Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
What is an issue or topic you are passionate about or would like to see changed?
An issue I am passionate about seeing change is the lack of females present in sport
leadership roles (Coaching, Athletes, Administrators, etc.). For working in a sport that is dominated by female athletes, we still very much lack in seeing females in our leadership roles, particularly in coaching. I find males don’t often hesitate to apply for these roles, but many qualified females often need persuasion and convincing to feel ‘worthy’, when in fact they are just as worthy.
My passion for seeking change here is having been an athlete myself, and always having male coaches. Although I have had many great male leaders over the years, it is always inspiring and appreciated to have females in these roles as a female participant. Just because change can be different or uncomfortable, doesn’t mean it isn’t worth it.
In an effort to make change, through my role with Softball NB, I’ve been successful in obtaining a grant through Canadian Women’ & Sport to host a Women of Softball Summit (WOSS) in the province of New Brunswick. As well, in consultation with my Board of Directors, I’ve recommended and implemented requirements that on each female Softball NB Provincial team, there must be a minimum of 1 female coach on the staff. In turn, we expect to see more coaches obtaining coach certification and applying for these roles moving forward.
What specific strategies would you like to see parents, coaches, or sport administrators do to improve diversity in sport or progress your cause?
Overall, I would like to see these groups recognize that not everyone “fits into one box”. It is important to recognize our differences, celebrate our diversity, and be accommodating of different barriers individuals may face.
Simple updates to registration forms, policies, etc. can allow for more inclusivity (expanding gender options, indigenous recognition, etc.).
Education is also a key factor in improving sport experience for all. Courses, resources, articles, targeting various demographics (parents, coaches, etc.) should be encouraged and shared.
What is your favourite leadership quote?
“Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence.” – Sheryl Sandberg
If you had 25 words worth of advice to share, what would you say?
Change is worth it. Just because it may be uncomfortable does not mean it is not worth fighting for.