"The quota is apparently already fulfilled for some when there is one" - Women coaches, officials, journalists: Gender equality in the elite sports environment

News der Fakultät |

Despite an increasing number of female athletes in elite sports, the wider environment of sports remains a male domain. To promote gender equality in these professions, the Department of Sport and Health Sciences at the Technical University of Munich and the Bavarian Olympic Training Center are hosting a joint career day on June 25. Under the motto #breakingtraditions, prominent speakers such as former swimmer and Olympic champion Britta Steffen and presenter Katrin Müller-Hohenstein will encourage young women to pursue careers in the field of sports at the new TUM Campus in the Olympic Park.

The #breakingtraditions initiative aims to advance gender equality in sports on Career Day

Figures, data, facts: Women are outnumbered in sports

It's not new, the debate about gender equality in sports. Today, gender parity has been achieved among top athletes in quantitative terms: at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo in 2021, 49 percent of the participants were women, more than ever before. However, the picture is very different in the field of top-level sports, i.e. among female coaches, sports officials, sports journalists and women in leadership positions at federations and sports organizations: In these fields, women are still significantly underrepresented in sports. The proportion of female coaches in top-level sports, for example, is currently only 13 percent, according to a 2021 report by the DOSB Vice President Women and Gender Equality. The figure has been stagnating for years.

Career Day: #breakingtraditions - Women.Career.Sport

The career day #breakingtraditions on June 25, 2022, is therefore intended to support gender equality in the environment of sports: "Career advancement for women is very close to our hearts at the Department of Sport and Health Sciences. Many of our female students want to work in the elite sports environment after graduation. We are therefore taking the 50th anniversary of the 1972 Olympic Games as an opportunity to specifically promote women and encourage them in their career goals," said Prof. Dr. Renate Oberhoffer-Fritz, Dean of the Department of Sport and Health Sciences and host of the event together with the Bavarian Olympic Training Center.

Exchange of experiences with prominent female actors in top-class sports

At the career day, inspiring personalities from sports, business and politics will share their experiences with young women and anyone else interested. In addition, there will be concrete tips and workshops to enable women to recognize and exploit their potential and opportunities. Also there: ZDF presenter Katrin Müller-Hohenstein, who will share her experiences in a panel discussion.

The fact that there is no equality of opportunity in sports journalism is something she has experienced on more than one occasion. The first time was a long time ago, but is still present: "That was when the friendly reporter from a major daily newspaper presented me with a questionnaire before my first broadcast for ZDF. I was supposed to show that I had 'a clue about sports'. That was 17 years ago now. The last time I felt it was four years ago, when Dunja Hayali joined the show 'aktuelles Sportstudio'. I don't know how many times I was asked what I was doing now. Apparently, for some, the quota is already fulfilled when ONE of us is there."

Inequality in sponsorship: "That was a bit of a shock"

The comparatively low presence in the sports environment has further consequences: sponsorship opportunities for top female athletes are limited. According to Statista, just seven percent of the $30 billion in annual sponsorship money goes to women's sports. For multiple Olympic swimming champion Britta Steffen, it was nevertheless a bit of a shock when she found out that not only the choice of sponsors, but also the sums are limited: "Men were often paid better than us women."

Such grievances can only be improved by talking about them, she says: "I am therefore happy to share my knowledge and experiences with many young women as part of #breakingtraditions. In this way, we can hopefully achieve a change in awareness among many people and corresponding action can follow."

All information on the #breakingtraditions career day can be found by interested parties at the homepage of the event.

Further information about the career day #breakingtraditions

To the program of the career day #breakingtraditions


Prof. Dr. Renate Oberhoffer-Fritz
Dean Department of Sport and Health Sciences
Chair of Preventive Pediatrics
Georg-Brauchle-Ring 60/62
80992 Munich

phone: 089 289 24570
e-mail: renate.oberhoffer(at)tum.de


Text: Julie Hölterhoff
Photos: Olympiastützpunkt Bayern (Bavarian Olympic Training Center)