A year to the day since the first Gender Leadership Moderators Seminar was held, many of the sport’s most prominent figures and prospective leaders came together online for the World Athletics Global Conference: Inspiring Women Leaders in Athletics.
The Gender Leadership Programme undertaken by World Athletics has helped women from around the world prepare for leadership roles within the national, area, and global federations, with the ambition of creating a level playing field at the decision-making levels of the sport.
Donna Raynor, President of the Bermuda National Athletics Association, said that becoming chairperson of the NACAC Gender Leadership Working Group brought out a passion that she didn’t realize she had.
“Women must have a voice, they must be heard, they must stand strong and it is our obligation to make sure we provide them with the opportunity and the environment to prepare for leadership positions,” she said. “We must show leadership and lead the way.”
World Athletics President Sebastian Coe, CEO Jon Ridgeon, and Council Member Beatrice Ayikoru also joined the conference. They were unanimous in their support and advocacy of the work being done by the Gender Leadership Taskforce.
“It’s important our sport reflects the world in which we live,” said Coe. “We have parity on the field of play and we also need this off the track. Balanced boards simply make better decisions, and initiatives such as this conference are critically important in helping us to achieve our equity goal.”
Following the event, Raynor said, “I would like to thank everyone who congratulated me on my keynote speaking opportunity for the World Athletics Global Conference - Inspiring women in athletics.
What an awesome experience with 169 persons on the zoom. I hope my presentation inspired other women to shoot for their goals and never let anyone tell you that you can’t do it.
As I said in my speech I have had a lot of hurdles and roadblocks put in front of me but I leaped over them and left them in my wake.
This is a great time to be a woman.
The Conference was awesome and so much positive discussion amongst the women. I am looking forward to more opportunities and mentoring our up and coming aspiring young women.
I am so grateful to have our World Athletics leader President Lord Sebastian Coe who is a strong advocate for the empowerment of women.”