MIRACLE - spring in a male dominated industry!
Governments, public institutions and organisations in the EU have, over the years, committed themselves to policies and programmes to advance women. While these have run with varying degrees of success, they have undoubtedly had a positive effect, especially on younger generations of men and women. The Lithuanian Union of Sport Federations with partner organisations took advantage of the Erasmus+ Small Collaborative Partnerships programme and successfully initiated a social inclusion and equal opportunities project, called “Women’s empowerment in sport and physical education industry/ (MIRACLE)”.
Given women’s increasing level of qualification and work performance, it might have been expected that they would have moved more quickly up the career ladder in recent years. This has not been the case, and for many the pace of change is just too slow, the sport and physical education industry is not an exception.
Therefore, the Lithuanian Union of Sport Federations with five partner organisations initiated “MIRACLE”. The partners in this consortium are the Lithuanian Union of Sport Federations, the Lithuanian Olympic Committee, “Ryto Saule”, a judo club based in Kaunas, Lithuania, the Latvian Sports Federations Council and the Italian National Olympic Committee.
The intentions through this project are to promote gender equality and empower women, as well as to promote and support women’s participation in decision making in the sport industry. During the 12 months project, the main idea is to empower women by adopting an already existing sport administration programme used by the Lithuanian Olympic Committee for the sport managers and turn it to a hands-on sport management course for women. MIRACLE would help women middle-manager’s in sport and physical education to start to use their strengths and abilities strategically, while mastering their competitive mindset, as well as to become more confident in a competitive male-dominated industry. Likewise, it is planned to set a network of women leaders in sport which would work on a voluntary basis to support and counsel younger peers.
ENGSO’s Vice-President, Agnė Vanagienė takes part in the project and is responsible for the general project management, monitoring and implementation and also is in charge of the all administrative activities. Hence, she will contribute with her know-how and experience in different relevant aspects of the project content, with special focus on training course formation.
Ms. Vanagienė was actively involved in the application-writing process, and she shared some thoughts on it with us:
“The application was written by me and our Project Manager, Tomas Petronis. For us, it took two weeks of day-to-day work to write the application, prepare the budget, etc. The most important thing is to have a strong idea on what you want to achieve, to prepare an action plan and to have a clear vision on how you are going to implement it. Of course, it is also essential to have reliable partners and good connections with them. The biggest challenge always is to find proper partners, who believe in the same ideas and values. I truly believe that the secret behind the success of the application and the whole project is to have committed partners. Everyone should spend a fair amount of time on choosing the correct partners.”
The project will be finalised during its final promotional conference in Vilnius, Lithuania in the middle of November in 2018. This event will help to illustrate and link implemented actions and obtained results during this project on social inclusion and gender equality in the sport and physical education industry. Also, it will help to introduce a wider dialogue on gender equality initiatives at EU level, focusing on their effectiveness and possible future expansion. So, stay tuned for more information!