IAAF to elect first female VP

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has confirmed that it will elect its first female vice-president this year as it continues its push for greater gender equality in the governance of the sport.

The IAAF adopted gender quotas as part of reforms that were approved at the end of 2016, with a Gender Leadership Taskforce established by the governing body’s council the following year.

Following the election of the first female vice-president at this year’s IAAF Congress, two of the four vice-president positions will be filled by women in 2027.

Additionally, while six women currently sit on the IAAF council, that number will increase to seven at this year’s elections in September before edging up to 10 in 2023. Parity with male council members will be reached in 2027.

The IAAF added that 51 per cent of its staff at the governing body’s headquarters are women, with 40 per cent of those being in managerial positions.

“Setting targets is important but evidence shows that targets must be supported by education and development programmes that bring more women in to all areas of the sport – from technical and medical officials to coaches and sport administrators,” the Gender Leadership Taskforce’s chair, Stephanie Hightower, said. “This needs a regional focus as the barriers to entry for women are as different as the countries they come from.”