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Diversity, Growth, Sport Business | Sep 3, 2021

Women’s Equality Day is celebrated on August 26, to mark the anniversary of women’s suffrage in the US. Though we now enjoy equality in men’s and women’s voting rights (in most areas of the world), there is still huge disparity between the opportunities and privileges afforded to men and women in society, culture and sport.

Whilst great strides have been made in the past several years, there is still much to be done to achieve equality between men’s and women’s sports. From prize money, to viewing figures, to the archaic but sadly still much held view that women cannot perform on the same level as men, there are some large hurdles to overcome. But whether it be The Hundred, the Olympic Triathlon Mixed relay, or the W Series, there are many game-changing initiatives and events to feel optimistic about.

To mark Women’s Equality Day this year and drive the conversations surrounding it forward, Leaders brought together three women at the top of their game to discuss how far women’s sport has come, and what still needs to be done to achieve equality between men and women in the world of sport. Zarah Al-Kudcy, F1’s Head of Commercial Partnerships, hosted Beth Barrett-Wild, Head of The Hundred Women’s Competition and Female Engagement at the England and Wales Cricket Board, and Lynsey Douglas, Women’s Sport Global Lead and Head of Brands at Nielsen.

Topics on the conversational agenda included:

  • How the traditional structure of men’s sports leagues, events and competitions makes it difficult for women’s sports to be presented with parity
  • The market is absolutely there for women’s sports; its just about how you present and sell it
  • Why there is no shame in benefiting off the scale and visibility of the men’s competition
  • How data is a powerful tool for understanding what fanbases want
  • What means can be used to encourage understanding, advocacy and excitement from men and boys around women’s sport

‘It’s important to see women’s sport as sport to engage sports fans.’ –  Lyndsay Douglas

This session was broadcast live on 26 August 2021, as a part of the Leaders Meet: Diversity Series, in partnership with Facebook.

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