Facts and Stats

Research indicates that diverse boards more innovative, more accountable, and manage risk more effectively.

Working towards gender balance in sport leadership has the potential to help mitigate critical risks sport organizations face today, whether in terms of safe sport, financial sustainability, or effective governance.

In order to achieve this gender balance, data is required to track progress and hold the system accountable.

CAAWS releases a yearly “Snapshot” of gender diversity in sport leadership, reflecting gender composition at the board and senior staff level. This Snapshot is based on a survey of Canadian National Sport Organizations (NSOs) and Multisport Service Organizations (MSOs).

Current Snapshot:


The current snapshot reflects a promising trend, with the number of women on boards up 2 per cent from 2018. In January of 2019, sport organizations reported an overwhelming intention to make a formal commitment to gender equity in their governance documents; however, only 47 per cent reported that they had a documented commitment already in place at the board level. Only 17 per cent reported a similar commitment at the senior staff level.

Read our SIRC Blog on how sport organizations can move from intention to action.

Past Snapshots:

Our inaugural snapshot demonstrated that while there is progress being made, women are still underrepresented in sport leadership. In January of 2018, 45 per cent of sport organizations had fewer than 30 per cent women on their boards. This thirty percent threshold is a critical mass required to ensure that diverse voices are well considered.