21st November 2016: A very motivating story that we are very happy to share as part of our #MotivationMonday series.

We are delighted to know that the National Olympic Committees of Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Italy, Lithuania and Slovakia have joined their efforts to contribute to the European overall aim of achieving a full gender balance in the representation in decision-making positions in sport governing bodies by 2020.

#MotivationMonday

The collaborative partnership is focusing on developing a network of National Olympic Committees that is going to serve as a platform for sustainable national sport management training programmes and mentoring systems for future female leaders in sport, on educating and improving their competencies in order to prepare them for more demanding positions in sport, and on promoting gender balance and raising gender awareness and commitment to gender mainstreaming for board members and personnel in leading positions in sport.

Two of this project participants represents National Hockey Federations. Monika Ivanauskaitė – Chief Office of Lithuanian Hockey Federation and Karolina Krizenecka – Coaches Development Coordinator of the Czech Hockey Federation. (pictured)

According to the findings of the needs analysis in participating countries, women remain underrepresented in leadership positions within sport organisations. The most prominent barriers identified by the project partners were the lack of networking opportunities for women in sport, perceptions of women as less qualified than men and gender stereotyping that prevents women from being hired into positions of more responsibility, as well as a lack of opportunities for women to participate in education and training that can develop their management and leadership skills.

Although participation numbers of women in sports continues to grow, there has not been a corresponding addition in the number of women in top-level administrative positions within the sports industry. Due to this trend, the lack of the female voices at the decision-making levels of sport enterprises is becoming increasingly apparent. While women have made notable progress in leadership in business corporations, little has changed in the sport industry with still far fewer women than men in senior decision-making positions in sports management. Women in sport organisations are more likely to be hired into positions with less power, less pay and fewer opportunities for advancement.

The training programme, implemented by a collaborative partnership of National Olympic Committees and industry experts, is an initiative to increase competencies of women in the European world of sports in order to prepare them for more demanding positions in sport. During the 8 month training programme, participants will increase their competencies and their potential to implement changes in their sport organisations, and they will become part of a learning community of (future) female leaders in sport.

This innovative programme is co-funded by the Erasmus+: Sport Programme of the European Union. The training programme contributes to the EU’s goals concerning the equality between women and men as a key principle behind the good governance of sport organisations. Overall, the project SUCCESS contributes to the European aim of achieving a full gender balance in the representation in decision-making positions in sport governing bodies by 2020.

The training programme is designed for volunteers and paid staff in leadership positions and top executive positions in sport organisations. Participants are already established in their roles and have been identified for senior level advancement by their own sport organisations. Exceptionally, women who are already in decision-making positions at the lower levels in sport organisations can also participate in the training programme if they have exceptional leadership potential and are supported by senior leaders in their sport organisation i.e. they are planning on promoting them in the near future.

The EHF would like to wish Monika Ivanauskaitė – Chief Office of Lithuanian Hockey Federation and Karolina Krizenecka – Coaches Development Coordinator of the Czech Hockey Federation well in their training on the fantastic, progressive project. Hockey is gender equal on an off the field of play and initiatives like this mean that our Member Associations can work towards our goals in European and Global Hockey