The Alberta Women in Sport Leadership Project: A Social Learning Intervention for Gender Equity and Leadership Development

in Women in Sport and Physical Activity Journal
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This best practice paper describes a Canadian intervention to address the lack of women in sport coaching and leadership roles. While the number of female athletes has increased over the last decades, the opposite is true of female head coaches, both nationally and internationally. The issues influencing this trend are mostly institutional and societal. There is a lack of support systems in place for females attempting to become involved (recruitment) and maintain their involvement (retention) in coaching. The Alberta Women in Sport Leadership Impact Program (AWiSL) takes a community of practice approach to increase gender equity and leadership diversity in Alberta sport organizations. The AWiSL began in October 2017 and continues until early 2020. There are currently 6 mentors and 12 sport leaders from Alberta sport organizations, who engage in monthly meetings to learn and participate in the co-creation of knowledge to meet the project outcomes, which include the planning and implementation of initiatives for their individual sport organizations, all in the service of supporting gender equity. Descriptions of specific activities thus far are presented as well as information about the how to of conducting such an intervention. Various challenges and lessons are discussed. The description of the AWiSL and ongoing program evaluation aims to support other organizations seeking an example of an initiative to create equitable coaching and leadership opportunities, and to create change.

Culver and Kraft are with the School of Human Kinetics, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Din is with the Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Cayer is with the Coaching Association of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Culver (dculver@uottawa.ca) is corresponding author.
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