Statement in response to allegations of RFU sexism - Women In Sport

Statement in response to allegations of RFU sexism

May 2018

Women in sport recently completed a series of in-depth interviews and a survey of over 1,000 people working in the sport sector.  Today’s revelations about the RFU reinforce some of our findings, which we will be launching in full in June.

We already know, from audits of women in leadership roles in sport that we have undertaken for the last 7 years, that women are massively under-represented at both the paid and voluntary leadership levels of sport.  In 2016, for example, half of the National Governing Bodies of sport in England and Wales had less than 30% women on the board.

Our research helps us understand what is holding women back – and we found, in line with the RFU investigation, that it is aspects of tradition and culture that impede women’s progression.

40% of the women in our survey said they felt less valued than men in the sport workplace.  We found that women are far more likely than men to feel their performance is over-scrutinised and their influence and opinions are given less weight or ignored, because they are female.

Women in Sport believes that it is these cultural problems in the sector which need to be addressed if meaningful lasting change is to be achieved.  We will publish the full findings of our research into the culture of the sport workplace next month.


Women in Sport

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