There are a number of brilliant initiatives out there that are focused on driving up participation and engagement rates of girls and women in sport. However, we felt there was a gap in the inspiration and education phases of those wanting to potentially get a job in the sports industry.
So, that's what we're here to try and change!
Ultimately, our goal is to identify the barriers that are stopping more girls and women pursuing careers in sport, and to equip, enable and empower anyone who has the dream of working in the industry to go for it.
Our podcast sees us speak to women who are already working in sport and doing incredible things, all with the aim of creating role models for people to inspire to be, as well as shining a light on the wide range of roles available, routes into the industry and the skills required to make it.
Opportunities and barriers that females face for study and employment in sport - Staffordshire Uni Research
A platform, that will launch with a podcast, that will shine a light on opportunities for women in sport, to help equip, enable and empower women to overcome obstacles in pursuit of their dream career
Although progress is being made, there are still 3x as many men working in full time roles in sport and fitness than women. We feel that women, especially during key decision-making moments in their education, lack awareness, role models and encouragement to pursue a career in the sports industry. Our goal is to help change that. We want women to stop asking, and start winning!
For us, it's a two-fold problem. The first is the assumed (and unfortunately still true in some instances) bias around women not being capable or having as much knowledge about sport as men. Not only does this stop women being accepted for roles they apply for, it also stops them from applying in the first place.
The stats show that women feel they have to work twice as hard in sport to prove they can do the job as well as a man could. The perception of this barrier has a big impact; we don't apply because we already think we'll fail. Women are also less likely to shout about their successes and promote themselves compared to men, meaning if we're applying for a role or even in an interview, we self-sabotage to save ourselves the 'inevitable' rejection.
The second is a lack of role models, inspiration and education. if we can't see it, we can't imagine it and want it for ourselves. This Girl Can recently released stats to show that 36% of women say they were 'put off sport in life after their experience in PE at school', not only damaging their long-term relationship with fitness, but also contributing to the fact that women are 3x less likely to have an interest In sport than men.
At key stages during the education process, we believe there is a lack of focus on ensuring girls are given the facts and figures they need to determine whether a career in sport is something they should pursue.
Organisations like Women in Sport, Women in Football, Her Game Too etc. are all doing amazing things by trying to level the playing field. However, their activity tends to focus on particpation in sport or the fan experience. We felt there was a gap in the overall landscape to talk about careers - and not solely presenting and journalism jobs which are often the roles talked about for women.
Both Vik and Emma have years of experience working in sport in one form or another. They've both experienced barriers, opportunities they've turned down through fear and doubt, dealt with things that would deter women from careers in sport, but the key thing was a realisation that both lacked role models and someone to aspire to be during key stages of the education and career decision-making phases. They hope that by sharing their experiences and guidance, alongside some of the women doing incredible things in the industry, it may encourage the next generation to go for their goals.
We hope to speak to women from across all sports, working in a variety of roles to show the full scope of the opportunities available to women and girls. A combination of names you know, and names you don't, to ensure every listener finds someone they can relate to.
Around 30 minutes each. Bite-sized enough to listen on your commute to work, at the gym or while you're studying.
We're not putting ourselves under any pressure to change the world overnight, but if our actions can empower and inspire even a handful of girls and women to overcome the barriers and pursue their dream career then we've succeeded. This isn't about us, this is about being proactive and facilitating the changes needed to see improvements across the industry for the next generation in particular.
We'll see how the podcast goes! But we hope to be able to work closely with universities, schools, charities and support groups to ensure girls and women are getting the real world advice, guideance and inspiration they need to make the best decisions for their careers. We'd love to provide direct opportunities for women to trial work experience, learn the skills needed for certain roles, and get in front of decision-makers who want to support the rise in female talent.