or afternoon to get the most hits.

The Sporting Sheilas Facebook page have more than 1,300 followers. This is a page that are promoting Australia’s national women’s sporting teams. You have to use the popularity of the national teams to your advantage when publishing material in the area of women’s sport. You need to think outside the box.

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Most common form of content in the area of women in leadership roles in sport

Creator: Sean MacEntee

The most common type of content if you look at it form a production based angle is text. There are not a lot of images, audio or video content around. So this is probably something I should look at incorporating into my website.

The reason why most of the content is text is because this is an area where most of the published material are reports or journal articles. There are a few news features and opinion pieces out there too but that’s not the common type of content.

Sports Hydrant is a community online where participants can register and post videos, photos, and write blog posts or participate in forums. This is an interactive website where the users are making most of the content provided. They have a section called Sport for Women where participants talk about all the issues surrounding women’s sport among them leadership.

Most of the content in the area of women in leadership roles in sport when looking at it from a time based angle is features. Features are something in between news and evergreen content.

A journal article or report will usually look at what has/is happening in the area its concentrating on and also look at new ways of exploring this area. In an area like women in leadership there is a lot we don’t know about WHY women are under-represented. That’s why we need research to be done in this area, and that’s the reason why most of the content are features.

There are some news stories out there too. But there is not often it is a major breakthrough in this area. Hence, not much new stuff to write about.

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Who to follow in the area of women in leadership roles in sport?

In the area of women in leadership roles in sport it is important to follow The International Working Group on Women and Sport (IWG). This group can be followed by a RSS feed, on Facebook or Twitter. After investigating their RSS feed, Facebook page and Twitter account I decided that the best option was to sign up to their RSS feed. That’s where the information most relevant to my area of interest is posted.

Another important website to follow is Sport Information Resource Centre (SIRC). They have a massive online library of research done in the area of sport which is out there on the web for anyone to access. This library is ongoing and gets updated as soon as SIRC find a relevant article. To be able to get my hands on the latest research done in the area of women in leadership roles in sport I need to search their library regularly. Unfortunately, they don’t have an RSS feed, and neither of their Facebook page, Twitter account and blog are much help.

To know what’s going on in my area of interest (women in leadership roles in sport) I need to follow government sporting websites like the Australian Sports Commission and UK Sport. Both of these websites have RSS feeds but most of what you receive via this service are regular sports news. You need to visit the websites and search for information in your area of interest to actually get this information.

There are a few scholars writing about my area of interest but they don’t seem to be using social media, so it’s hard to follow them online. You can only track the articles they are publishing which is disappointing.

Another clever thing to do is to subscribe to the International Journal of Sport Management if you can afford it (not online).

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Scholars Sartore and Cunningham on women in leadership roles in sport

Melanie L. Sartore and George B. Cunningham have looked into why women are underrepresented in leadership positions of sport organisations. They published a journal article called Explaining the Under-Representation of Women in Leadership Positions of Sport Organizations: A Symbolic Interactionist Perspective in 2007 via The World’s Leading Sport Resource Centre website .

They are using a symbolic interactionist approach to try to understand why women are underrepresented in leadership positions of sport organisations. A symbolic interactionist approach means that:

… the multiple identities of an individual (i.e., the self) are manifested through behavior, cognitive, and emotional responses to patterned societal symbols and language (Blumer, 1969; Burke, 1980; 1991; Mead, 1934; Stryker, 1980). In this way, the self forms through societal interaction, the responses of others in various situations, and ultimately reflects the perceived meanings of society (Mead, 1934).

They are arguing that social ideologies in general and sport ideologies in particular are reproduced through organizational practices, language, and symbols and translates through interaction.

So when the self embraces ideological attitudes, meanings, and beliefs, behaviours may not only embody traditional gender norms and roles, but also serve to limit one’s inclusion and acceptance within commonly settings associated with gender stereotypes.

This means that the self might limit your behaviour without you even realising it. This self-limiting behaviour might limit the capacity of women within the sport context. Women don’t view themselves as leaders and that can prevent them from acting as leaders.

Sartore and Cunningham’s article is really interesting because not much research is done in this area. Most research is quantitative and looking at the representation of female and male in sport. This is good but we need to know WHY women are underrepresented in leadership positions in sport. So I look forward to see more research in this area.

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Publishers of material about women in leadership roles in sport

There are quite a few websites publishing material of women in leadership roles in sport. However, none of the websites are focusing on women in leadership in sport alone.

One of the websites out there called AdvancingWomen.com is focusing on women in leadership roles. This website is trying to level the playing field and help women into leadership positions. Attached to this website is an online journal, Advancing Women in Leadership Journal. Published on the online journal are journal articles about women in leadership and among these published articles are articles on women in leadership roles in sport.

Women going head to head for the top position. Creator: dno1967b

The International Working Group on Women and Sport (IWG) is also publishing material of women in leadership roles in sport.

The vision of the IWG is to realize a sustainable sporting culture that enables and values the full involvement of women in every aspect of sport. The mission is to be a catalyst for the advancement and empowerment of women and sport globally.

So this website is not only focused on women in leadership but women in all aspects of sport.

Australia and Canada have two pretty similar associations who are publishing material about women in leadership roles in sport. These two associations are Australian Womensport & Recreation Association and The Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity (CAAWS).

There are also government websites which are publishing articles on women in leadership roles in sport. The Australian Sports Commission and the UK Sport websites are good examples.

Then there are media outlets who are publishing an occasional article on women in leadership roles in sport. There are also quite a few journal articles spread around the web dealing with this topic.

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Filed under Research, Sport: Women in leadership roles