Term Paper: Sports Management Women in Sports Management: Trends

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Sports Management

Women in Sports Management: Trends and Implications

While some observers might suggest that there is still a "glass ceiling" in place in many industries that continues to restrict American women's ability to achieve upper management positions, the fact remains that there are more females in management positions in the United States today than ever before, and some of these women have achieved significant success in previously male-dominate fields (Watt, 2003). One field of particular interest today is sports management, where females are now making significant inroads on this once-primarily male occupation. According to one authority, these trends are fairly recent: "With the exception of a few athletes, women making a living in sports was never considered a career option a generation ago" (Feehan, 2006, p. 1). Furthermore, the trend is snowballing, at least in the professional sporting venues. As more and more women prove themselves in this challenging field, it is clear that the way will be cleared for still more female sports managers. For example, according to Feehan (2006), "The opportunities for women in sports management and marketing continue to grow as more women enter the field and find success" (p. 1). In fact, the theme of 10th annual Women in Sports Business symposium last year was "Fueling Opportunity: Women, Sports and the Bottom Line," suggesting that female sport managers represent an untapped resource that can help sports organizations improve their profitability (Feehan, 2006).

According to Watt (2003), though, despite the increased presence of women as sports managers in recent years, females still have a long way to go to achieve even a modest balance compared to their male counterparts, particularly in the upper echelons of the sports management hierarchy. "The role of women in sport, as in so many other societal situations, has been very mixed," he advises. "There has been a marked increase in the number of participants in recent years, but the importance of the role of women as top-level coaches and administrators has not always effectively increased to the same degree. Much of sport's hierarchy is still a male domain" (Watt, 2003, p. 31). In reality, there does appear to be a "glass ceiling" in place in some professional sporting venues, particularly those that have been traditionally considered "male" sports such as football. For example, Cunningham and Sagas (2004) point out that, "Sport was invented for men by men and is dominated by men" (p. 411).

Like so many other fields of endeavor, women occupying management positions in sports continues to lag far behind their male counterparts, even in the lower echelons of the management hierarchy. For instance, according to Watt, "There is no doubt that women have not been fully represented in sport in a variety of ways -- as participants, coaches or officials. Even in sports such as gymnastics, in which around 80 per cent of the participants are female, the top official positions have often been held by men" (Watt, 2003, p. 32). Females have also… [END OF PREVIEW]

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