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“LEADS LIKE A WOMAN” - SPORT LEADERSHIP EDUCATION FOR WOMEN


 

Country: Finland

Organisation responsible: Finnish Olympic Committee

Main topic addressed: Leadership

Type of resource/practice: Educational tool / awareness raising activity


Discipline: Multi-sport

Target group(s): Finnish sport federations and female decision makers at local, regional and national levels

Timing: 1.5.2017-30.11.2018 (one and a half year)

Language: Finnish

Brief description of the practice: Leads like a woman” 2017-2018 was part of the Finnish NOC´s awareness raising activities and work to support its member organisations to make sport more equal. 20 volunteer leaders from local, regional and national level were chosen for this one-year programme. This programme consisted of five two-day sessions, tasks between sessions and mentoring. The education offered practical tools and techniques for personal goal setting, development and branding. The main themes were the sport movement and the structure of sport in Finland, self-management, leading others, strategic leading and goal setting, effective communication, conflict management and networking skills. The concept was shared as a good practice for sport federations and will be developed further as the Finnish NOC continues organising leadership education programmes for women in 2019-2021. The first programme received positive feedback and several participants have reached new positions in their sports. The results support the view that programs for women can have positive effect on gender equality in sport.

Content and objectives: 

  • Strengthen participants leadership skills and knowledge of decision making in sport,
  • Increase the number of female decision makers at the local, regional and national level.

Steps/activities of the practice: 

  • education with five twoday sessions;
  • partly structured mentoring programme;
  • communication: promoting the female leaders participating to the education;
  • communication: gender equality in leadership positions and why and how it should be improved, situation in Finland

Resources required: 

  • project manager;
  • expert on each session;
  • role model on each session;
  • support from NOC management;
  • support in communication from other sport organisations;
  • support from high level sport leaders: mentors and role models;
  • Estimated budgetary requirement (without salaries) 50000 € funding hat was provided by International Olympic Committee, Gender Equality and Diversity program and Ministry of Education and Culture (responsible for sport in Finland).

Achievements and outcomes: Participants have already been standing for an election and reached new positions in sport organisations during the education process. The feedback from the participants has been positive: they have more self-confidence, more ambition, their leadership skills have developed, and they have clarified their personal goals in the field of sport. The support from the mentors was highly appreciated. Networking with other participants from different sports, mentors, role models and experts was mentioned as one of the top results in the one-year process.

Challenges and limitations: 

  • The first training session was full of new things and all the process started at the same time. Considerations should be made on how to schedule getting to know each other, first training session, development planning and mentoring process more carefully.
  • Finding mentors and pairing participants and mentors might take some time. With 20 pairs there might occur a need to change mentors or offer more support for some of the pairs to get the cooperation started.
  • Engaging participants was challenging as this project required the full presence of participants during the training activities. Especially with voluntary leaders this proved to be challenging. Some flexibility with attending and tasks was added during the process.

Follow-up ideas and future plans: For the next round, the target group is women who are working in operational management in national sport federations or are pursuing positions in these organisations. Some changes in the schedule and themes will be needed with the new target group.

Further information: https://www.olympiakomitea.fi/olympiakomitea/vastuullisuus/tasa-arvo/johtaa-kuin-nainen/

Contact person: Sari Kuosmanen, sari.kuosmanen@olympiakomitea.fi


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