The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, joined CAAWS this week in Toronto for a discussion about how to increase gender equity and inclusion in sport leadership.
CAAWS hosted a roundtable discussion at Ryerson University featuring 13 women who are passionate, dedicated champions of gender equality in sport and experienced change-makers. These sport leaders from all levels of the system shared their experiences and recommendations for advancing change with Minister Duncan.
“Women sport leaders—whether participating, coaching, or officiating—have made invaluable contributions to the Canadian sport system for decades,” said Minister Duncan. “We need more women throughout and in leadership roles to ensure Canada’s sport system is the best it can be, and one in which all Canadians feel they belong.”
As the leading authority on women and sport in Canada, CAAWS is dedicated to ensuring the voices and perspectives of women inform Canada’s progress towards gender equity in sport.
Allison Sandmeyer-Graves, CEO of CAAWS, is also a member of the Minister’s Working Group on Gender Equity in Sport. “This conversation will inform the discussions to come, and the Minister and I will carry these perspectives forward,” said Sandmeyer-Graves. “It is essential that we understand the recommendations of women sport leaders at all levels of the system, from the grassroots to the board room.”
CAAWS would like to thank Khanh Be (Ontario Soccer), Dr. Cheri Bradish (Ryerson University), Tanya Callaghan (girls addicted to basketball), Nathalie Cook (Cimoroni & Company, CAAWS Board Chair), Denise Dignard (Canada Basketball), Deidra Dionne (Rogers, CAAWS Board), Kristine Drakich (University of Toronto), Patty Forbes (Durham Region Soccer Association), Pamela Julian (Ringette Ontario), Susan Kitchen (Coaches Association of Ontario), Tanya Mruck (MLSE LaunchPad, CAAWS Board Vice-Chair), Jennifer Myers (York University), and Lindsay Walsh (Ontario Basketball) for generously offering their time to contribute to the discussion.
CAAWS would also like to thank its partners at Ryerson, including Dr. Daphne Taras, Dean of the Ted Rogers School of Management, and Dr. Steven Liss, Vice President of Research and Innovation.
CAAWS is concerned not only with diversity, which requires improved numbers of women in leadership, but also with inclusion, which requires that women are empowered in leadership roles and are equitably treated. To that end, the organization offers a variety of educational resources and tools for organizations and leaders who want to expand the engagement of women as leaders in their sport.
Most recently, CAAWS has expanded its Women on Boards programming to include both an English and French webinar series and a new resource for sport organizations that offers solutions and guidance for leaders looking to create change.
We are grateful to Sport Canada for their support of these and other initiatives.