12 October 2017

On 10-11 October 2017, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the National Olympic Committee of Lithuania (LNOC) have organised the first ‘Advancing Women in Leadership Roles’ Forum for Europe in Vilnius, Lithuania.

The Forum was attended by 200 participants from 38 National Olympic Committees, the IOC, the EOC and many other international organisations.

The event was officially opened by Daina Gudzinevičiūtė, the President of LNOC together with Thomas Bach, President of the IOC, Janez Kocijančič, Acting President of the EOC, and Snežana Samardžič-Markovič, the Council of Europe’s Director General of DG Democracy.

IOC President Bach welcomed the participants underlining that Lithuania is a good example in the area women’s leadership. Both the President of the LNOC and the President of Lithuania are women. Besides, the LNOC has initiated a wide range of projects dedicated to gender equality, women’s leadership and empowering. The LNOC initiative “Let’s start the change” for the employees of sports organizations and former elite athletes is a worthy example.

The Opening Session also included inspiring and insightful speeches by Janez Kocijančič and Ms Samardžič-Markovič.

The first Panel “It’s time for women to run the office” was moderated by Sarah Treseder, CEO of the Royal Yachting Association and member of the EOC Gender Equality in Sport Commission.

The Forum also included such Panels as “Good governance: Everybody should get involved”, “Education: a tool to foster Leadership” and “Special measures: A Solution?”.

The ‘Advancing Women in Leadership Roles’ Forum for Europe concluded with the Forum Commitment:

Forum delegates acknowledged the leading role and responsibility of the European Olympic Committees (EOC) in advancing women in leadership roles in the European sport movement.

They invited the EOC Executive Committee to adopt, allocate appropriate resources, and implement a strategy on gender equality with clear goals and indicators.

They invited the EOC Executive Committee to consider mechanisms, which would encourage NOCs to present candidates of both genders for elections, and ensure that delegations are as gender-balanced as possible.

They supported current activities of the EOC and its Gender Equality in Sport Commission (GESC), and called on European National Olympic Committees (NOCs) to implement the 2016 Recommendations of the GESC.

They called for continuity of the work of the GESC, and advocated for a gender balance in all its membership its future compositions, to lead by example.

As many of the delegates stressed, it was a fantastic few days and they felt a lot of energy and motivation to change. And with 38 ENOCs represented at the Forum the power to deliver that change is here.