This is a press release from World Athletics on their steps to ensure gender equity beginning this year.
• World Athletics Council set to have 40% female representation including at least one female Vice President in 2023
• Target of 40% female participants taking our online courses as part of a learning pipeline for future sports administrators
• World Athletics to expand its research into representation of female athletes across various media channels
• 214 Member Federations across the globe to implement individual safeguarding policies by end of 2023
• World Athletics committed to repeating Ukraine Solidarity Fund to enable Ukrainian athletes to participate in World Athletics Series events in 2023
World Athletics will take a significant number of new steps towards gender equity in our sport in 2023, including 40% female representation on the World Athletics Council.
These steps are outlined in a series of new and impactful pledges – published in celebration of International Women’s Day – which include implementing individual safeguarding policies in each of our 214 Member Federations, and the extension of our Ukraine Solidarity Fund – enabling dozens of female Ukrainian athletes to take part in World Athletics Series events.
Each of our new pledges, which are outlined in detail below, is designed to improve gender equity and close the gender gap in athletics as we enter the third year of our #WeGrowAthletics campaign.
Initially launched on International Women's Day 2021 with the ambition of eliminating gender bias in athletics, this campaign has already made notable strides in fulfilling or initiating all of the pledges we have made in the last 24 months (report card here).
World Athletics President Sebastian Coe said: “I am immensely proud that World Athletics is once again leading the way for gender equity in sport. It was an important part of the reforms we introduced in 2016. In today’s world, it is not enough to provide equal opportunity, we must provide equity. In order to achieve true equity in our sport, it is important that we offer our female athletes, administrators, and officials the tools and environment they need to be empowered to pursue careers at all levels of athletics – be it by setting quotas for female representation on our Council, or providing more flexible learning and development opportunities that better suit women’s commitments – we are absolutely dedicated to making our sport equitable and representative for all.
“I am also proud that, according to research conducted for us by Nielsen, 74% of our fans believe that World Athletics is truly committed to championing equality. We are happy to lead the way on gender equity initiatives and set the example for other International Federations. However, it is important that all of our stakeholders take an active role in helping us achieve our collective goals in this area. From our Member Federations to Local Organising Committees, to the media and photographers who cover our events, each of us plays a crucial part in achieving equity for women in athletics, sport, and every aspect of life. I invite everyone in our sport to do their part in standing up for gender equity whenever and wherever they see a need for improvement.”
For media use: Seb Coe video interview for International Women’s Day
This year, World Athletics is committing to the below list of pledges, each of which is the result of ongoing internal reviews across World Athletics’ departments, and are brought together under the following three core pillars:
#WeGrowAthletics by providing more opportunities in our sport to empower girls and women across the world. To achieve this, World Athletics pledges to:
#WeGrowAthletics by doing more to tackle inequality and #EmbraceEquity. As part of this, World Athletics pledges to:
#WeGrowAthletics by celebrating pioneering women in our sport for girls and women of all generations. To do so, World Athletics pledges to:
In addition to the above pledges, World Athletics is making an additional pledge to support our female Ukrainian athletes a year after the outbreak of war in their country.
Last year, through the establishment of our Ukraine Solidarity Fund, we supported over 100 Ukrainian athletes – along with their immediate family members and entourage including coaches and technical officials – to train, qualify, and participate in World Athletics Series events. Female athletes made up 70% of athlete beneficiaries.
#WeGrowAthletics by standing in solidarity with our Ukrainian athletes:
Our announcement and commitment to these new pledges coincides with World Athletics’ annual Women’s Week (6-12 March) – a week dedicated to celebrating women in athletics. In order to highlight the occasion, all World Athletics platforms will, for the third year in a row, feature a version of the World Athletics logo inspired by the colours of the suffragette movement and all related feature content will be about, and produced by, women.
Chair of the World Athletics Gender Leadership Taskforce Stephanie Hightower said: “I am so proud of the work that the Gender Leadership Taskforce has done since its establishment in 2017. From humble beginnings, we have been gaining momentum and making a significant impact on our sport ever since. I truly believe that we are setting the standard for other sports organisations when it comes to gender equity and ensuring sustainable leadership pathways for women. Each of our members has shown their unwavering commitment to this cause throughout, as has the World Athletics leadership under the presidency of Sebastian Coe.
“While much has been accomplished, there is still much to be done, and we look forward to achieving our plans for 2023 including hosting a number of gender leadership seminars and courses across the world, as well as the development of a mentoring programme for young women hoping to reach the highest echelons of our sport.”