Sporting boardrooms still male, says new Women's Sport and Fitness Foundation report

Last Updated: 09/05/14 12:02am

Helen Grant: Backing increased presence of women in sporting boardrooms

Women are still chronically under-represented in sporting boardrooms, according to a new report.

The Women's Sport and Fitness Foundation (WSFF) has found that women make up less than a quarter of board members at almost half of the country's national governing bodies.

The overall percentage of women on sports boards in England has risen from 23 per cent in 2013 to 27 per cent.

But with just a third of chief executive positions held by women and only 10 per cent of females acting as chair, the WSFF believes Britain's sporting boardrooms remain stubbornly male.

The sports charity surveyed 45 national governing bodies for its latest Trophy Women? report and will present findings at an event on Friday hosted by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Sport England last year called for boardrooms to comprise at least a quarter of women by 2017 but Ruth Holdaway, CEO of WSFF, has urged a higher minimum target ratio.

"I find it shocking that in 2014 we still have so few women in leadership positions in sport," Holdaway said.

"Reaching a 30 per cent diversity threshold for NGB Boards by 2017 is entirely possible. There is a wide and varied pool of talented women actively seeking these roles. NGBs have no excuse, and are missing out by being so male dominated at the highest levels."

Minister for Sport and Equalities, Helen Grant, said: "I want to see women's sport stronger across the board with more women and girls participating, greater media coverage and more women at the top of sports governing bodies.

"There have been improvements in the last couple of years but I want the pace to quicken."