19th Amendment Centennial: Women and Sports – Working to Achieve Parity with Men’s Sports
The Birmingham Bar Association and Magic City Bar Association celebrated the 100th Anniversary of Women’s Suffrage with a three-part series of continuing learning education opportunities. This final event in the series recognized women’s accomplishments in the world of sports and discussed challenges and strategies for seeking parity going forward. Commercial litigator and partner Rebecca Beers moderated a panel of experts including:
- Michelle Clemon, Clemon Consulting Group
- Coach Terri Williams-Flournoy, Head Coach of the Auburn University Women’s Basketball Team
- Dr. Janice L. Hilliard, Hilliard Solutions
The panel explored topics related to women’s representation in sports and discussed how Title IX has improved women’s access to participation in sports, but has not necessarily led to women’s inclusion in sports leadership roles in coaching, management, and business operations. Each of panelist shared her background and path to her current role and shared how more women can translate their experience in sports to leadership on the court or field, or on the business side of the industry.
“They discussed how women can continue to climb the ladders of leadership in the sports industry, either through coaching or the business side, and how player development initiatives can prepare women athletes of today for leadership positions of tomorrow,” said Beers after the event.
The group also discussed how women in sports have long been the standard bearers for using their platforms for social change, from Althea Gibson and Billie Jean King, to the women of the WNBA, to Serena Williams and the members of the U.S. Women’s National Team.
“While success on the field or court does not necessarily translate into parity in funding or resources for women’s sport, female athletes have always been on the forefront of using their positions of power and influence to speak out for social change, both within and outside of the sporting world,” added Beers.
“It was my great privilege to be in conversation with these three leaders and standard-bearers in their fields and to speak to more than 100 participants about women in sports and working to achieve parity in the context of the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment,” said Beers.