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Are Female Jocks the Leaders of the Future?

A new study from EY Women Athletes Business Network and espnW indicates an important connection between athletics and business leadership among women. Based on the findings of a global online survey of 400 women executives from Europe, the Americas and Asia-Pacific 49% of whom were CEOs or other C-suite level managers, the research report found that:

  • 94% of respondents participated in sports such as running or rock climbing.
  • 74% agree that a background in sports can help accelerate a woman’s leadership and career potential
  • 61% say that their own past athletic activities contributed to their current career success
  • 67% highlighted that a background in sport can positively influence their decision to hire a candidate

Laura Gentile, Vice President of espnW says, “This study validates long-held theories that women who are athletes are well-suited for the business world and have tangible advantages. From work ethic to adaptability to superior problem-solving ability, these women enter the workforce ready to win and demonstrate that ability as they rise throughout their career.”

USA Today notes that some of the most well-known female leaders in the world have played sports: former U.S. Secretaries of State Hilary Clinton and Condoleeza Rice and Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff, just to name a few.

An interview with Condoleeza Rice explains how sport helped her get ahead.