The Gender Equity Playbook

The Need:

Sport organizations often look outward to develop standalone programs, events or initiatives to support women and girls, and people from other equity-deserving groups. These “quick win” solutions usually fall short of addressing the underlying structural inequities that exist in sport environments.

The Solution:

The Gender Equity Playbook helps organizations look inward to make change first before embarking on external strategies. By establishing good internal policies, processes and programs, organizations will build their competence and confidence to explore and solve for other gender equity gaps.

The Playbook is made up of three elements that build on each other, helping sport leaders and organizations do deep gender equity work:

Our Gender Equity LENS E-Learning Module

This e-learning module gives sport leaders the information and tools they need to act on their commitment to gender equity and make policy and program decisions to better serve women and girls in sport. Participants will learn how to bring a gender lens to decision-making and create the conditions to support women and girls to participate, lead and stay involved.

Our Gender Equity Action Planning consultation service

Building on recommendations from the assessment, the action planning service provides organizations with the opportunity, tools, and expert support from Canadian Women & Sport facilitators to plan and implement an evidence-based course of action that addresses the most pressing areas of opportunity identified in the Recommendations Report.

The Impact:

“It takes a lot of courage to do this [gender equity work], it’s not a comfortable process but the Playbook breaks it down into pieces so we can eat this elephant one bite at a time.”

Consuelo Zayas Chief Financial Officer, Alpine Canada

Designed to help sport leaders feel empowered and capable of creating lasting change within their organizations, many Playbook participants report feeling highly committed to growing gender equity in their organizations and improving the retention and advancement of women and girls in sport.

In a recent survey of Playbook participants:

  • 95% of respondents reported learning new information about gender equity and diversity as a result of the Playbook process.
  • Over 50% reported learning specific skills about gender equity and diversity that they can apply.

“Using this tool brought to light where we really were in our gender equity work. We thought we had a national women’s team, 50% women in the office, mechanisms for dealing with harassment… but at the end of the day we aren’t equitable because as we dug deep with this assessment tool, we found we were just skimming the surface. It’s helped us to know that we need to go a lot deeper with our work.”

June Sterling Project Coordinator, Baseball Canada

“From the action planning session we were able to provide our Board with specific and measurable goals supported by data which facilitated the creation of a Board committee with a focus on gender equity and diversity.”

Program Participant

Our Gender Equity Playbook team can facilitate these sessions both in person and virtually. To start building your organization’s Gender Equity Playbook, contact Tasia McKenna, Program Manager, at tasia.mckenna@womenandsport.ca.

The Gender Equity Playbook was piloted by Alpine Canada, Athletics Canada, Rowing Canada, Canada Snowboard, Sport for Life, and Baseball Canada.

We are grateful to Sport Canada for their support of the Gender Equity Playbook.