Organisational Culture

Organisational culture and reference to it is mentioned throughout this toolkit. Many women face cultural barriers on a daily basis. This affects how they are perceived in society and in sport. If carried out positively, the steps sport makes towards gender equality may, over time, have an effect on how women are perceived in society.

An organisation can start this change process by looking within its own sport and questioning its culture.

  • Does the sport proactively welcome women? If so, how?
  • What is the perception of your sport? Is it ‘a sport for men’ or ‘a sport for all’?
  • Are clubs supportive and do they have proactive measures in place to make women feel equally as valued in coaching?
  • How many women work in the development of your sport?
  • How many women are in senior management roles and/or on the Board?
  • How is your sport publicised externally? Are images of men playing and coaching in sport predominantly used or is it 50/50 female to male imagery?
  • What policies and processes are in place that support and protect coaches? (For example, employment, health, anti-discrimination, anti-harassment/bullying policies).

Knowing your organisation and, if necessary, changing its culture and profile is not a short-term fix but recognising where women are under-represented or report poorer experiences in coaching in your organisation is a good starting point for making those changes.

As discussed in other parts of this toolkit, the approach your sport takes towards promoting the value of female coaches and proactively welcoming female coaches to develop is of paramount importance. This is discussed in greater detail in Chapter 3

Organisational Support

Full organisational and Board support required to successfully implement actions that will support the recruitment, development and retention of female coaches.


Planning is key. Short, medium and long-term goals.

Implementing plans

The Head of Coaching (or equivalent) is ultimately responsible for implementing plans for women in coaching, but can delegate as appropriate.


What is the culture in your sport? Are male and female coaches valued equally?

A swim coach instructs a group of female swimmers in a pool