How can we increase the number of female coaches?.

Written by Natalie Doyle

March 14, 2024

A female football coach speak to her girls team

The lack of female coaches is an issue that has been mentioned in a number of my recent podcast recordings. Emma Hayes has been very vocal about how the lack of female coaches is a ‘massive issue’. So what can be done about it? I’m going to use this week’s blog post to look at some possible solutions.

Providing training and development opportunities:

Investing in training and development programs specifically tailored to female coaches can help build confidence in their coaching abilities. By offering mentorship, networking opportunities, and access to resources and funding, sports organisations can empower women to pursue coaching careers and thrive in the profession. The Powerhouse Project is a great example of how this can be done well.

Promoting diversity and inclusion:

Sports organisations and governing bodies must prioritise diversity and inclusion initiatives to create more equitable opportunities for female coaches. This includes implementing policies to address gender bias and discrimination, increasing representation on coaching panels and decision-making bodies, and actively recruiting and supporting female coaches at all levels.

Raising awareness and visibility:

Increasing the visibility of female coaches in the media and celebrating their achievements can help challenge stereotypes and inspire the next generation of aspiring coaches. Emma Hayes is a fantastic role model, well respected throughout the industry, and is a champion of the importance of female coaches. By highlighting diverse role models and sharing their success stories, we can shift perceptions of coaching as a male-dominated field and encourage more women to pursue coaching careers.

Look at support for working mothers:

Working as a full-time coach or manager in sport requires a lot of travel and unsociable hours. How can we make this more accessible for mothers? Childcare is a challenge for many working mothers, and clubs will need to look at how they can support their staff in terms of childcare, and the costs associated with this.

Create a safe environment:

In the podcast episode around ‘Young People in Sport‘, Lydia talked about how she creates opportunities for young women to try coaching in a safe environment without fear of judgement or failure. In order to give young women the confidence to pursue a career in coaching, we need to provide these safe environments to experiment, build confidence and develop their coaching skills.

The underrepresentation of female coaches is an issue that requires a concerted effort from clubs, sports organisations, governing bodies, and stakeholders across the board. These are just a few ideas of how we can create a more equitable and inclusive coaching landscape where talent and merit are valued above gender, but there are plenty more things that can be done. We can empower women to realise their full potential as coaches and leaders in sports, driving positive change and inspiring future generations to follow in their footsteps.

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