Women Within International Sports Federations: Contemporary Challenges

  • Lucie Schoch
  • Joséphine Clausen
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Sport and Politics book series (PASSP)


This study proposes an overview of women’s current participation in the decision-making bodies of international sports federations (ISF). It firstly uses a quantitative approach, gathering evidence on the board composition of 28 ISFs as well as on their leadership duo president/director general. Secondly, collects in-depth information about the International Cycling Union (UCI) through an exploratory study, consisting of 12 semi-structured interviews with members from different hierarchical levels. Results show that despite an overall positive evolution, women holding leadership positions in the governance of international sport organizations remain an exception. The study further suggests that the gender orientation of a sport, the history of the federation’s structuration as well as the formal gender policies implemented by the organizations impact the gender ratio at governance level.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lucie Schoch
    • 1
  • Joséphine Clausen
    • 2
  1. 1.Sport Sciences Institute, University of LausanneLausanneSwitzerland
  2. 2.International Academy of Sports Science and TechnologyLausanneSwitzerland

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