SailGP has reflected on its ambition to create an inclusive sporting championship with gender equity at its heart in the league’s first Purpose and Impact Report.
The report, which was released last month, sums up the league’s environmental and social sustainability progress from Season 2, as well as comparing this to the overall strategy in Season 3 and beyond.
The report is the first of its kind and spans SailGP’s entire second season, from the Bermuda Sail Grand Prix in April 2021 to the season finale at the Mubadala United States Sail Grand Prix in March 2022.
In Season 2, SailGP set itself a number of ambitious strategic objectives, which included achieving gender equity at the highest level of the sport. Key to this was the launch of the Women’s Pathway to fast-track women’s training and development and realise an inclusive sporting championship where the best athletes have equal opportunity to compete together.
The Pathway outlines that all teams must have a female athlete racing in both four and six person crew configurations. Teams must also hold selection camps to identify future female athletes and are incentivized through the Impact League to prioritize female athlete development and time in the F50s, both in training and racing.
The Spain Sail Grand Prix in Cádiz in October 2021 was the first time female athletes raced on board all F50s, making it a milestone event. Since then, female athletes have raced with all SailGP teams in 100% of races.
SailGP is focused on achieving 50% gender equality both on and off the water. In Season 2, 50% of roles hired into senior leadership positions were female - up 9% compared to the start of Season 2.
Looking ahead to the future, teams will focus on training female athletes with the long term goal of widening the talent pool, as well as delivering a program of development opportunities that complement individual and team development. The ultimate aim is for the league to become an entirely inclusive championship.
Director of Purpose and Impact, Fiona Morgan said: "We’ve made great strides in closing the experience gap and providing a visible example for female athletes wanting to pursue a career in professional sailing. We want to inspire the next generation and show anything is possible.
"We recognise we’ve still got a lot of work to do to make our sport more inclusive, but we’re fully committed to addressing the need to accelerate change. Through the Women’s Pathway, SailGP has one of the best opportunities in sport to really break existing boundaries and have a gender equitable league which I’m incredibly excited about.”
It comes after SailGP's female athletes marked the first year of the Women's Pathway by revealing how the program has changed their careers.