Brussels, Belgium, Monday 15th November:
“Inspire, Provoke, Learn”
That was the brief for European Hockey Federation’s #EquallyAmazing Executive Leadership Forum in Brussels over the weekend. Lively exchanges were had around gender equality strategies for hockey (and beyond), inclusion and diversity at large, and transformational leadership thanks to a great panel of speakers.
With a gender balance across the 42 delegates from 23-member National Associations, they were joined by the IOC who opened the forum with inspiring words from Sandra Lengwieler who shared a piece of the International Olympic Committee’s journey towards Gender Equality & Inclusion.
Sandra shared the mission of the IOC “We are passionate about igniting organisational transformation.”
Nadia Bonjour, Founder of NB Communications provoked some critical thinking on the persisting gender inequalities in sport when it comes to representation and recognition. To inspire a change in the conversation by capitalising on the power of sport to generate positive and diverse role models. And to share some learnings on how to achieve greater inclusion – one word, one image, one voice at a time.
Nadia’s message was clear “Sport can change the conversation, so can you!”
It was great to receive the wide-ranging background of organisational change through the Chair of England Hockey Royston Hoggarth who astonished many with his adaptability through business and sport and his progressive learning to be equally amazing.
As Royston stated “Sport has the opportunity to unite all societies.”
We were delighted to have 5 incredible speakers on the panel sharing their thoughts and inspiring stories. Moderated by Inez Cooper, Vice-President EHF, joint by Gabriele Lemmie from Executive Board EHF, Adam Evans Copenhagen University, Iryna Kharcenko Ukrainian Hockey, and the Senior Communications Manager of FIH Nicolas Maingot.
Associate Professor of Sociology Adam Evans from Copenhagen University then wrapped up day 2 of the Equally Amazing Executive Leadership Forum. By providing and thinking about the brakes and levers of the capacity to be a leader, with multiple tasks set to delegates to start looking at how and what, where and when they could make positive changes in hockey.
Adam emphasised that “We love sport, its benefits are widely recognised.”
The delegates were inspired by the journey of Sofie Gierts on the final day of the Executive Leadership forum to talk about the Mentality of Leadership, Sofie provided a powerful representation of why in a team environment, knowing and caring for individuals is of utmost importance to generate results and teamwork.
As Sophie said “The secret ingredient is always love”
The EHF ensured throughout the forum that not only were the delegates inspired, provoked and learned, but they all made individual pledges about the role they and their national associations can work towards in ensuring being more equally amazing. The EHF will follow up on each of the pledge submissions to support the targets being hit.
Marijke Fleuren, stated, “As a president, I am very proud of what we achieved during the weekend. To inspire our NAs to work together on diversity in general with an open mind to the world and to pay attention to the inclusion process in itself. During my closing words to them, I saw only persons with glittering eyes in front of me, ready to start to work!”
The EHF Equally Amazing Gender Balance charter for Europe was signed off by all EHF member National Associations in August 2019. For more information, please contact EHF Head of National Associations Tom Pedersen-Smith via firstname.lastname@example.org