An expert, scholar and advocate of girls & women in sport, youth sport, and coach & sport parent education. Currently I teach sport psychology and sociology in the School of Kinesiology at the University of Minnesota where I am also the Director of the Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport. This blog reflects my critical perspective and voice on all things sport.
The Title IX Speaker Series, Presented by Best Buy®, centers around conversations with local and national leaders representing a wide variety of industries and communities. The speakers will share how Title IX legislation impacted their opportunities and how it continues to influence their worlds today and into the future.
July 21, 2021. The State of Women’s Sports; 50 Years and Counting, a conversation with Dr. Nicole LaVoi, The Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport; Lisa Lissimore, Minnesota State High School League; and Jen Flowers, Western Collegiate Hockey Association;, moderated by Lea B. Olsen, Minnesota Lynx
Dr. Nicole LaVoi, Director of the Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport, will share new data from the most recent Women in Coaching Report Card—compiled from 357 schools within NCAA Div. I conferences—including new research around women coaches of color. Additionally, Dr. LaVoi will share strategies on how all of us can play a part in continuing to increase the number of women in coaching positions across all levels.
Listen to three seasons of Tucker Center Talks,a bi-monthly podcast I host, produced by WISP Sports. This podcast is a place where I talk to, amplify, and support my female colleagues—amazing women who study sport and gender. We let the data tell the story, and talk about our research and ways we are changing the world, through the context of sport.
The Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport at the University of Minnesota released its annual Women in College Coaching Report Card (WCCRC) in collaboration with WeCOACH. The report documents the percentage of women in all coaching positions for women’s teams at NCAA Division-I institutions.
The percentage of D-I women Head Coaches went up and is now at 42.3% (up from 42.1% in 2018-19)—the data is trending in the right direction! but is remarkably stagnant.
LEADERS for Percentage of Women Head Coaches of Women Teams
Institutional leader: Tennessee State (85.7%)
Conference leader: Ivy League (52.4%)
Sport leader: Wrestling (100%), NCAA emerging sport
The majority (52.7%) of the 442 head coach hires were men.
As the coaching position became more visible, lucrative and powerful, fewer women occupied the position. (i.e., from Graduate Assistant to Head Coach to Director of Sport)
Starting at the Assistant Coach position, men are statistically and significantly older than women and are more likely to have children.
Based on the data, we identified that the Assistant Coach is a critical zone of attrition in the career pipeline for women, possibly due in part to parental status. This report identifies leaks in the pipeline and opportunities for policy, support and programming.
Very few coaches at any position (42 of 10,697) are openly gay within their online biographies, indicating that homophobia is prevalent within college athletics.
The culture of college sport privileges heterosexual men with children. Coaching, like many occupations, is gendered. Much work remains to ensure all women, regardless of identity, feel safe, valued and supported.
To read the full WCCRC and to see which institutions, sports and conferences receive passing and failing grades, and read more about factors that contribute to the leaky pipeline visit TuckerCenter.org
A couple years ago I did a podcast for John O’Sullivan of Changing the Game Project about youth sport, sport parent behavior research, and how to help parents be better on the sidelines. Take a listen!
5:00 When she became interested in issues for Women in Sport Leadership?
8:00 Why is there a decline in women in sport leadership?
15:00 What would it take to get more women coaching sports?
21:00 Why does Nicole think kids are quitting sport?
28:00 Nicole explains “background anger” and how it affects children
35:00 What is Kid Speak?
48:00 Winning and Character Development are not mutually exclusive