Focus on improving empathy for each other

Winning the support of a diverse group of athletes will act as a catalyst for establishing a non-discriminating structure in your association. Having empathy and understanding will facilitate the creation of these relationships. 

What role does empathy have in a team? 

Gender equity issues and challenges are experienced most by women matching players. There is a lack of women matching players in authoritative and decision-making positions in many cases. This can make it hard to initiate any change from the top down, meaning that the support of people in decision-making positions is essential if a change is to occur. It is important to create awareness of the diversity of problems and feelings among everyone on the team and be aware of what privileges you may have that others may not.

With the support of leaders, it is then possible to raise awareness of gender equity issues within the organisation, for instance, with gender diversity workshops or webinars. The goal should be to improve empathy of gender concerns across both genders. This can be done using statistics, sharing knowledge and including time to talk about feelings, frustrations and reflection. 

The same approach is valid for many topics.

Gender diversity workshops can be a pivotal moment for a team to reflect on team dynamics on and off the pitch. 

It may also be necessary for all teams to reflect on aspects of gender equity outside of closed team events. This could include tournament hosting and facilities, personal conduct at mixed-gender tournaments and events, and overall club representation when competing or training with other teams. 

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