So it seems that UK Sport and Sport England are threatening to cut funding to those governing bodies that still seem unable to recognise that women are allowed on governing boards (to be fair in the FA they probably haven’t notice women have the vote yet.) The aim is that 1 in every 4 people on a governing board must be a woman by 2017 otherwise there’s going to be some “hard questions” asked if targets are not met. Okay so this is not as threatening as actual action,(unless they come at the organisations wielding a PhD further maths exam paper for them to sit as that would contain many hard questions) however with increased pressure from groups such as WSFF it could be possible that the governing bodies actually grow a pair and begin reprimanding those organisations that do not abide by the designated quote.
Now for all you fact fans, here’s some statements taken from a WSFF report from earlier this year, via a Guardian news article from earlier this week, that highlight the current situation with women in roles of power in sporting organisations:
British Cycling – no female board members -receives £24.7m
Football Association – 6% female board members-receives £25.7m
Rugby Football Union – 6% female board members- receives£28.7m
The England and Wales Cricket Board – 14% female board members – receives £35.3m
UK Athletics – 11% female board members – receives £20.6m
LTA – 17% female board members – receives £24.5m.
Obviously nobody is suggesting that quality of staff is thrown out the window to make sure quotas are reached, however I do not think this will be the case in any way. The sporting world has never been made an appealing one for women to work in. It’s been seen as a boys club and its taken quite a strong women to stand amongst that sort of working environment – for jeezimouses’s sake, its taken the FA 150 years to elect a woman onto their board. Yet if these rulings do come in and cuts for those governing bodies that fail to reach the prescribed quota are put in place, this could open up a whole new area of employment for very high flying women. And if the FA can do it, with their river of testosterone practically flowing out of the front door and potentially not even a woman’s toilet in the entire building, anybody can!