Raise Her Profile
Public recognition and awards
Recognising the work your coaches do is important, it can be what motivates them to continue. Recognition can take many different forms, but it does not have to be complicated or costly. The simplest is to say thank you. This can be linked to events and/or via social media.
- Presentation of certificates for training or qualification can be made at local community events, with articles on websites, social media or in newspapers.
- Receiving nominations and awards for your coaching is a very exciting way for women coaches to be recognised by your sport, your industry or other women.
Consider having a dedicated annual award for a woman coach who has achieved great results. There are two points of view here. Firstly, having a women-only award would raise the profile of women coaches in general and would easily help to identify women coaching role models who can be promoted through your communications channels. On the other hand, this may appear to marginalise or set women coaches aside from their male peers, which could lead to separating your coaching workforce by gender (why shouldn’t women be able to win your ‘Coach of the Year’ award?)
Both points of view have merit and it depends largely on where women are within your sport. Often, sports bodies will start with separate men’s and women’s coaching awards. Then, over time and as more nominations appear, this can be merged into a single award. The objective should be to have a coaching award that receives equal nominations for both men and women coaches.
In both cases being nominated, regardless of winning, can build self-esteem for the coach and start to create those positive role models that coaching needs. The publicity it can produce can be priceless and can help raise the profile of women coaches.
Build in sufficient time and resources to:
- Investigate the various awards that can be linked to coaching.
- Decide how coaches should be nominated and by who.
- Generate publicity around the nomination.
- Proactively support the nomination of female coaches.
- Monitor the number of nominations you receive and the winners from each category.
Chapter 4: Retention Suggested Actions
Have a way (e.g. social media/website) of congratulating all coaches who attend your coaching events (workshops and courses).
Analyse your current recognition and award events to ensure a fair gender representation
Establish a ‘Female and Male Coach of the Year’ award if women are not reflected in current awards.
Profile female coaches on your website, e.g. interview them and post on your social media channels.
Creating Ambassadors or establishing an Ambassador programme with female coaches can be a very effective way of making that coach feel valued while also contributing to the wider organisational goals and plans. Ambassador programmes tend to have the following elements:
- An application process to select the Ambassadors.
- Ambassadors understand their expected role and responsibilities when they sign up, e.g. commit to selected training as outlined, commit to attending events, commit to helping to promote the sport, commit to establishing events/initiatives themselves.
Until it becomes normal to see female coaches equally in the coaching space with teams and athletes, there is a need for organisations to continue to promote the value of women in coaching. This promotion is sometimes necessary with the athletes themselves.
Taking proactive measures to educate athletes can be beneficial.