SIGA’s female leaders forum pledges action towards diversifying sports governance

March 12 –  SIGA’s Special Session titled ‘Female Leadership in Sport: Making it Happen’, drew a mix of leading female sports execs from sports federations, leagues and business to debate issues around how female leaders can pierce the gender glass ceiling.

This event was an integral part of SIGA´s strategy to enhance sports governance and drive greater diversity within the industry. SIGA has committed to hold the forum on a biannual basis.

Addressing the issues of support for women and their careers  in the sports business, Anna Blanchard, Senior Manager, Partnership Marketing, Major League Soccer, said: “If you are a woman in a position of power, it is your responsibility to champion the women around you. If you are not doing that currently, think about the ways you can change that. We’ve all worked with women who have championed and lifted us up, and some who have held us back or pushed us aside, which do you want to be?”

The value of diversity was a common theme with the speakers. Neera Shetty, Senior Vice President, Deputy General Counsel, PGA Tour, said: “We need to do a better job of explaining why diversity of thought & inclusion matters. Diversity of thought is one of the things most forgotten. It is mutually helpful to minority groups and mainstream groups.”

Her thoughts were echoed by Melanie Le Grande, Vice President, Social Responsibility, Major League Baseball, who said: “Representation matters. Diversity in business, at all levels and in all areas has proven to be a contributing factor to a company’s success. I was pleased to join SIGA on this exciting panel and look forward to the global female mentorship program, which is sure to provide a meaningful experience for all involved.”

SIGA now has 22 female sports leaders in its mentorship programme.

This event was hosted by George Washington University in partnership with Mastercard.

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