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THE OSS’ latest research is investigating ‘Women in Leadership Roles in Sport’, in partnership with Scottish Women in Sport.

How many women currently hold leadership roles in Scottish sport? What are the challenges to women progressing into senior roles? How can clubs and organisations be helped to improve equality and opportunities for girls and women? The OSS is conducting new research asking these questions. Being led by new OSS board member Shelley Kerr and OSS Research Officer Ryan Brown, and involving the OSS Research Assistants, we are contacting all sports bodies in Scotland to better understand the make-up of women across senior management, boards and coaching roles. We are also studying trends over the past five years to seek to understand whether more or fewer women are taking on leadership roles.

So far, the quantitative research is telling us that more women have taken on senior roles over the past five years, but that women are still outnumbered by men on boards, senior coaching and CEO positions. In the second phase of the research, we are using qualitative methods to understand why that is, and what barriers might exist to women progressing into leading positions in sport. Shelley has personally written to more than 60 organisations and if you are a sports body that has not received an email and would like to take part in this research, please get in touch with Ryan –

Maureen McGonigle, Founder of Scottish Women in Sport, said:

“This is really exciting research that will help us have a better understanding of both the number of women who occupy leadership roles and also why some sports appear to have good pathways for women and some perhaps not. It helps us to understand how women feel about progressing too and where sport can help them to progress, and that is the key. It’s about doing the research that identifies the problem but more importantly provides solutions to help make sport more inclusive at all levels.”