December of 2016 saw the arrival of the first ever Pacific Women’s Sports Leadership Program, held in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. The event was designed for women involved in sports as administrators, managers, volunteers, employees, or board members. The event was planned and held to empower and enable those women through providing practical tools to address the challenges that women in particular face in the Pacific region. This episode features Jane Livesey and Olivia Philpott, the two women who were the catalysts and visionaries behind making the event happen. You’ll also hear from Colin Pidd of Conversant, one of the supporters of the event. You’ll be inspired and encouraged by what happened and learn about plans for future events.
Twenty women from around the Pacific came together for the Pacific Women’s Sports Leadership Program. These amazing women were from 12 different sports organizations and brought a great diversity to the event. And though they learned a great deal about how to amplify and expand their leadership, they also enjoyed the connections with others who filled similar roles to theirs. It was a great sense of relief and encouragement to know that they were not alone and that other women are in the region, seeking to make the same kinds of contributions they are. You can hear how the organizers, Jane Livesey and Olivia Philpott saw the women come together at the event and learn how the support and relationships born there are being carried on beyond the event. It’s on this episode of Leaders, Bosses, and Bastards.
This conversation with some of the people behind the Pacific Women’s Sports Leadership Program shows what can happen when people with a vision join together to stir up something more. The women who came together – 20 of them, from all around the Pacific – did so to develop their leadership skills through sport and to encourage more women to move into leadership roles for the sake of combating issues such as gender-based violence, gender norms, and gender equality. Their impact did not go unnoticed and will continue to be felt.
50 % of the population in the Pacific region are women, yet women are underrepresented when it comes to politics and overall leadership positions. The Pacific Women’s Sports Leadership Program is poised to become an integral part of providing positive female role models in the Pacific region. One of the organizers, Olivia Philpott says, “It is important for us to see more women moving into leadership roles, to improve diversity in decision-making, investment in targeted programs for women’s sport, health and well-being, and to provide role models for young girls.” Sports is one of the primary areas in which these kinds of changes will be sparked – and that’s a good thing for everyone.