Why are there so few women in coaching roles in floorball? And how can conditions be improved to get more women to become coaches? Swedish researcher Inger Eliasson has now investigated this in a study.

– The recruitment of women and men to coach positions is still very uneven, says Inger Eliasson in Swedish Floorball Federation’s press release.

Floorball, like a majority of sports, has a hard time recruiting women to become coaches. At present, only 15% of the coaches in Swedish Floorball are women.

In its vision document “Swedish Floorball Wants” (Svensk Innebandy Vill), the Swedish Floorball Federation has set high gender equality goals that should be reached by 2030. Half of the players should be women – which also means that several more women should have coaching roles.

The researcher Inger Eliasson has now, with funding from the Swedish Floorball Federation and Innebandyns Kompetenscentrum/Floorball Competence Centre in Umeå, completed a study where she has investigated the underlying factors as to why so few women are coaches. The study shows that the issue is a matter for coaches of both genders, and that it is important that both men and women (but also boys and girls) are involved in changing the situation.

– Despite many investments in equality between women and men in sports, and an increased number of girls and women who are athletes, the recruitment of women and men to coaching positions is still very uneven, says Inger Eliasson.

Inger Eliasson photo by Calle Ström

 

The study’s results in Sweden show that there is a risk that a woman will refuse to take on coach assignments because not wanting to put herself in a position where she may be degraded, made invisible or questioned because of her gender. The study discusses how the coach role needs to be made attractive, interesting and possible for women in contrast to how it can today be perceived as unfriendly, uninteresting or impossible.

– In the study, through the interviews, I have made concrete suggestions on how this trend can be reversed so that more women take on coach roles. I hope that the Swedish Floorball Federation can benefit from the results, says Eliasson.

Anders Jonsson, Development Manager of the Swedish Floorball Federation, has taken part in the study and sees several useful points:

– Floorball and the rest of sports must continue their efforts to create equality between women and men in the coaching roles. Inger Eliasson’s results will be important to investigate to see how we can work in the future to create better conditions for getting more women into floorball, he comments.

The complete study in Swedish can be read at www.innebandy.se

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