Creating a New Horizon for Women in Coaching

By Lawrie Woodman

“The number of women athletes at the Olympic Games is approaching 50 per cent. Over the last five Olympic Games (Summer and Winter) the number of female accredited coaches has hovered around 9-11%.”


  • There has been massive growth in girls’ and women’s participation in sport – this has not been matched by proportionate growth in women coaches.
  • Title IX paradox. While the introduction of Title IX in the USA resulted in much greater funding for women’s sport at college level, more experienced male coaches have benefitted the most from the newly created full-time coaching positions in women’s teams. Before Title IX, over 90% of coaches in women’s intercollegiate sports were women – now only around 42% are women. Similar patterns are emerging in Australia.
  • Barriers. The barriers and challenges for women in coaching are well known – many reflect the general barriers faced by women in any area of endeavour, and some are barriers facing anyone engaging in coaching. Some issues are relevant to female coaches only and some to individual coaches and their specific circumstances.
  • Creating opportunities. Sporting organisations and individual coaches must take purposeful action to improve the balance and diversity of coaching and enhance sport around the world. There are some clear actions that can be taken to improve the environment and create opportunities for growth in women in coaching at all levels.

Read the full article here: Australian Sport Reflections