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Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity – (Toronto, ON – March 8, 2019) CAAWS celebrates International Women’s Day and calls on Canadian sport leaders to make 2019 a banner year for gender equity, especially in sport leadership.

International Women’s Day is a global celebration and a call to action. This year’s global theme is #BalanceForBetter – better the balance, the better the world.

CAAWS’s 2019 Women in Sport Leadership Snapshot, released today at CAAWS’s sold out International Women’s Day event in Ottawa, indicates that the national level of sport is making slow but steady progress towards parity at the board and senior leadership levels – but there are still gaps to close.

Four in ten boards at the national level of sport do not meet the critical threshold of 30% women required to achieve a true diversity of perspectives. And while 93% of the sport organizations surveyed for the Snapshot reported an intention towards creating a gender equitable board, only 47% have a documented commitment in their governance materials.

Governments across Canada recently indicated their support for parity at the board level in sport, indicating a goal of gender parity by December of 2024. This was one of the actions agreed to in principle in February, when the Federal-Provincial/Territorial Ministers for Sport, Physical Activity and Recreation endorsed a vision for “all women and girls to be equitably represented, recognized, and served across all aspects of Canadian sport.”

“We are encouraged by the importance that leaders in the Canadian sport system are placing on gender balance on boards. It reflects a commitment to values-based sport and lays the foundation for equity in other aspects of sport,” said Allison Sandmeyer-Graves, CEO of CAAWS. “CAAWS is proud to work alongside a growing number of sport leaders who are intentionally and persistently taking action to achieve this balance.”

CAAWS offers a variety of resources to support sport organizations in realizing the benefits offered by gender-balanced leadership, such as our Women on Boards webinar series and a curated list of resources for sport organizations that includes expertise from organizations such as Catalyst Canada and the Institute of Corporate Directors.

Each of these offerings can be accessed by visiting

About CAAWS: 
CAAWS is dedicated to creating an equitable and inclusive Canadian sport and physical activity system that empowers girls and women—as active participants and leaders—within and through sport. With a focus on systemic change, we partner with governments, organizations and leaders to challenge the status quo and to advance solutions that result in measurable change. 

For further information, please contact: 

Greer Gemin 
Communications and Administration Coordinator 
Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity