Pillar 2: Recruitment, Management and Retention

|||  PILLAR 2

Recruitment, Management and Retention

||| Sub-Pillar 2.1

2.1 – Identify, attract and recruit women to become sports officials


Identifying, attracting, and recruiting women to become sport officials can help promote diversity and inclusivity in the field. Here are some steps you can take to achieve this goal:

1. Raise awareness:
Start by raising awareness about the need for women sport officials in your community and within sport organisations. Highlight the benefits of diversity and the positive impact it can have on the sport community.

2. Outreach programs:
Develop outreach programs specifically designed to target women who may be interested in becoming sport officials. This could include hosting workshops, seminars, or informational sessions to introduce women to the role of officials, the requirements, and the opportunities available.

3. Collaborate with women’s sports organisations:
Establish partnerships with women’s sport organisations or teams to gain access to a pool of potential candidates. Work together to promote officiating as a viable career option for women in sport.

4. Mentorship programs:
Create mentorship programs that pair more experienced women officials with aspiring candidates. This mentorship can provide guidance, support, and valuable insights into the officiating role, helping to encourage and retain women in officiating roles.

5. Training and education:
Federations offer officiating courses, other training programs and educational resources tailored specifically for women interested in becoming sport officials. Provide clear pathways for skill development and advancement within officiating.

6. Address barriers and biases:
Address any barriers or biases that may exist within the sport officiating community and have become possible barriers to recruitment. Promote an inclusive and supportive environment that welcomes and values the contributions of women officials.

7. Networking opportunities:
Organise networking events where women officials can connect with each other, share experiences, and learn from established professionals in the field. This can help build a sense of community and provide additional support.

8. Visibility and representation:
Highlight the achievements and success stories of women officials to inspire others. Showcase women officials in promotional materials, media coverage, and social media platforms to increase their visibility and demonstrate the opportunities available.

9. Encourage women athletes:
Engage with women athletes and encourage them to consider officiating as a way to stay involved in sports beyond their playing careers. Many athletes possess a deep understanding of the sport and can transition into officiating roles with proper training and support.

10. Continuous support and recognition:
Once women become sport officials, provide ongoing support, training, and opportunities for professional growth. Recognise their achievements and contributions, creating a positive feedback loop that encourages more women to get involved.

Content area 1 : Diversify the traditional recruitment process

Diversifying the recruitment process is essential to ensure that women and a broader range of candidates from different backgrounds and experiences have equal opportunities. Here are some strategies to help diversify the recruitment process:

1. Role descriptions:
Review and revise role descriptions to ensure they are inclusive and free from biased language. Use gender-neutral terms and focus on essential qualifications and skills rather than specific backgrounds or experiences that may inadvertently exclude certain groups.

2. Expand outreach channels:
Go beyond traditional recruitment channels to reach a more diverse pool of candidates. Use a variety of platforms, such as social media, community organisations, professional networks, and online boards that cater to specific demographics or underrepresented groups.

3. Partnerships and collaborations:
Collaborate with diverse organisations, community groups, and educational institutions to promote role opportunities. Build relationships with minority-focused organisations or those dedicated to promoting diversity and inclusion, and actively participate in their events and initiatives.

4. Existing officials’ referrals:
Encourage existing officials to refer candidates from diverse backgrounds and offer incentives for successful referrals. Officials who come from diverse backgrounds themselves can help bring in candidates who may not have otherwise considered applying.

5. Diverse Trainers and Moderators:
Form a diverse workforce that include individuals from different backgrounds and experiences. Multiple perspectives can help identify unique talents and strengths that may be overlooked by a homogeneous workforce.

6. Training for Trainers and Moderators:
Offer training to your workforce on unconscious bias, diversity, and inclusive practices. Provide them with the necessary tools to evaluate individuals objectively and fairly.

7. Flexible participation:
Consider offering flexible participation arrangements that cater to a diverse range of needs, such as flexible schedules, or childcare support. This can attract a wider pool of candidates who may have specific requirements or responsibilities.

8. Diversity and inclusion statements:
Include a clear diversity and inclusion statement in all advertising and on the organisation’s website to demonstrate the commitment to creating an inclusive environment. Highlight initiatives, programs, and resource groups that support diversity and inclusion efforts.

9. Data tracking and analysis:
Regularly collect and analyse data on the diversity of applicants and those who become active sport officials. This information will help identify any gaps or areas for improvement in the recruitment process, allowing you to make data-driven decisions to promote diversity and track progress over time.

Remember, diversity and inclusion should be integrated into every aspect of the recruitment process, from sourcing candidates to evaluating their training performances. By implementing these strategies, you can create a more diverse and inclusive workforce that benefits both the organisation and the individuals it serves.

Here are some general tips for recruitment that can help you attract and select the right sport officials for your organisation:

1. Define the role clearly:
Start by clearly defining the role, responsibilities, skills and qualities required to be a sport official. This will help you attract individuals who closely match the requirements of the role.

2. Develop a compelling exciting role description:
Write a clear, concise, and engaging role description that highlights the key responsibilities, skills and qualities for the role. Use language that appeals to your target audience and accurately represents your organisation’s culture and values.

3. Use multiple recruitment channels:
Don’t rely on a single recruitment channel. Utilise a mix of online social media platforms, professional networks, and sport-specific websites to reach a wider pool of candidates. Consider using niche platforms and organisations that cater to specific sport industries or demographics.

4. Leverage existing sport officials’ referrals:
Encourage your existing women sport officials to refer candidates they believe would be a good fit for the organisation. Existing sport officials’ referrals often yield high-quality candidates who are more likely to align with your company culture.

5. Engage in effective interviewing:
As part of the application / training process ensure a comprehensive evaluation takes place. Use competency-based questions that assess the candidate’s skills and fit for the role.

6. Provide a positive candidate experience:
Treat all new officials with respect and professionalism throughout the training process. Communicate clearly, provide timely updates, and offer feedback where possible. A positive experience, regardless of the outcome, helps build a good reputation for your sport organisation.

7. Emphasise diversity and inclusion:
Actively promote diversity and inclusion in your recruitment efforts. Ensure that your practices are unbiased and that you attract candidates from different backgrounds and experiences.

8. Continuously evaluate and improve:
Regularly evaluate your recruitment process and make improvements based on feedback and data. Monitor key recruitment metrics, such as time-to-recruit, geographical need and identify areas for optimisation.

Remember, creating a diverse and inclusive environment in sport officiating requires long-term commitment and consistent effort. By implementing these strategies, you can help identify, attract, recruit and retain women to become sport officials and contribute to a more balanced and representative sports community. Effective recruitment requires a thoughtful and strategic approach. By following these tips, you can increase your chances of attracting and selecting the best candidates for your organisation’s needs.

Top Tips

1. Identify relevant target markets for recruitment.
2. Ensure all language used is inclusive and is unbiased.
3. Use role models and individuals from a diverse background to promote recruitment.
4. Engage in a range of wider previously unexplored media to promote to your target audience.
5. Ensure the recruitment and basic training is a positive memorable experience.

Content area 2 : Identify specific roles including duties and responsibilities

Specifying role responsibilities clearly is crucial to ensure that women officials have a clear understanding of the expectations and scope of the role. Here are some tips to help you effectively specify role responsibilities:

1. Identify key responsibilities:
Begin by identifying the core responsibilities of the role. Break down the role into key areas and determine the primary tasks and duties associated with each area. This will provide a framework for outlining the role responsibilities.

2. Be specific and concise:
Clearly articulate the specific tasks and expectations associated with each responsibility. Avoid vague or generic statements. Focus on the essential functions and deliverables the prospective sport official will be responsible for.

3. Prioritise responsibilities:
Organise the responsibilities in order of importance or frequency. Highlight the primary or core responsibilities at the beginning to give the individual a clear understanding of the most critical aspects of the officiating role.

4. Provide context and reporting lines:
Provide additional context by mentioning the reporting structure and relationships with other sport officials, mentors, coaches, managers etc.

5. Be transparent about expectations:
Clearly communicate any additional expectations, such as time commitment, travel requirements, or specific skills or training needed to fulfil the responsibilities effectively.

6. Provide room for growth:
Highlight any potential opportunities for development and promotion. If there are opportunities for the sport official to take on additional responsibilities or progress within the organisation, mention them to attract women officials that may be looking for long-term sport officiating development.

Remember, it’s essential to strike a balance between being comprehensive and concise while specifying role responsibilities. A well-defined and transparent description will help individuals assess whether there is a clear alignment between their skills and your organisation’s needs.

Top Tips

1. Be clear on the role and responsibilities of the sport official in your sport.
2. Ensure you ‘sell’ the benefits of the role including any further development available.
3. Ensure the development pathway opportunities are made clear.
4. Manage expectations through effective appropriate communication to all stakeholders.
5. Be clear on any training that needs to be undertaken by the sport official.

Content area 3 : Develop role descriptors that are transparent and attractive

Writing a detailed role description is important to attract appropriate candidates and provide them with a clear understanding of the sports official’s requirements and responsibilities. Here are some steps to help you write a detailed role description:

1. Role Title:
Start with a clear and concise job title that accurately reflects the role of a sport officials within your sport. Use commonly recognised terms and avoid internal jargon or ambiguous titles.

2. Summary/Objective:
Provide a brief overview of the position’s purpose and the overall objectives. Summarise the main function of the women’s officials role and its importance within the organisation.

3. Responsibilities:
Outline the specific tasks and responsibilities associated with the role of a sport official in your sport. Use bullet points or subheadings to make it easy to read and understand. Include both primary and secondary responsibilities, starting with the most important ones. Be specific and provide sufficient detail about the key duties and activities.

4. Reporting Structure:
Indicate the reporting relationships and the position of sport officials within the organisational structure. Mention the federation or league line managers role and any further roles/positions the sport official will need to collaborate with.

5. Performance Expectations:
Specify any performance goals if appropriate for your sport, targets, or metrics that the women sport officials will be responsible for achieving. This provides clarity on what is expected in terms of performance and helps the sport official gauge if the role is an appropriate fit for them.

6. Sport Organisation Overview:
Provide a brief overview of the sport, its mission, values, and gender culture. Highlight any unique aspects or benefits of being a woman sport official. This helps individuals understand the context in which the role exists in the sport organisations overall vision for sport officials.

7. Application Instructions:
Clearly state how women should apply to be a sport official. Include any specific requirements, such as courses they have to undertake, diary of potential training courses, any physical/fitness requirements. Mention the deadline for applications and how individuals will be contacted for further steps.

8. Legal and Compliance Information:
Include any necessary legal and compliance information related to the role of a sport official in your sport, such as security clearances, or background checks.

Remember to strike a balance between providing enough information to attract qualified candidates and keeping the role description concise and easily readable. A detailed role description sets the foundation for successful recruitment by ensuring that both the organisation and potential candidates have a clear understanding of the role and its requirements.

When writing role descriptors in the context of sports, it’s important to provide clear and concise information that accurately describes the specific responsibilities and requirements of the role.

1. Specify administrative tasks:
If the role involves administrative duties, such as scheduling appointments, or event coordination, clearly outline these responsibilities. Specify any software or systems knowledge required for managing administrative tasks efficiently.

2. Mention physical requirements:
In certain sport roles, physical capabilities or fitness levels may be important. If physical requirements exist, such as stamina, agility, or strength, mention them in the role descriptor.

3. Highlight teamwork and collaboration:
Sports are inherently collaborative, so emphasise the importance of teamwork and collaboration within the role. Describe how the position of a sport officials interacts with other members of the sport organisation, athletes, coaches, and support staff.

4. Provide details on scheduling and travel:
If the role involves irregular hours, travel, or weekend commitments, clearly state those details. This helps candidates assess the time and availability requirements associated with the position.

5. Convey the organisation’s values and culture:
Use the role descriptor to convey the organisation’s values, culture, and expectations for conduct and professionalism within the sports environment. This can help potential sport officials determine if they align with the organisation’s ethos.

6. Use concise and accessible language:
Avoid excessive jargon or technical terms that may not be widely understood. Use clear and accessible language that can be easily comprehended by a wide range of readers.

7. Review and revise:
Review the role descriptor to ensure accuracy, clarity, and consistency. Seek input from colleagues or stakeholders who have a good understanding of the position and make revisions as necessary.

By following these tips, you can create role descriptors that effectively communicate the specific responsibilities, requirements, and expectations of sports-related positions. This will assist in attracting qualified candidates who are well-suited for the roles within the sports organization or team.

Top Tips

1. Be sure the women sport officials know who they report to and those available to support them in general.

2. Explain the federation’s structure and where sport officiating sits.

3. Ensure the individual is aware of the sport organisations, vision, mission, values and behaviours and how they are aligned with the role of the sport official.

4. Promote a schedule of courses with all the relevant information giving as much advanced notice as possible.

5. Be clear on the time commitments, travel and fees policy.

||| Sub-Pillar 2.2

2.2 – Raise the profile of women in officiating by using role models


Role models play a crucial role in raising the profile of women sports officials and inspiring others to pursue similar paths. Here are some ways in which role models can have a positive impact:

1. Visibility and representation:
Women sport officials who are visible and successful in their roles serve as powerful role models. Their presence helps challenge gender stereotypes and demonstrates that women can excel in officiating positions. Encourage women officials to actively participate in events, conferences, and media opportunities to increase their visibility and showcase their expertise.

2. Mentoring and guidance:
Established women sport officials can serve as mentors to aspiring officials. By sharing their knowledge, experiences, and advice, they can help guide and support women who are interested in entering the field. Mentorship programs and initiatives can be developed to facilitate these connections.

3. Sharing personal stories:
Role models can share their personal stories and journeys to inspire others. They can talk about the challenges they faced, how they overcame them, and the rewards and satisfaction they’ve experienced in their officiating careers. This storytelling can be done through interviews, articles, social media, or speaking engagements.

4. Leadership and advocacy:
Women sport officials who have reached leadership positions can use their influence to advocate for gender equality and inclusivity in sport officiating. They can actively promote policies and initiatives that support the recruitment, development, and retention of women officials. This may involve working with sport organisations, federations, and governing bodies to drive change.

5. Collaborations and networks:
Role models can foster collaborations and networks among women sport officials. By connecting officials at various levels and facilitating knowledge sharing, they can create a supportive community that fosters growth, learning, and professional development. This can be done through workshops, conferences, online forums, or networking events.

6. Recognition and awards:
Recognising the achievements and contributions of women sports officials through awards and accolades can raise their profile and inspire others. Establishing specific awards for women officials can help highlight their accomplishments and demonstrate the value they bring to the field.

7. Media coverage:
Role models can actively engage with the media to raise awareness of women sport officials. Encourage media outlets to feature stories, interviews, or profiles of successful women officials to showcase their expertise and inspire others. This media exposure can contribute to changing perceptions and attitudes towards women officials.

8. Collaborating with athletes and teams:
Role models can collaborate with athletes and sport teams to promote the importance of diversity and gender equality in officiating. This can involve joint initiatives, campaigns, or public appearances that highlight the significance of women officials and their contributions to the sporting community.

9. Engaging with youth and grassroots programs:
Role models can engage with youth and grassroots sports programs to inspire the next generation of officials. By conducting workshops, clinics, or mentoring sessions with aspiring young officials, they can provide guidance and encouragement to those starting their officiating journeys.

10. Continued personal growth:
Role models should continue their personal growth and development as officials. By staying updated on law/rule changes, participating in training programs, and seeking opportunities for advancement, they can maintain their expertise and demonstrate the ongoing commitment required for success.

By actively engaging in these strategies, role models can help raise the profile of women sport officials and contribute to a more diverse and inclusive sport officiating community.

Positive and successful role models are important for several reasons:

1. Inspiration and motivation:
Role models serve as a source of inspiration and motivation for others. When individuals see someone who has achieved success or overcome challenges in a particular field or area of life, it ignites a belief that they can do the same. Role models provide tangible examples of what is possible, which can be highly motivating for individuals striving to achieve their own goals.

2. Breaking stereotypes and challenging norms:
Positive role models have the power to challenge stereotypes and break down societal norms. When individuals from underrepresented groups or marginalised communities achieve success, they defy stereotypes and prove that success is not limited to a specific gender, race, or background. This can help shift societal perceptions and create a more inclusive and equal society.

3. Guidance and mentorship:
Role models can offer guidance and mentorship to others who aspire to follow in their footsteps. They can provide valuable advice, share their experiences and lessons learned, and offer support and encouragement. This guidance can be instrumental in helping others navigate challenges and make informed decisions in their own pursuits.

4. Building self-confidence and self-belief:
Positive role models can help individuals build self-confidence and self-belief. Seeing someone who has achieved success despite obstacles can boost individuals’ belief in their own capabilities. Role models show that with hard work, perseverance, and determination, one can overcome challenges and accomplish their goals, leading to increased self-confidence and a belief in one’s own potential.

5. Setting high standards and expectations:
Role models set high standards and expectations for others to aspire to. By showcasing excellence in their respective fields, they raise the bar and inspire individuals to strive for greatness. Role models provide benchmarks for achievement and can encourage individuals to push beyond their comfort zones and reach their full potential.

6. Promoting positive values and behaviours:
Positive role models embody and promote positive values and behaviours. Their success is often a result of hard work, dedication, integrity, resilience, and other admirable qualities. By modelling these values and behaviours, they inspire others to adopt them as well, fostering a culture of excellence, ethics, and positive actions.

7. Fostering a sense of community and belonging:
Role models can bring people together and create a sense of community and belonging. When individuals see someone they admire or look up to, it creates a sense of connection and shared identity. This can foster a supportive community where individuals feel understood, validated, and encouraged to pursue their goals.

8. Generating hope and optimism:
Positive role models provide hope and optimism, especially in challenging or difficult times. Their success stories and achievements remind individuals that setbacks and obstacles can be overcome and that brighter futures are possible. Role models instil a sense of hope and optimism, which can be instrumental in motivating individuals to persist in their pursuits.

Overall, positive and successful role models play a vital role in inspiring, guiding, and empowering others. They have the ability to shape perspectives, challenge societal norms, and foster personal and societal growth. By showcasing what is possible, role models contribute to a more inclusive, aspirational, and resilient society.

Content area 1 : Identify previous or high-profile women sport officials

There are several high-profile women sport officials who have made significant contributions to their respective sports. Here are a few examples:

1. Bibiana Steinhaus:
Bibiana Steinhaus is a German football referee who officiated in the top tier of German men’s football, the Bundesliga. She became the first woman referee to officiate in a major European professional league.

2. Sian Massey-Ellis:
Sian Massey-Ellis is an English football referee who has officiated in the English Premier League and other high-level football competitions. She is known for her expertise and professionalism on the field.

3. Marika Domanski-Lyfors:
Marika Domanski-Lyfors is a Swedish football coach and former FIFA referee. She has officiated in numerous international matches and tournaments, including the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

4. Michelle Joubert:
Michelle Joubert is a South African cricket umpire who has officiated in international matches, including men’s Test matches and One-Day Internationals (ODIs). She is one of the few women umpires in international cricket.

5. Susan Redfern:
Susan Redfern is an English cricket umpire who has officiated in domestic men’s elite cricket matches in England. She is currently the only women who umpires men’s elite cricket in England.

6. Katarina Wittich:
Katarina Wittich is a German ice hockey referee who has officiated in international tournaments and competitions, including the Olympic Games and IIHF World Championships. She has been recognised for her expertise and contributions to ice hockey officiating.

7. Stéphanie Frappart:
Stéphanie Frappart is a French football referee who made history by becoming the first women referee to officiate a major men’s European competition match. She refereed the UEFA Super Cup final in 2019.

These are just a few examples of high-profile women sport officials who have achieved recognition and respect in their fields. Their contributions and accomplishments have paved the way for more opportunities and increased gender diversity in sports officiating.

Content area 2 : Use images, clips, storytelling of role models. What are the benefits of being an official; at all levels

Being a woman sport official at any level can bring a range of benefits, both personally and for the broader sports community. Here are some advantages of being a woman sports official:

1. Breaking gender barriers:
By becoming a woman sport official, individuals contribute to breaking down gender barriers and challenging stereotypes. They help pave the way for future generations of women and inspire them to pursue their passion for sports officiating.

2. Increased representation:
Women sport officials bring diversity and representation to the field. Their presence helps create a more inclusive and equitable sports environment, showcasing that officiating is not limited to a particular gender.

3. Role modelling and inspiration:
As a woman sport official, they become a role model and inspire others, particularly young girls and women, to get involved in sport officiating and pursue further officiating roles. Their achievements can motivate them to overcome barriers and pursue their own officiating aspirations.

4. Opportunities for personal growth:
Being a sport official provides opportunities for personal growth and development. Individuals can enhance their knowledge of the sport, develop their decision-making skills, improve their communication and leadership abilities, and gain valuable experience in managing high-pressure situations.

5. Building a sense of community:
As a sport official, individuals become part of a community of officials, coaches, athletes, and sport administrators. This community offers networking opportunities, camaraderie, and a shared passion for the sport. They can form connections with like-minded individuals and foster lasting relationships.

6. Contribution to fair play:
Sport officials play a critical role in ensuring fair play and upholding the laws/rules and integrity of the sport. By becoming a woman sport official, they actively contribute to maintaining the fairness and sportsmanship of the sport, promoting a positive and respectful sporting environment.

7. Personal satisfaction:
Officiating can be immensely rewarding, both personally and professionally. The sense of accomplishment that comes from successfully officiating a sport event, witnessing athletes perform at their best, and being part of the sporting action can provide a deep sense of satisfaction and fulfilment.

8. Lifelong learning:
Officiating provides continuous opportunities for learning and growth. Individuals can stay updated with law/rule changes, attend training sessions and workshops, and engage in ongoing professional development. This commitment to learning can enhance their officiating skills and broaden their understanding of the sport.

9. Travel and exposure to different levels of competition:
Depending on the level of sport officiating, individuals may have opportunities to travel to different locations and officiate at various levels of competition. This exposure allows them to experience different sporting cultures, meet diverse individuals, and expand their horizons.

10. Contribution to the sport:
As a sport official, individuals contribute to the overall development and success of the sport. Their role ensures that matches, events and competitions can take place smoothly, providing athletes with a platform to showcase their skills. By officiating, they make a valuable contribution to the growth and sustainability of the sport.

These benefits highlight the significance of women sport officials and the positive impact they can have on the sporting community. By embracing officiating roles, women can play an integral part in shaping the future of sport and fostering an environment of inclusivity and equality.

Top Tips

1. Sell the benefits of officiating, especially being the guardians of standards and applying laws/rules fairly in their sport.
2. Share the importance of the role.
3. Ensure appropriate positive images are used of role models.
4. Select your role models carefully and engage with them and seek agreement to use their image and story to promote women sport officials.
5. Demonstrate through case studies and good news stories how inclusive your sport is.

Content area 3 : Create specific criteria for ‘role models’

The criteria for women sports officials role models can vary depending on the context and the specific role they are expected to play. However, there are certain qualities and characteristics that are commonly associated with effective role models. Here are some criteria to consider when identifying role models:

1. Achievements and success:
Role models are individuals who have achieved notable success in their respective fields. They have demonstrated excellence, overcome challenges, and accomplished significant milestones. Their achievements serve as inspiration and motivation for others. This could include a woman official who has been qualified for a while and has had some decent experience within the role.

2. Integrity and ethics:
Role models are individuals of high moral character who demonstrate integrity, honesty, and ethical behaviour. They serve as examples of principled conduct and can guide others in making ethical decisions and choices.

3. Leadership qualities:
Role models exhibit strong leadership qualities, including the ability to inspire, influence, and guide others. They demonstrate effective communication skills, empathy, and the ability to empower and support others in their growth and development.

4. Resilience and perseverance:
Women sport officials who serve as role models have often faced obstacles and setbacks but have shown resilience and perseverance in overcoming them. They possess the determination and drive to pursue their goals despite challenges, and they can inspire others to do the same.

5. Positive influence:
Role models have a positive impact on others and inspire them to become their best selves. They promote positive values, behaviours, and attitudes, and they serve as catalysts for personal and societal growth.

6. Empathy and compassion:
Role models demonstrate empathy and compassion towards others. They are understanding and supportive, and they use their influence to uplift and help others succeed. They prioritise the well-being and growth of those around them.

7. Commitment to personal growth:
Role models are committed to their own personal growth and continuous learning. They actively seek opportunities for self-improvement, stay updated with developments in their field, and strive for excellence.

8. Influence and visibility:
Role models have a significant presence and influence in their respective domains. They are visible and accessible to others, whether through their accomplishments, public speaking engagements, mentoring relationships, or active engagement in their communities.

9. Authenticity and relatability:
Women sport officials role models are authentic and relatable individuals who connect with others on a personal level. They share their experiences, vulnerabilities, and lessons learned, making them more approachable and relatable to those who look up to them.

10. Commitment to social impact:
Role models often demonstrate a commitment to social impact and contribute to the betterment of sport officiating. They may engage in advocacy work, or initiatives that promote equality, justice, and positive change.

It’s important to remember that no individual is perfect, and role models may exhibit both strengths and areas for growth. However, they serve as aspirational figures who inspire and guide others to reach their full potential.

Top Tips

1. Identify women officials who can serve as role models in your sport that meet the above criteria.
2. Create a role description for a women sports official role model.
3. Identify how you will utilise role models to best effect in promoting women sport officials.
4. Allocate initiatives to role models to ensure they have a clear ‘job to do’.
5. Look at positive ways to communicate to key stakeholders who your role models are and their role within sport officiating.

Content area 4 : Manage expectations of the role model

Managing the expectations of being a role model can be crucial to maintaining a healthy balance in their own life while still positively impacting others. Here are some strategies for managing expectations effectively:

1. Define individuals’ values and boundaries:
The individual to understand their own personal values and priorities. They must clarify what is important to them and establish boundaries around their time, energy, and commitments. This will help them set realistic expectations for themselves and communicate them clearly to others.

2. Be authentic and true to yourself:
Stay true to who they are and be authentic in their actions and interactions. They must avoid trying to meet unrealistic expectations or trying to be someone they’re not. Embrace their uniqueness and let their genuine qualities shine through.

3. Communicate openly and honestly:
They must clearly communicate their capabilities, limitations, and availability to those who look up to them. Be honest about what they can realistically offer in terms of time, advice, or support. Open communication helps manage expectations and prevents misunderstandings.

4. Focus on their own well-being:
Prioritise self-care and well-being to ensure the individual has the physical, mental, and emotional capacity to be a positive role model. They should set aside time for relaxation, hobbies, and activities that recharge and rejuvenate them. Taking care of themselves enables them to better support and inspire others.

5. Emphasize the journey, not just the outcome:
Encourage others to focus on the process, growth, and effort rather than solely the end result. Highlight the importance of perseverance, learning from failures, and embracing challenges as opportunities for growth. This helps set realistic expectations and fosters a healthier mindset.

6. Role Model to share own struggles and setbacks:
Be open about the challenges they have faced and the setbacks they have experienced. This helps others understand that success is not always linear and that everyone faces obstacles along the way. By sharing their own journey, they humanise the role model experience and provide a realistic perspective.

7. Encourage individuality and self-discovery:
Promote individuality and self-discovery in those who look up to them. Emphasise the importance of discovering their own passions, strengths, and values. Encourage them to set their own goals and define success on their own terms.

8. Seek support and mentorship:
They should surround themselves with a support network that includes mentors, peers, or other role models who can offer guidance, perspective, and encouragement. Having a support system can help them navigate the responsibilities and expectations that come with being a role model.

9. Set realistic expectations:
Set realistic expectations for themselves and for those who view them as a role model. Highlight the importance of progress, growth, and continuous learning rather than placing undue pressure on achieving perfection or meeting unreachable standards.

10. Accept that you can’t please everyone:
Role models to understand they cannot meet everyone’s expectations or be everything to everyone. Focus on making a positive impact within their capabilities and accept that not everyone will resonate with their message or approach. Embrace the fact that different people connect with different role models.

Remember, being a role model is a privilege, but it’s important to prioritise their own well-being and manage expectations to ensure a healthy and sustainable impact on others.

Top Tips

1. The role model to be clear on their expectations of the role, including time and support of others.
2. Communicate with all stakeholders to ensure all are clear on the expectations of the role.
3. Share lived experience to inspire and motivate others.
4. Ensure there is a strong support mechanism surrounding the role model and the women sport officials.
5. Be mindful of the ‘pairing’ of role models and women officials, as there is a possibility of personality clashes at times.

||| Sub-Pillar 2.3

2.3 – Ensure ‘first touch’ experience is positive and engaging


Ensuring a positive and engaging first touch experience for new women officials is crucial for making a lasting impression on individuals. Often the first touch is when they enquire about taking an officiating course, followed by the actual course delivery, it’s important that this is a positive experience from the beginning. Here are some strategies to consider:

1. Clear and welcoming communication:
Provide clear and concise information to individuals about what they can expect from their first touch experience. Whether it’s an event, program, or meeting, communicate the purpose, agenda, and any necessary instructions or materials in advance. Use welcoming language and express enthusiasm to create a positive atmosphere.

2. Warm and friendly reception:
Create a welcoming environment from the moment individuals arrive. Greet them with a smile, introduce yourself and others, and make them feel valued and included. Offer assistance and provide any necessary guidance or directions to help them feel comfortable.

3. Personalise the experience:
Whenever possible, personalise the first touch experience to make individuals feel seen and acknowledged. Address them by name, reference any relevant information you may have about them, and tailor your interactions to their specific needs or interests. This personal touch creates a sense of connection and demonstrates that you value their presence.

4. Active listening and engagement:
Actively listen to individuals and show genuine interest in their thoughts, questions, and concerns. Provide them with opportunities to express themselves, ask questions, and share their experiences. Engage in meaningful conversations and show respect for their opinions and perspectives.

5. Provide relevant information and resources:
Offer individuals the information they need to navigate their first touch experience smoothly. Provide handouts, brochures, or digital resources that outline key details, guidelines, and contact information. Ensure that the information is clear, concise, and easily accessible.

6. Offer a guided orientation or tour:
If applicable, offer a guided orientation or tour to familiarise individuals with the environment, facilities, and key locations where their initial course will be held. This helps them feel more comfortable and enables them to navigate the space with confidence.

7. Facilitate connections and introductions:
Encourage networking and connection-building among individuals. Introduce them to others as they all have similar interests in the sport they are looking to officiate. Create opportunities for group discussions or icebreaker activities to foster connections and a sense of belonging.

8. Engaging activities or demonstrations:
Incorporate interactive activities, demonstrations, or engaging presentations to capture individuals’ interest and make the experience memorable. Hands-on experiences, group exercises, or showcases can create a positive and engaging atmosphere.

9. Solicit feedback and address concerns:
Throughout the first touch experience, actively seek feedback from individuals to ensure their needs are being met. Provide opportunities for them to share their thoughts, suggestions, or concerns. Demonstrate responsiveness by addressing any concerns promptly and transparently.

10. Follow-up and continued communication:
After the initial contact, follow up with individuals to express appreciation for their participation and reiterate any important information or next steps in their sport officiating journey. Maintain open lines of communication to ensure ongoing engagement and support their continued involvement.

By implementing these strategies, you can create a positive and engaging first touch experience that leaves individuals feeling welcomed, valued, and motivated to further engage with your organization or community.

Content area 1 : Ensure all officiating workforces are up to date with E.D & I best practice principles

Keeping the workforce up to date with equality, diversity, and inclusion (E.D.&I.) best practices is essential for fostering an inclusive and respectful work environment. Here are some strategies to help achieve this:

1. Training and workshops:
Conduct regular training sessions and workshops on E.D.&I. topics. These sessions can cover a wide range of subjects, such as unconscious bias, cultural competence, inclusive communication, and creating an inclusive workplace within sport officiating. Invite industry experts or use online resources to provide valuable insights and practical strategies.

2. Incorporate E.D.&I. into all education:
Make E.D.&I. an integral part of all education courses and process to become a sport official. Provide information and resources on the organisation’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, the policies and procedures in place, and the importance of creating an inclusive work culture.

3. Foster open and inclusive communication:
Create a safe and inclusive environment where women sport officials feel comfortable discussing E.D.&I. topics, or any other areas of discrimination openly. Encourage respectful dialogue, active listening, and the exchange of ideas. Implement channels for anonymous feedback or suggestions to provide women sport officials with a way to share their thoughts without fear of retribution.

4. Leadership commitment and accountability:
Ensure officiating line managers are actively engaged in promoting E.D.&I best practices. They should actively demonstrate their commitment to E.D.&I. through their actions, hold themselves accountable for fostering an inclusive culture, and lead by example. Incorporate E.D.&I. objectives into all performance evaluations and recognise and reward behaviours that support diversity and inclusion.

5. Regular updates and newsletters:
Share regular updates and newsletters that highlight E.D.&I. initiatives, progress, and upcoming events. Use these communications to share success stories and resources related to E.D.&I. Encourage women sport officials to contribute their own stories and perspectives.

6. Assess and address gaps:
Regularly assess the organisation’s E.D.&I. practices and policies to identify any gaps or areas for improvement. Conduct surveys, focus groups, or interviews to gather feedback from women sport officials about their experiences and perceptions of inclusivity. Use this feedback to inform targeted initiatives and interventions.

7. Continuous learning and development:
Encourage all involved in your sport to engage in continuous learning and development related to E.D.&I. Provide opportunities for individuals to attend workshops, conferences, or seminars on E.D.&I. topics. Support participation in relevant external networks or sport industry E.D.&I. events.

By implementing these strategies, you can foster a culture of continuous learning and ensure that your workforce remains up to date with E.D.&I. best practices. This commitment to ongoing education and awareness helps create an inclusive workplace where diversity is celebrated and valued.

Top Tips

1. Ensure E.D.&I. best practice principles in embedded in your sports values and behaviors
2. Ensure E.D.&I. is incorporated through all current aspects of learning and education.
3. Ensure there is a safe anonymous process to report any cases of discrimination without retribution.
4. Regularly assess the organisations E.D & I. process to identify future initiatives and interventions.
5. Ensure continuous learning and development is available for all involved in the sport.

Content area 2 : Where possible appoint women tutors to women specific courses

When appointing women tutors to women-specific courses, it is important to consider factors such as qualifications, expertise, and experience.

Pros of Women-only Sports Officiating Courses:

1. Promoting Gender Equality:
Women-only sports officiating courses can help promote gender equality by providing an opportunity for women to enter and excel in a traditionally male-dominated field.

2. Creating a Supportive Environment:
It can create a supportive and comfortable learning environment specifically designed for women, where they can freely ask questions, share experiences, and build relationships with other women facing similar challenges.

3. Fostering Confidence and Empowerment:
Women-only courses can help build confidence and empower women who may initially be hesitant to pursue sports officiating due to societal expectations or lack of representation.

4. Tailored Curriculum:
By focusing on the specific needs and experiences of women, these courses can provide targeted training and address unique challenges that women might face in sports officiating.

5. Networking Opportunities:
Women-only courses can offer networking opportunities with experienced female officials and professionals in the field, allowing for mentorship and guidance.

Cons of Women-only Sports Officiating Courses:

1. Lack of Diversity:
By exclusively focusing on women, these courses may limit diversity among sports officials, potentially excluding talented individuals who don’t identify as women.

2. Perceived Lack of Equality:
Some people might argue that providing separate courses for women could be seen as discriminatory or reinforce gender stereotypes, suggesting that women need special attention or separate treatment to succeed.

3. Limited Opportunities:
By creating separate courses, there is a risk of limiting access to resources and opportunities for women, potentially preventing them from competing and working in mixed-gender sporting events.

4. Cost and Availability:
Depending on the location and availability, women-only sports officiating courses may be limited in number, making it more challenging for women to access these opportunities compared to mixed-gender courses.

5. Reinforcing Gender Binaries:
By only offering women-only courses, there is a risk of reinforcing gender binaries and excluding individuals who do not fit within traditional gender definitions.

In conclusion, while women-only sports officiating courses can provide unique advantages and opportunities for women, it is necessary to consider the potential limitations and ensure inclusivity and equal opportunities within the field of sports officiating.

Here are some steps you can follow to appoint women tutors for such courses:

1. Identify the specific courses:
Determine which courses are women-specific and require women tutors.

2. Establish the qualifications and expertise:
Define the qualifications, experience, and expertise necessary for the tutor role in each specific course. Consider the subject matter knowledge, teaching experience, and any additional requirements such as practical experience in the field.

3. Advertise the positions:
Create tutor role announcements that emphasise the preference for women tutors for specific courses. Clearly state the qualifications and requirements for the role. Share the openings through appropriate channels, internally and externally to the sport.

4. Encourage applications from women:
Actively promote the positions to encourage women to apply. Reach out to women’s organisations and relevant networks to disseminate the information. Consider hosting informational sessions or workshops to generate interest and address any questions potential applicants may have.

5. Consider diversity within women tutors:
While it is important to have women tutors for women-specific courses, also consider the diversity within the pool of women tutors. This may include women from different backgrounds, cultures, and experiences to bring a broader perspective to the sport officiating courses.

6. Provide necessary support and resources:
Ensure that the appointed women tutors receive the required support, resources, and professional development opportunities to excel in their roles. Encourage ongoing communication and feedback to enhance their effectiveness.

7. Monitor and assess the effectiveness:
Regularly assess the effectiveness of the women tutors in delivering the course content and meeting the needs of women sport officials.

By following these steps, you can work towards appointing qualified and competent women tutors to women-specific courses, creating an inclusive and supportive learning environment for women sport officials.

Top Tips

1. Ensure you have suitably qualified women tutors to undertake the necessary courses for women sport officials.
2. Actively seek appropriately trained women tutors based on need.
3. Ensure you advertise the need for women tutors internally and externally to the sport.
4. Provide the necessary support and development for women tutors.
5. Monitor and evaluate their performance to ensure they are meeting the course outcomes.

Content area 3 : Ensure all tutors and associated workforce up to date with current practices

To ensure that all tutors and associated workforce are up to date with current practices, you can implement the following strategies:

1. Continuous Professional Development (CPD):
Establish a culture of continuous learning and professional development. Encourage tutors to participate in workshops, conferences, seminars, and training programs related to the needs of the sport officiating workforce and best practice teaching methodologies. Provide them with opportunities to enhance their skills and stay updated with the latest practices and research.

2. Internal Training Programs:
Organise regular internal training programs and workshops specific to the needs of your sport organisation. These programs can cover topics such as innovative teaching techniques, technology integration, assessment strategies, and inclusive education practices.

3. Peer Collaboration and Mentoring:
Encourage tutors to engage in peer collaboration and mentoring. Foster a supportive environment where tutors can share their knowledge, experiences, and best practices with their colleagues. Establish mentoring programs where experienced tutors can guide and support new or less-experienced tutors.

4. Resource Sharing:
Create a centralised repository of resources, including articles, research papers, case studies, and educational materials relevant to the sport officiating teaching practices. Encourage tutors to share resources, lesson plans, and teaching materials with their colleagues. This facilitates the exchange of ideas and keeps everyone updated with the latest practices.

5. Regular Evaluation and Feedback:
Conduct periodic evaluations and observations of tutor performance. Provide constructive feedback and suggestions for improvement. Use these evaluations as an opportunity to discuss current practices and identify areas where additional support or training may be needed. Encourage tutors to reflect on their teaching methods and incorporate feedback into their practices.

6. Provide Access to Online Learning Platforms:
Offer access to online learning platforms, educational webinars, and e-learning resources that focus on professional development. These platforms often provide courses and modules specifically designed for educators to enhance their teaching skills and keep up with current practices.

By implementing these strategies, you can create a supportive and dynamic learning environment for tutors and ensure that they stay up to date with current practices in their respective fields.

Top Tips

1. Ensure continuous training is provided for sport official tutors.
2. Encourage peer collaboration and mentoring to those who need it.
3. Ensure the appropriate resources are available to tutors.
4. Provide regular evaluation and feedback on tutor performance.
5. Provide access to e learning platforms and materials for tutors.

||| Sub-Pillar 2.4

2.4 – Ensure fair equitable development pathways are established and shared at all times


To ensure the establishment and sharing of fair and equitable development pathways, consider the following strategies:

1. Clear and transparent criteria:
Establish clear and transparent criteria for women sport officials, promotions, and opportunities within the organisation. Ensure the criteria are fair and unbiased, based on objective and relevant factors such as skills, performance, and potential. Communicate these criteria openly to all sport officials.

2. Provide equal access to development opportunities:
Create a level playing field by ensuring that all women sport officials have equal access to development opportunities. This includes training programs, mentorship, and leadership development initiatives. Avoid favouritism or bias when selecting sport officials for such opportunities.

3. Individual development plans:
Encourage women sport officials to create individual development plans that align with their career goals and aspirations. Support them in identifying the necessary skills, knowledge, and experiences required to progress in their officiating careers. Regularly review and update these plans to ensure they remain relevant and inclusive.

4. Supportive mentorship and sponsorship programs:
Establish mentorship and sponsorship programs that connect women sport officials with those who are more experienced, who can provide guidance, support, and advocacy. Ensure that these programs are accessible to women sport officials from all backgrounds and levels within the organisation.

5. Diverse leadership representation:
Strive for diverse leadership representation at all levels of the sport organisation. Actively work towards developing and promoting individuals from underrepresented groups into leadership positions. This helps create role models and demonstrates the organisation’s commitment to equitable development pathways.

6. Regular communication and engagement:
Communicate and engage with women sport officials on matters related to development pathways. Share information about available opportunities, possible related career paths, and development resources. Encourage open dialogue and feedback to ensure that individuals voices are heard, and their perspectives are considered in decision-making processes.

7. Evaluation of development programs:
Regularly evaluate the effectiveness of development programs and initiatives to ensure they are achieving their intended goals. Collect feedback from women sport officials and make necessary adjustments based on their findings. Monitor the representation and progression of women sport officials from different backgrounds to identify any systemic barriers that need to be addressed.

By implementing these strategies, you can create a fair and equitable environment where employees have equal opportunities for growth and development. This fosters a sense of inclusivity, promotes diversity, and ensures that talent is nurtured and recognised based on merit.

Content area 1 : Identify existing pathways and the rationale for their structure and criteria

Identifying existing pathways for sport officials involves researching and understanding the structures and criteria established by sport governing bodies and organisations. Here are the steps you can take to identify these pathways and understand their rationale:

1. Research Sports Governing Bodies:
Start by researching the sport federations relevant to the sport you are interested in. These bodies are responsible for establishing and regulating the pathways for sport officials. Examples include the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA), and International Cricket Council (ICC), International Hockey Federation (FIH).

2. Explore Official Certification Programs:
Many sports governing bodies offer official certification programs for sport officials. These programs outline the pathways and criteria for becoming a certified official at different levels. Visit the websites of the respective governing bodies to access information about these programs. Look for sections specifically dedicated to officiating or referees/umpires.

3. Review Pathway Structures:
Examine the different levels or tiers within the officiating pathway. Typically, there are multiple levels based on experience, expertise, and the level of competition. For example, there might be beginner or entry-level officiating positions, intermediate levels, and advanced levels for officiating at national or international events.

4. Understand Criteria and Requirements:
Analyse the criteria and requirements set by the governing bodies for progressing through the officiating pathway. This may include criteria such as completion of specific training programs, passing certification exams, gaining practical experience by officiating at lower-level competitions, and receiving positive evaluations from experienced officials or mentors.

5. Consider Experience and Skill Development:
Recognise the importance of gaining practical experience and developing officiating skills. Look for information on mentorship programs, workshops, and opportunities for officiating at local or regional competitions. These experiences often contribute to the progression along the pathway and enhance the expertise of sports officials.

6. Seek Guidance from Officiating Associations or Organisations:
Officiating associations or organisations at national or regional levels can provide valuable insights into the existing pathways. Reach out to these organisations to inquire about their specific structures, criteria, and resources available for officials. They may provide additional training opportunities, mentorship programs, or resources to help officials progress in their careers.

7. Understand the Rationale:
To understand the rationale behind the structure and criteria of the officiating pathways, consider factors such as the need for standardised officiating practices, ensuring competency and professionalism, and maintaining the integrity of the sport. Governing bodies establish these structures to ensure that officials possess the necessary knowledge, skills, and experience to officiate at different levels of competition.

8. Attend Officiating Workshops and Seminars:
Many sports governing bodies and officiating associations conduct workshops, seminars, and conferences for sports officials in general. These events often cover topics related to officiating standards, law/rule interpretations, and best practices. Participating in such events can provide deeper insights into the rationale behind the criteria and structure of officiating pathways.

By following these steps, you can identify existing pathways for sports officials and gain a better understanding of the rationale behind their structure and criteria. Remember that the specific pathways and criteria may vary between different sports and governing bodies, so it’s important to research and consult the relevant organisations in your specific sport of interest.

Top Tips

1. Research relative sport organisations to understand the criteria of their development pathways.
2. Use the research gained to ascertain the general rational of why and how the officiating pathways are structured.
3. Look for standardisation of development pathways throughout all levels, so there is clear progression.
4. Consider whether the sport in question needs one pathway, gender fluid, or two pathways for women and men sport officials, or for women and men’s competition.
5. Identify what works for your sport and the rational as to why.

Content area 2 : Identify if existing pathways are fair for all to progress regardless of gender

To determine if existing pathways for sport officials are fair for everyone to progress regardless of gender, you need to assess the inclusivity and equality of the pathways. Here are some steps you can take to identify potential gender biases and evaluate fairness:

1. Research and Review Pathway Documentation:
Thoroughly examine the documentation, guidelines, and policies related to the existing pathways for sport officials. Look for any explicit or implicit gender-specific requirements or language that may indicate bias or inequality. Pay attention to the criteria, prerequisites, and progression requirements outlined for each level.

2. Analyse Representation:
Assess the representation of women in sport officiating at different levels and in various competitions. Look for data or reports that highlight the number of women officials and their progression through the pathway. Identify any disparities or underrepresentation of women in higher-level positions or elite competitions.

3. Evaluate Selection and Promotion Processes:
Review the selection and promotion processes used for sport officials. Analyse how officials are selected for different competitions and advancement opportunities. Look for any gender-neutral criteria or objective evaluation methods that are used to assess competence and performance. Evaluate if these processes are transparent, free from bias, and promote equal opportunities for all.

4. Seek Feedback from Women Sport Officials:
Engage in discussions and seek feedback from women sport officials who have gone through the pathway. Inquire about their experiences, challenges faced, and perceived barriers to progression. Their insights can provide valuable perspectives on any gender-specific issues they encountered and whether the existing pathways are fair and inclusive.

5. Assess Support and Development Programs:
Examine the support and development programs available for sport officials. Evaluate if these programs specifically address the needs and challenges faced by women officials. Look for initiatives such as mentorship programs, training opportunities, and leadership development programs that aim to support and empower women officials.

6. Consult Women’s Sport Organisations and Advocacy Groups:
Reach out to women’s sport organisations and advocacy groups that focus on gender equality in sport. Inquire about their perspectives on the existing pathways for sport officials and any initiatives they have undertaken to promote equal opportunities for women officials. These organisations can provide insights, resources, and guidance on identifying and addressing gender biases.

7. Benchmark with Best Practices:
Look for examples of sport organisations or governing bodies that have successfully implemented inclusive officiating pathways. Identify best practices that promote gender equality and learn from their approaches. This could include implementing gender-neutral selection criteria, providing targeted support and mentorship for women sport officials, or addressing systemic barriers through policy changes.

8. Collaborate with Sport Governing Bodies:
Engage in conversations with sport governing bodies responsible for the pathways. Share your observations, concerns, and suggestions regarding gender equality. Collaborate with these organisations to foster dialogue, raise awareness, and advocate for changes that promote fair opportunities for everyone, irrespective of gender.

9. Monitor and Track Progress:
Continuously monitor and track the progress of gender equality initiatives within sport officiating. Keep updated on any policy changes, diversity initiatives, or programs implemented by governing bodies. Evaluate if these efforts have led to increased representation, improved opportunities, and fair progression for women sport officials.

10. Encourage Feedback and Reporting:
Establish channels for women sport officials to provide anonymous feedback and report any instances of gender bias or discrimination they may encounter during their officiating journey. Encourage a culture of inclusivity and openness to address and rectify any issues promptly.

By following these steps, you can evaluate the fairness and inclusivity of existing pathways for sport officials and identify areas where improvements can be made to ensure equal opportunities for all individuals, regardless of gender.

Top Tips

1. Analyse all data collected to ascertain if the pathways you have researched are fair and equitable.
2. Analyse the selection process at all levels.
3. Seek feedback from existing women sport officials to ascertain effectiveness of the pathway.
4. Collaborate with sport organisations to influence change.
5. Benchmark with best practice.

Content area 3 : Clarify expectations of the pathway for women sport officials in your sport

The expectations of the pathway for women sport officials can vary depending on the specific sport, organisation, and level of officiating. However, here are some general expectations:

1. Knowledge and Understanding:
Women sport officials are expected to have a comprehensive understanding of the laws/rules, regulations, and technical aspects of the sport they officiate. They should continuously update their knowledge and stay abreast of any rule changes or developments in their respective sports.

2. Technical Skills:
Women sport officials should possess strong technical skills specific to their sport. This includes the ability to make accurate and fair judgments, apply the laws/rules consistently, and effectively manage game situations.

3. Communication and Leadership:
Effective communication skills are essential for women sport officials. They should be able to clearly and confidently communicate with athletes, coaches, fellow officials, and spectators. Additionally, they should demonstrate leadership qualities by maintaining control of the event, handling conflicts, and making authoritative decisions when necessary.

4. Professionalism and Integrity:
Women sport officials are expected to uphold the highest standards of professionalism and integrity. They should demonstrate fairness, impartiality, and consistency in their officiating. They should also exhibit respect for all participants, regardless of their gender, race, or background, and refrain from any biased or discriminatory behaviour.

5. Physical Fitness:
Depending on the sport, women sport officials may be required to meet certain physical fitness standards in order to progress up the development pathway. They should maintain a level of fitness that allows them to keep up with the pace of the sporting event, maintain proper positioning, and make accurate calls.

6. Continued Learning and Development:
Women sport officials are expected to engage in ongoing learning and development to enhance their skills and knowledge in order to maintain their level and progress up the pathway. This may involve attending workshops, clinics, or seminars, participating in training programs, and seeking mentorship or guidance from experienced officials. Continued learning helps officials stay updated with the latest practices and advancements in their sport.

7. Adaptability and Resilience:
Women sport officials should be adaptable and able to handle various event situations, including high-pressure environments and unexpected challenges. They should demonstrate resilience and the ability to make quick and informed decisions under pressure.

8. Commitment and Availability:
Officiating often requires a significant time commitment, including attending practices, training sessions, and games or events. Women sport officials should be willing to dedicate the necessary time and effort to fulfil their officiating responsibilities. They should also demonstrate reliability and punctuality in meeting their commitments.

It’s important to note that the expectations for women sport officials should be the same as those for their male counterparts. Equal opportunities, support, and recognition should be provided to women sport officials to ensure their successful pathway in officiating sports.

Top Tips

1. Ensure your women sport officials have all the required, skills, knowledge and experience to carry out the role.
2. Leadership and communication are key skills all women sport officials are required to have and display.
3. Ensure women sport officials are committed to progress through the development pathway.
4. Ensure clarity of communication of what progression means to the individual woman sport official.
5. Ensure expectations are fair and equitable and can be realistically achieved.

Content area 4 : How to develop pathways for women sport officials

Developing pathways for women sport officials requires a concerted effort to address the barriers and challenges they may face in entering and progressing within officiating roles. Here are some strategies to help develop pathways for women sport officials:

1. Create a supportive and inclusive environment:
Foster a culture that values and promotes gender diversity and inclusivity in officiating. Ensure that policies, practices, and language used within the organisation or sport are inclusive and non-discriminatory. Encourage open dialogue, respect, and equal opportunities for all officials, regardless of their gender.

2. Identify and address barriers:
Identify the specific barriers that may hinder the participation and advancement of women sport officials. These barriers can include gender biases, limited representation, lack of visibility, access to training opportunities, or discriminatory practices. Develop strategies and initiatives to address these barriers and create a more equitable environment.

3. Identify what your sport needs:
Ensure the pathway you create for your sport fits your levels of competition and geographical needs. This will ensure there is fairness in women sport officials being appointed to the correct level of event.

4. Identify achievable realistic levels of operation:
Its important when looking at building a development pathway you ensure the levels of operation are relevant to the sport competition and map across all competition fairly.

5. Establish and build in mentorship and networking programs:
Create and build into your pathway mentorship programs that pair experienced women sport officials with aspiring or junior officials. Mentors can provide guidance, support, and advice to help women sport officials navigate their officiating careers. Additionally, networking programs can facilitate connections and opportunities for women sport officials to learn from and collaborate with their peers and leaders in the field.

6. Promote visibility and recognition:
Increase the visibility of women officials by featuring them in promotional materials, media coverage, and recognition programs. Celebrate their achievements and contributions to the sport. This not only provides positive role models for aspiring officials but also helps challenge stereotypes and biases.

7. Establish clear pathways and progression opportunities:
Create clear pathways for women sport officials to progress within officiating roles. Develop guidelines or criteria for advancing to higher levels of officiating and provide transparent information on the requirements and opportunities available. Establish support systems, such as performance evaluations, feedback mechanisms, and performance-based promotions, to ensure fair and equitable progression.

8. Collaborate with stakeholders:
Collaborate with sport governing bodies, leagues, and associations to advocate for the inclusion and advancement of women officials. Engage in conversations and initiatives that promote gender equality in officiating. Encourage partnerships and collaboration with other organisations or sports that have successfully developed pathways for women officials to share best practices and learn from their experiences.

By implementing these strategies, you can create a more inclusive and supportive environment that enables the development and progression of women sport officials in sport officiating. It is essential to foster an equitable culture that values diversity, provides equal opportunities, and recognises the unique contributions of women sport officials.

Top Tips

1. Ensure the pathway you develop is fit for purpose for your sport by looking at geographical spread and competition requirements.

2. Work in collaboration with clubs, leagues and competitions to ensure the inclusion of women sport officials is fair and equitable.

3. Set clear criteria for women sport officials to move from one level to another in progression.

4. Build in support mechanisms for the women sport officials to ensure their progression is seamless.

5. Communicate to all to ensure open and transparent progression through the pathway is achieved, to ensure there is no unconscious bias.

||| Sub-Pillar 2.5

2.5 – Ensure fair deployment of new women sport officials with appropriate support


Ensuring the fair deployment of new women sport officials and providing appropriate support is crucial to their success and retention. Here are some steps to help achieve this:

1. Inclusive recruitment and selection:
Ensure that the recruitment and selection processes for new women sport officials are inclusive and free from bias. Implement strategies to attract a diverse pool of candidates, including women, through targeted outreach, partnerships, and communication channels. Use objective criteria and standardised assessments to evaluate candidates’ skills and potential, avoiding any discriminatory practices.

2. Mentorship and buddy system:
Pair new women sport officials with experienced officials who can serve as mentors or buddies. These mentors can provide guidance, support, and advice as new officials navigate their roles. They can offer feedback, help build confidence, and assist in addressing any challenges or concerns that may arise. Regular check-ins and opportunities for mentorship meetings can enhance the support provided.

3. Training and development programs:
Offer comprehensive training and development programs specifically designed for new women sport officials. These programs should cover technical skills, laws/rule knowledge, game management, and communication techniques. Provide opportunities for practical on-field experience and simulated scenarios to build confidence and competence. Tailor training to address any unique challenges or concerns that women officials may face.

4. Ongoing support and feedback:
Establish a system of ongoing support and feedback for new women sport officials. This can include regular performance evaluations, constructive feedback from supervisors and mentors, and opportunities for self-assessment and reflection. Provide resources, such as law/rule books, instructional videos, and online platforms, to assist with continuous learning and development.

5. Networking and community-building:
Facilitate opportunities for new women sport officials to connect with each other and form a supportive community. This can be achieved through informal / formal networking events, online forums, or workshops where they can share experiences, discuss challenges, and exchange best practices. Encourage participation in women sport officiating associations or affinity groups to foster a sense of belonging and provide additional support.

6. Addressing bias and discrimination:
Create a zero-tolerance policy for bias, discrimination, or harassment within the officiating community. Ensure that all officials, including new women sport officials, are aware of their rights and avenues to report any incidents. Establish protocols for handling complaints and take swift action to address and rectify any issues that arise.

7. Celebrating achievements and visibility:
Recognise and celebrate the achievements of new women sport officials, both within the officiating community and in public forums. Highlight their contributions, milestones, and success stories to inspire and motivate others. This recognition can help increase the visibility of women officials and showcase their competence and value to the sport.

8. Regular feedback loops:
Establish regular feedback loops to gather input from new women sport officials on their experiences, challenges, and suggestions for improvement. This can be done through surveys, focus groups, or one-on-one conversations. Use this feedback to identify areas where additional support or adjustments may be needed in the deployment and development process.

By implementing these measures, you can ensure that new women sport officials are deployed fairly and provided with the necessary support to succeed in their roles. This creates a more inclusive officiating environment and encourages the long-term participation and advancement of women officials in the sport.

Content area 1 : Ensure fair and equitable deployment of women sport officials within development pathways

Deploying women sport officials in a fair and equitable way requires intentional efforts to address gender disparities and biases. Here are some strategies to ensure fair and equitable deployment:

1. Representation in decision-making:
Include women in decision-making processes related to sport officiating assignments. This can involve having women representatives on selection committees or panels responsible for assigning sport officials to games or events. Ensure that the decision-making body reflects diversity and is committed to equitable deployment.

2. Clear and transparent criteria:
Establish clear and transparent criteria for sport officiating assignments. These criteria should be based on merit, skills, experience, and performance rather than gender. Ensure that the selection process considers objective factors such as qualifications, expertise, availability, and any specific requirements of the game or event.

3. Eliminate gender biases:
Implement measures to eliminate conscious and unconscious biases in the deployment process. Provide training and awareness programs for sport officials, administrators, and decision-makers to recognise and overcome biases related to gender. Encourage a culture of fairness, objectivity, and inclusivity in all aspects of officiating.

4. Diverse representation in officiating leadership:
Foster diversity and inclusion in officiating leadership roles. Ensure that women have the opportunity to hold leadership positions within sport officiating sectors, organisations or bodies. Having women in leadership positions can influence decision-making processes and promote equitable deployment of sport officials.

5. Mentorship and development opportunities:
Offer mentorship and development programs specifically designed to support and promote women sport officials. Pair them with experienced mentors who can provide guidance, advice, and support in navigating their officiating careers. Provide opportunities for skill development, training, and advancement to ensure that women sport officials have the necessary tools and resources to succeed.

6. Collaboration with associations and organisations:
Collaborate with women sport officiating associations or organisations that advocate for gender equity in sport officiating. Work together to identify and address barriers, share best practices, and promote opportunities for women sport officials. Leverage the collective efforts to create a more inclusive environment for deployment.

7. Regular evaluation and monitoring:
Regularly evaluate the deployment process to assess its fairness and equity. Monitor the representation and progress of women sport officials in different levels of officiating and identify any disparities or areas for improvement. Use data and metrics to measure progress and inform decision-making.

8. Open communication and feedback:
Encourage open communication channels between sport officials, administrators, and decision-makers. Create a safe and inclusive environment for officials to provide feedback, voice concerns, and share experiences. Actively seek feedback from women sport officials to understand their perspectives and address any challenges they may face in the deployment process.

9. Celebrate successes and promote visibility:
Celebrate the achievements and contributions of women sport officials at all levels. Recognise their accomplishments through awards, acknowledgments, and public recognition. Promote their visibility through media coverage, social media, and other platforms to inspire and motivate others.

By implementing these strategies, you can work towards deploying women sport officials in a fair and equitable manner. It is important to continuously assess and adapt these strategies to address any evolving challenges and ensure sustained progress in promoting gender equity in sport officiating.

Top Tips

1. Ensure women are involved in the decision-making process related to deployment and assignments.
2. Create a clear, open and transparent criteria for deployment and assignment.
3. Work with sport organisations to ensure there are no biases or barriers to the deployment of women sport officials.
4. Continue to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the deployment process to ensure fairness.
5. Ensure clear communication lines are open to all key stakeholders in the deployment process.

Content area 2 : Design a bespoke induction programme for women sport officials including integration into the sector, appointing etc.

Designing a bespoke induction program for women sport officials that focuses on their integration into the sector and addresses specific needs and challenges can help create a supportive and inclusive environment. Here are steps to consider when developing such a program:

1. Assess Needs and Challenges:
Conduct a needs assessment to identify the unique needs and challenges faced by women sport officials in the sector. This can be done through surveys, interviews, and focus groups with current and aspiring women sport officials. Gather insights into areas such as skill development, networking opportunities, work-life balance, and addressing gender-specific barriers.

2. Establish Program Goals:
Based on the needs assessment, define clear goals for the induction program. These goals could include promoting gender diversity and inclusion, providing support and mentorship, enhancing skills and knowledge, and fostering a sense of belonging and community.

3. Provide Orientation and Sector Knowledge:
Start the induction program with an orientation session to introduce women sport officials to the sector’s structure, laws/rules, policies, and opportunities. Provide an overview of the different roles, pathways, mentors, support mechanisms in general and career progression options available. This will help them understand the sector’s landscape and make informed decisions.

4. Assign Mentors and Support Networks:
Pair each woman sport official with a mentor who can guide and support them during their initial period in the sector. Mentors can provide advice, share experiences, and help navigate challenges. Additionally, facilitate the formation of support networks or affinity groups where women sport officials can connect, share experiences, and support one another.

5. Address Gender-Specific Barriers:
Include sessions or workshops that specifically address gender-specific barriers and challenges. This can cover topics such as overcoming stereotypes and biases, building confidence and assertiveness, managing work-life balance, and addressing any systemic issues that affect women officials’ progression.

6. Skill Development and Training:
Offer training sessions or workshops that focus on developing the necessary skills for sport officiating. This can include areas such as law/rule interpretation, decision-making, conflict resolution, effective communication, and leadership skills. Ensure that the training is tailored to the specific needs and challenges identified for women sport officials.

7. Networking and Relationship Building:
Create opportunities for women sport officials to network and build relationships with other sport officials, administrators, and stakeholders within the sector. This can be done through networking events, panel discussions, conferences, or social gatherings. Encourage participation in relevant industry associations or organisations that provide networking platforms. This could also include informal support networks including family and friends, neighbours and community and online communities. Although these are less structured networks they should be encouraged and developed by the federations to offer more support, advice and help where it is needed.

8. Enhance Knowledge of Safeguarding and Inclusion:
Provide training and resources on safeguarding practices, ethics, and inclusion. Ensure that women sport officials are aware of protocols and guidelines for maintaining a safe and inclusive environment for all participants. Promote awareness of diversity, inclusion, and cultural sensitivity to foster an inclusive officiating environment.

9. Monitor and Evaluate the Program:
Continuously monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the induction program. Gather feedback from participants to assess their satisfaction, identify areas for improvement, and measure the program’s impact on their integration and success in the sector. Use this feedback to refine and enhance the program in subsequent iterations.

10. Encourage Ongoing Support and Development:
Recognise that induction is just the beginning of a woman sport official’s journey. Encourage ongoing support and development through regular check-ins, career progression discussions, access to further training and educational opportunities, and creating pathways for advancement within the sector.

By following these steps, you can design a tailored induction program that addresses the unique needs and challenges of women officials, fosters their integration into the sector, and supports their long-term success.

Top Tips

1. Identified through the research, the needs of women sport officials and include in their induction.

2. Ensure included in the induction is the orientation of the role of a sport official within their sport.

3. Include areas such as possible gender specific barriers and biases.

4. Ensure relevant skills training and development are included in the induction to ensure the woman sport official is fully prepared for the role.

5. Ensure there is a clear progression built into the induction for women sport officials to strive towards.

Content area 3 : Good practice in inducting new women sport officials

Inducting new women sport officials is a critical step in setting them up for success and creating an inclusive and supportive environment. Here are some good practices to consider:

1. Welcome and orientation:
Provide a warm and inclusive welcome to new women sport officials. Introduce them to key individuals within the sport officiating community, including administrators, mentors, and fellow officials. Orient them to the organisational structure, policies, and procedures, as well as any specific protocols or guidelines relevant to their role.

2. Mentorship and buddy system:
Assign experienced sport officials, both men and women, as mentors or buddies to new women sport officials. These mentors can provide guidance, support, and advice as they navigate their roles. They can help new officials acclimatise to the environment, understand the expectations, and address any challenges they may encounter.

3. Training and education:
Offer comprehensive training programs that cover the laws/rules, regulations, and technical aspects of the sport. Provide specific training sessions or workshops that address any unique challenges or considerations for women sport officials. This can include sessions on communication techniques, dealing with gender biases, or managing specific situations that may arise in the sporting environment.

4. Practical experience and observation:
Provide opportunities for new women officials to gain practical ‘on-field’ experience. Pair them with experienced officials during games or events, allowing them to observe and learn from their peers. Gradually increase their responsibilities and provide constructive feedback to help them improve their skills and confidence.

5. Clear role expectations:
Clearly communicate the expectations and responsibilities of the new women sport officials. This includes their roles during games or events, adherence to laws/rules and code of conduct, reporting procedures, and any administrative tasks they are responsible for. Provide written materials or handbooks that outline these expectations for easy reference.

6. Ongoing support and feedback:
Establish a supportive environment that encourages open communication and regular feedback. Schedule regular check-ins with new women sport officials to discuss their progress, challenges, and areas for improvement. Provide constructive feedback and guidance to help them develop their skills and build confidence.

7. Networking and community-building:
Facilitate opportunities for new women sport officials to connect with each other and build relationships within the officiating community. Encourage their participation in networking events, workshops, or online forums where they can share experiences, ask questions, and receive support from their peers.

8. Recognition and celebration:
Recognise and celebrate the achievements and milestones of new women sport officials. Highlight their contributions to the sport through internal announcements, social media platforms, or recognition ceremonies. This helps create a sense of accomplishment and motivates them to continue their officiating journey.

9. Ongoing development opportunities:
Offer continued development opportunities for new women sport officials to enhance their skills and knowledge. This can include access to further training, workshops, mentorship programs, or leadership development initiatives. Encourage their participation in officiating conferences, seminars, or webinars to stay updated with the latest trends and best practices.

10. Feedback and evaluation:
Regularly seek feedback from new women sport officials about their induction experience and their suggestions for improvement. Use this feedback to refine and enhance the induction process for future officials. Conduct periodic evaluations to assess their progress and identify areas where additional support or training may be needed.

By implementing these good practices, you can ensure a positive and inclusive induction process for new women sport officials, setting them up for success in their officiating roles.

Top Tips

1. Ensure there is a warm welcoming environment for the new women sport official to enter in to.

2. Use existing sport officials as ‘buddies’ to guide and support the new woman sport official as they enter the officiating sector.

3. Use ‘livid’ experiences to identify some of the challenging situations the new woman sport official may come across in the early part of their officiating journey.

4. Be sure the new woman sport official is aware of the administration expectations of the role.

5. Create an open communication whereby the experience of the new women sport officials can be monitored and evaluated.