WEEK 3: The Role of Governance in Delivering Gender Equality

Moving from Theory to Practice


Moving into the second half of the OFI Gender Equality in Sport Online Series, the focus switches to the important area of governance, with a practical approach to how to implement a gender equality strategy. This is the third episode in the four part series that explores how sport can move towards being a more gender inclusive environment, with input from leaders in the sporting arena, decision-makers, experts and influencers.


Over the past few weeks the focus has been on leadership, both in the field of coaching and in the organizational structure. This week the session focuses on moving from strategy and theoretical plans to practice, with input from Olympic Federation of Ireland (OFI) President, Sarah Keane, Honorary General Secretary of the OFI, Sarah O’Shea and UCD Professor in the Centre of Corporate Governance, Professor Niamh Brennan.

The MC this week will be RTÉ Sports Presenter Evanne Ní Chuilinn, who holds a master’s degree in Sports Management, with a focus on trust restoration in the governance of competitive sport. The panel will be joined by last week’s contributor Dr. Jennifer Cassidy, Lecture on Global Governance and Diplomacy with the University of Oxford for the final fifteen minutes.

The webinar occurs on Wednesday 22 July at 2pm. Please note, you must register in advance for each webinar via THIS LINK.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Week 3: Focus on Governance

  • SARAH KEANE is the President of the Olympic Federation of Ireland and is the Chair of the European Olympic Committees Gender Equality Commission. She is a member of the ANOC (Association of National Olympic Committees) Gender Equality Commission and the IOC Gender Equality Commission, where she is active in implementing their Gender Equality strategy. Keane also is the Chief Executive Officer in Swim Ireland and is a qualified solicitor. As an athlete she competed internationally in both Swimming and Water Polo. Keane will discuss some of the strategies that are being developed at international level.
  • SARAH O’SHEA is the Honorary General Secretary of the OFI and owns her own Sports consultancy business ‘SOS Sports Consult’ which specialises in sports governance. O’Shea is a member of the EOC Legal Commission, is a member of the Court of Arbitration for Sport and is a qualified solicitor was a lawyer within a National Governing Sport Body. She previously held the role of Chair of the Federation of Irish Sport and she was appointed by UEFA to its Hattrick Committee. O’Shea will discuss how NGBs can move from Theory to Practice with their Gender Equal agenda.
  • PROFESSOR NIAMH BRENNAN is Professor of Management at University College Dublin and Founder/Academic Director of the UCD Centre for Corporate Governance. Among the roles Prof Brennan has held is as former chair of the National College of Art & Design and of the Dublin Docklands Development Authority, she holds/has held non-executive directorships with the Children’s Hospital Ireland, the Health Service Executive, Ulster Bank, Co-operation Ireland, Coillte (State forestry company), Lifetime Assurance (Bank of Ireland’s life assurance subsidiary) and several private companies, and is/was a member of numerous audit committees. Professor Brennan will discuss the importance of diversity on boards of management.
  • JENNIFER CASSIDY is a lecturer in Global Governance and Diplomacy at the University of Oxford and is a respected and recognised speaker in the area of digital diplomacy, women in leadership and feminist foreign policy. Last week Dr. Cassidy spoke about the importance of gender equality at leadership level – this week she joins the panel to discuss Gender Equality and Governance.


The first week focused on leaders in coaching, with excellent examples from our speakers, read the REPORT HERE. Last week Leadership was examined, with interesting examples from outside the sport REPORT HERE.  In the final week, on the 29 July, we will talk about Portrayal. Pre-registration is required for each event.


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