Drexel University's Department of Sport Management and LeBow Women in Business will host the Women in Sports: Calling the Shots and Leading the Way conference.
In January, during the NFL’s divisional playoff games, two more women made sports history. Sarah Thomas, the first female NFL referee, became the first woman to be a down judge in the playoffs and Terri Valenti became the first woman to be a replay official.
Every year, during the first week of February, National Girls and Women in Sports week recognizes the pioneering impact of women like Thomas and Valenti.
To celebrate the annual week, Drexel University’s Department of Sport Management, in partnership with the LeBow Women in Business Club, is gathering executives from across the sports world to discuss their experiences as women in the industry. Speakers include sports executives Cynthia Weiss (VP, Sport Marketing, NBC Sports Philadelphia), Denise Sullivan (VP, Flyers Charities), Ashley Dabb (Chief Marketing Officer, National Lacrosse League), and Mary McElroy (Executive Senior Associate Director of Athletics, Temple University) along with a cast of more than 15 women from professional sports, college athletics, communications and media, marketing and events, and nonprofits.
The Women in Sports: Calling the Shots and Leading the Way Conference is free and open to the public on Sunday, Feb. 10 from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Gerri C. LeBow Hall.
A celebration of women’s shared passion for sports, the conference begins with a conversation led by Drexel students discussing their own motivations to pursue a sport management major as young women, the futures they envision for making a difference in the world through sports and what it takes to make those dreams a reality. Mid-morning panels will feature women from sports-related careers in a variety of fields. Over the noon hour, sports executives will share their stories of success and the importance of inclusive work environments in the industry. Lastly, the early afternoon will feature round table discussions focusing on the topic of how to take “the next bold move in a career.”
Discussing the importance of this conference, Ellen J. Staurowsky, PhD, professor of sport management in the LeBow College of Business and co-chair of the conference commented, “There is no better time to celebrate the contributions women have made to the sports industry in Philadelphia and to reflect as a community about the critical role women will continue to play in its future. It’s an exciting time for women and men to contemplate that shared future and the rich possibilities to be realized by working together.”
Holly Bridgman, SMT ’21, a varsity softball player and co-chair, sees conversations from the conference as the next step in advancing understandings about men and women in sports.
Describing her motivation for helping to plan this event, Bridgman said, “There is so much work to be done in terms of changing the culture and promoting the inclusion of women in the sports industry. My hope is that by giving influential female executives a platform to share their stories, we can show young women that there is potential for not only careers in sports, but also leadership roles. Personally, I believe we should be working to emphasize feminism, empowering women and demanding equality, especially in the sports industry.”
Attendees are encouraged to register, but walk-ups are welcome. The first 75 registrants will receive free tickets to attend the Drexel Women’s Basketball game against the University of Delaware following the conference. For more details and to register, visit here.