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Women in World Athletics Seminar 2013 – 2017

Category: Women, Women in Leadership, Leadership, skills, goals, athletes, future leaders

Gender Focus on red VERCIDA bakground

The Women in World Athletics Seminar (WIWA) is a 5 year programme leading up to the London 2017 IAAF World Athletics Championships.

Together with European Athletics, British Athletics has worked to ensure a mix of female coaches, officials, event volunteers, competition administration staff and event management staff have been represented on the programme. 

The programme has built steadily over the past 5 years growing from 55 delegates in year one to more than 140 women from over 50 countries that have attended at least one of the seminars.

The overall objective of the WIWA Seminar is to progress participants into leadership and/or more senior roles within athletics federations and organisations.

Years 1&2 (Part 1) of the programme were designed to raise participant’s awareness of leadership skills, simulate reflection upon personal ambitions, introducing concepts regarding career planning and to identify and recognise the barriers to progression. 

Years 3 & 4 (Part 2) sought to move participants from reflection to action in pursuing their goals and developing personal action plans.  Delegates looked at setting personal goals and ambitions, identifying barriers to progression, how to overcome barriers and at both identifying social and support networks and establishing and maintaining social and support networks.  Delegates also looked at developing personal action plans with short, medium and long term objectives.

The 2017 seminar was about celebrating success and sharing journeys, and it focused on vision, inspiring others, how to effect change and to become an agent for change, and moving forwards.  A number of delegates shared their journeys with the other delegates outlining the impact that WIWA has had on their personal development. 

A key theme throughout the seminar programme has been the development of a strong network.  The network is continuing to strengthen and grow providing an invaluable tool and support network for the development of each and every delegate. 

Each delegate has been on their own personal journey but also on a wider journey within the network that has developed.  They have each grown in confidence, self-belief and ambition during the seminar programme.  Each woman recognises the impact of the seminar and the support network that has been created with many keen to be involved in developing a wider women’s leadership programme in the future.

Below are some quotes from some of the women who have taken part in the Women in World Athletics Seminar Programme.

“‘The seminar provided an excellent opportunity to learn from each other about the development and different approaches in several different areas. The sessions encouraged us to reflect upon our personal journeys and perceived barriers and gave opportunities for us to take time over these considerations – something which many of us don’t naturally do”

‘The personal stories of guest speakers have been awe inspiring. Their handling of barriers as opportunities towards success have made me realise that there is much hope for me in the future”

“The sharing in groups was most interesting as I was able to learn more, my perceptions changed in certain instances for the better.  My confidence level has been greatly boosted and I am ready to take on a more demanding role in my Association.  I can and will use the positive strategies of career planning and branding to make myself a better leader and role model and I will be the change that helps other change and move Athletics forward. Thank you for this wonderful opportunity”

“WIWA has made me look at myself and self-critique.  It allows you time to reflect and really look at your strengths and weaknesses.  It is great to hear the stories from the other women.”

“It was helpful to reflect on my career in sport and I became much more self-confident.  My motivation to develop and support the challenges of change to equity in gender leadership is high.   Networking and meeting people is very important in moving forwards”

“WIWA gave me a new perspective on my own expectations for my career”


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VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please email [email protected] for more information.

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