Gesport interviews ten managers of Portuguese sports federations

The European project led by Teruel will show on its website videos with the testimonies collected

Corporate governance in sports organizations: a gender approach, Gesport, led from the Teruel Campus and in which Italy, Portugal, Turkey and the United Kingdom also participate, have conducted this summer a dozen interviews with directors of sports federations of Portugal that they will use for their research and whose main testimonies will be disseminated in videos through the project website. The ten women
they agreed that the female presence in these management bodies should be increased.
The ones in charge of doing the in-depth interviews were Luisa Esteban, a professor at the Teruel Campus and coordinator of the Gesport project, and the researcher Emilia Fernandes, a member of the project and a professor at the Portuguese University of Minho. Also the professor of the degree of Fine Arts of the University of Zaragoza Juan Bernardo Pineda participated, who was in charge of the recordings with which later ten videos will be elaborated in which students of the Turolense Campus will work with collaborative scholarships, throughout the next academic year.
Emilia Fernandes explained that, although there are equality plans
of gender that apply to the Portuguese sports context since 1997, “the path of women in sport has been slow in most areas.”
In 2018, women only represented 11% of the positions of the Portuguese sports federations and there were only two women who were presidents of these entities (now there is only one).
For the work of Gesport the two were interviewed: Ana Cristina Vital Melo, of the Portuguese Federation of Kickboxing and Muaythai, and Maria da Graça Coelho, of the Portuguese Federation of archery (which no longer occupies this position). The remaining eight interviews were conducted to vice presidents of federations: Mariana Monteiro, hockey; Susana Costa Vieira, skating; Catarina Carvalho, of paddle; Juliana Ferreira Sousa, of handball; Helena Aires, of basketball; Ana Paula Almeida, of gymnastics; María Rosa Cristino, sport fishing; and Teresa Cardoso, from triathlon.
Most of the women interviewed were sports athletes they represent and some were even national and world champions, such as Juliana Ferreira Sousa, in handball, and Maria Rosa Cristino, in fishing. Luisa Esteban said that the interviewees “emphasized the need to increase the participation of women in decision-making and positions of power in the sports context.” They also commented that this participation is especially important to normalize the female presence in these contexts, giving them access to government experiences, and that those women who occupy these places can serve as reference models for others.
Some of these sports managers were in favor of the existence of quotas until this situation of low representation in the decision-making bodies changes, as is already done in the business field.
The Gesport project plans to conduct ten interviews in
Each of the participating countries. In Spain the work has already been done with the president of the Sailing Federation and during the remaining time of the project these meetings will continue to be held with the athletes who occupy positions of responsibility in the five countries that participate in this European project.