IWG Co-host UK Sport’s Gender Equality Research Launch

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Tuesday 1st August saw IWG’s Co-Chair Annamarie Phelps and Secretary General Lisa O’Keefe join forces with UK Sport – one of our key partners – to help launch their latest research on Gender Equality in International Sports Leadership.

As part of UK Sport’s commitment to achieve equal representation amongst British international postholders, they commissioned research into the pathways that women and men take into international leadership. Tuesday’s event was an opportunity to share the latest insights from the research with an audience of over 50 members of their International Relations network, ahead of the report’s full publication in a few weeks’ time.

Following a welcome and introduction from Jen Browning, International Relations Advisor at UK Sport, Dr Jordan Matthews from the University of Chichester presented the latest findings from the research which he, Lucy Piggot and former IWG co-chair Johanna Adriaanse conducted, including recommendations for how to improve representation of women in international sport governance.

After the presentation, Annamarie Phelps moderated a thought-provoking panel discussion with Dr Matthews, Sandra Deaton (chair of Table Tennis England), former middle-distance runner and Olympian Hannah England and Heather Ratnage-Black (board member of British Bobsleigh and Skeleton Association) to further explore the insights presented.

Lisa O’Keefe closed the event, commending the work of UK Sport in taking these proactive steps to achieve an equal gender split in leadership roles by commissioning this research. O’Keefe then refreshed the audience on the role of the IWG and encouraged those in the room to connect into the IWG network.


The event concluded with a FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 Watch Party, which saw England beat China 6 – 1 to secure them their place in the last 16.

Speaking of the event, O’Keefe said: “A huge thank you to UK Sport for asking us to co-host this event and placing focus on such an important area of work.

“The research which they have commissioned provides a clearer understanding of the career pathways in international sport governance and the experiences of those within the system. If used to shape future approaches to tackling the lack of women in leadership roles, I am sure we will see a significant impact.

“We are looking forward to the full report later this month, and will play our part in ensuring its shared throughout the IWG network.”

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