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Women in Sailing

We know anecdotally and through observation that there are fewer women and girls in sailing than men and boys, and that discrimination exists. But we wanted to find out exactly what the picture looked like.

Our review included an international survey, undertook nearly 40 1:1 interviews, and looked to other international sports to learn from our colleagues and peers. 80% of female survey respondents and 56% of male respondents believe that gender balance is an issue in our sport. We heard a number of key trends: issues around a lack of female participation causing and demonstrating discrimination; a lack of support for women and girls; lack of representation; poor perceptions about women in sailing and issues around the politics of racing. 

We also heard that 59% of female respondents and 14% of men say they have experienced discrimination. We were told about experiences of isolation and harassment, being treated as less competent and experiencing slights on board, a lack of opportunities for women and girls, being stereotyped by gender and receiving less support than male counterparts. 

Our report brings together these findings, supplemented by our discussions and interviews with individuals across sailing and sport more widely, and suggests nine key recommendations to take forward. We are now building a programme of work to support women and girls in sailing. 

Levelling the playing field for women and girls, and increasing their participation in sailing, will require all of us to make the changes we can. The report is published with a brief Starter Toolkit with prompts, suggestions and ideas – we can all play a part in this, and we invite you to consider what you can do now.

Women in Sailing
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Women in Sailing
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Women in Sailing
Starter Toolkit

With thanks to our partners