Gender Equity is Good Governance – Lessons from the Sport Sector

The gender makeup of sport, and sport leadership, is changing. In 2018, the Government of Canada made it clear that gender equity is a priority for all levels of sport, setting a target to achieve gender equality by 2035.

In February, as part of the Red Deer Declaration, the federal, provincial and territorial Ministers responsible for sport committed in principle to developing a “strategy tailored to their own jurisdiction so that boards of directors of funded sport organizations reach [gender] parity by December 2024.” (Conference of Federal-Provincial-Territorial Ministers Responsible for Sport, Physical Activity and Recreation, 2019).

Within the Canadian sport sector, Triathlon New Brunswick, Ontario Soccer, and Curling Canada are three organizations that have implemented board gender equity into their governance documents. As national and provincial/territorial sport organizations move forward in creating gender equity action plans, these organizations provide examples of practices that can be adapted and implemented to suit individual contexts.