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Vol. 42 (2023): Advancing Women in Leadership Journal

Preparing Sport Leaders of the Future To Lead Equitable, Diverse, and Inclusive Sport Organizations: The Insights and Strategies of Professors

April 19, 2022


Researchers have documented the tangible and significant benefits to organizations having more diverse senior leadership teams. However, not all industries have embraced his practice. While gains have been made for women securing senior positions in professional sport, the rate of change has been slow, despite the fact that men and women equally aspire to these roles, and women outnumber men in many sport management educational programs. Systemic and structural barriers exist for women seeking senior leadership levels in the industry, a fact that only the women students seem to appreciate (Gray & Weese, 2021). This descriptive study extends this research by engaging sport management professors to determine if they understand the issue and, if so, what they were doing to ensure that their students understand the benefits of equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI). The professors clearly appreciated the issue and recognized the gender differences that exist between their men and women students. They also shared activities and strategies they use to help ensure that the next generation of sport leaders value and advocate for EDI leadership practices. The professors agreed that they needed to continue to heighten the awareness and sensitivities of their students on the topics of EDI, and they all believed that they could do more to incorporate EDI perspectives in their classes and mentorship sessions. Ten recommendations are provided to assist current and future sport management professors address this critical issue.