Gender-equality game changers gather in Helsinki for New Leaders Forum

19 November 2019

European Olympic Committees (EOC) President Janez Kocijančič and International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach are among the top sports leaders and game changers attending the New Leaders Forum in Helsinki, Finland from 19-20 November 2019.

The gathering aims to promote equality, good governance and responsibility in sport and represents the culmination of the New Leaders Programme, a joint project run by the Finnish Olympic Committee in cooperation with the IOC and EOC.

Throughout 2019, 30 young European sports professionals took part in three workshops and designed action plans to put IOC Gender Equality Recommendations into practice.

“The future is in these new leaders. I’ve been working in the international sports movement for 50 years and we often experience the same problems. That is why we need new people, fresh ideas, new solutions,” Kocijančič said. “We, elderly leaders, shouldn’t just preach, we should listen.

“Our goal is to achieve a 50 per cent gender-balanced world and we have to do everything in our capacity to reach it. The New Leaders Programme is one of the tools we have at our disposal.

“The management skills of the women working not just in sport but in all industries are well known and should be acknowledged. Women should have the same possibilities to occupy leadership positions as men do. Our aim is to create a system where women are enabled to be elected.”

Chair of the EOC Gender Equality in Sport Commission Sarah Keane added: “I’m an advocate for gender equality. Not because I’m a woman, but because it makes the Olympic family more diverse. It makes our movement even stronger.”

With the endorsement of her Commission, the EOC General Assembly  recently approved a measure based on IOC recommendations regarding gender equality that intended to give the EOC a leading role in increasing the number of women in leadership roles in sport.