Only 41% of women’s college teams are actually coached by women. Women make up only 28% of youth sports coaches. Across professional sports women continue to be underrepresented in front offices.
These staggering statistics suggest that we might need to be more intentional about creating women leaders in sports. Thankfully, that’s just what Hudl plans to do.
Next week, available for FREE everywhere digitally, Hudl is hosting its first-ever BreakThrough Summit. The BreakThrough Summit, which will feature women like ESPN Analyst, LaChina Robinson; Former USWNT Head Coach, Jill Ellis; and First Female NFL Assistant Coach, Dr. Jen Welter, is a daylong summit designed to develop and celebrate women in sports leadership roles.
It’s an effort to correct the stark imbalance that exists in women’s leadership in the sports industry by having women with extensive leadership experience impart their wealth of knowledge on current and future leaders.
“We have a lot of powerful women in sports coming together to elevate each other by sharing best practices and expanding our network. It’s also a great opportunity for us experienced leaders to share with upcoming leaders (men and women) things like leadership strength and technique,” shares Dr. Welter.
In an industry that so regularly focuses on and is led by men, The BreakThrough Summit is an opportunity to let the often unseen, unheard women in leadership have some shine.
But this shine isn’t just about glorifying women leaders just because but about diversifying the faces of leadership in sports for the overall improvement of the industry.
“Because sports is so male-dominated, the leadership that we get (whether it’s guidance on how to lead or actually being led) is from men.
But women approach things differently and have diverse thoughts to offer that can help men and women find success in sports,” shares Dr. Welter.
“I always say that the brilliance of a diamond is revealed when you consider each individual facet. That’s when it’s really brought to life.
It’s the collection of those individual facets or perspectives that allow the diamond to sparkle. It’s the same with leadership, we all sparkle and achieve excellence when we acknowledge the importance and value of every perspective.”
But this deliberate attempt to cultivate new leaders isn’t just about morale or doing the right thing for the sake of diversity. It’s also about business. Developing women leaders and developing skills for women to be future leaders is good for business.
“Women are historically underrepresented in sports and tech but diverse businesses are flat out more successful,” says Hudl CEO David Graff.
“There have been a number of studies that show that. And growing leaders is so critical for businesses at every stage of their life cycle.
We recognized early on that to achieve our goals we needed to invest in a diverse leadership and help them grow right alongside the business.
We’ve had some incredible success with that approach, so it was extremely important that Hudl host The BreakThrough Summit.”
In addition to diversifying leadership and improving the business model, The BreakThrough Summit seeks to inspire. There’s a well-known adage that says, “if you can see it, you can be it.”
Unfortunately, there are still girls and women who don’t know that they can be CEOs, VPs and Head Coaches in the sports industry.
The collection of women at The BreakThrough Summit aim to show them that they can; allowing them to aspire to be leaders in the historically male-led space.
At another level, The BreakThrough Summit also seeks to inspire those who are already in the industry to keep pushing for higher heights; the ultimate height actually.
The BreakThrough Summit honoree Jill Ellis has reached the pinnacle of sports leadership. The English-American soccer coach led Team USA to an 87.5% win rating, back-to-back FIFA Women’s World Cups (making her the second coach ever to do so), and is now the development director of the United States Soccer Federation, overseeing the national youth teams development program.
Seeing and hearing from a leader of this caliber would be inspiring to anyone and that’s exactly what Ellis hopes to do. “When I was coming up through the ranks, I didn’t really have any formalized, on-the-job training.
I had people I could try to model my behavior after, but mostly I had to lead from the gut. I hope that by participating in the BreakThrough Summit, I am giving women what I didn’t have, some formalized direction on how to lead.
I hope I’m showing them that we can be amazing leaders and they we can and should always be evolving as leaders.”
With its line-up and underlying motivation, there’s no doubt that The BreakThrough Summit will have the impact it seeks to have in sports and beyond.
If you are interested in learning more about The BreakThrough Summit or tuning in to be educated and inspired, visit BreakThroughSummit.live.
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