Special Networking Aperitivo with Women's Networks - Women in Sport

16 July 2018

The 7th edition of one of the most attractive  PWN’s Networking Aperitivo took place on June 20th at Hotel Dei Cavalieri. 

This year dedicated to Women in Sport. An evening, in collaboration with Alley Oop - Il Sole 24 Ore, during which we celebrated all the successes of our italian women athletes.

In front of us, a great and inspiring panel moderated by Monica D'Ascenzo (Il Sole 24 Ore journalist and responsible for Alley Oop): 

Tamara Molinaro, 2017 European Rally Champion
Annetta Ferreri, Italian National Lacrosse Team Player
Marta Gasparotto, Italian National Softball Team Player

A really inspiring discussion which in fact involved the PWN’s audience in a great journey through the story of women in sport, and not only...

Imagine that your favourite Sport star had a twin sister... Let’s assume that they had exactly the same upbringing, worked just as hard, were just as super-fit and made exactly the same sacrifices to be their best. She would find out fairly quickly that her opportunities to have a professional career in pretty much any sport she starred in would be far fewer than his brother. Not because of her abilities but purely because of her gender.

There’s no doubt there are biological differences between males and females, that have an effect on average times and strength. But sport is about more than speed and strength – if we were only interested in seeing the “fastest” and “strongest”. 

While biological differences might mean males and females don’t compete against each other, they do not justify the lack of career opportunities or rewards for female athletes. 

In spite of huge successes on the world stage, women’s sport only receives 7% of TV sports programming and 9% of sports coverage on the news.

That lack of coverage means less funding, less sponsorship and lower salaries. And when we don’t see women’s sport on TV, we’re also missing seeing women in positions of leadership and great role models for girls.

It’s not only the lack of career prospects and limited opportunities that discourage female participation in sports: researchers recently concluded that teenage girls were less likely to participate in organised sport than boys as they experienced higher rates of teasing and body image concerns.

Biographies and a huge literature on the topic is in fact showing this situation, but more and more stories and great examples are destroying stereotypes and gender gaps, giving on the other side a picture of women that are really strong, that managed to win and to be recognized and followed by nowadays society; which now is growing and changing its sight on women power. 

To see a woman in sport we have to look back in 1916 when the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) held its first national championship for women (in swimming). In 1923 the AAU, again, sponsored the First American Track & Field championships for women. Earlier that year the Women's Amateur Athletic Association (WAAA) held the first WAAA Championships.

Few women competed in sports in Europe and North America before the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, as social changes favored increased female participation in society as equals with men. Although women were technically permitted to participate in many sports, relatively few did, there was often disapproval of those who did.

In the classical period, infact, women only participated as spectators in men's athletic festivals. But in Sparta women began to practice the same athletic exercises that men did, but have not been involved in any official competition.

You can imagine how much disrupting it would have been at that time seeing females practicing sports and, maybe, better or stronger than men..... 

Jokes (and history) aside, thanks to this Networking Aperitivo we had the chance to see the evolution of women in sports and in the modern life, discovering that great progress have been made in promoting gender equality in terms of balancing the total number of athletes participating at the Games, offering leadership development, advocacy and awareness campaigns, and more recently appointing more women to leadership roles within the administration and governance. 

The evening ended with a superb aperitif in one of the most breathtaking rooftop terrace you can find in Milan.

We were also pleased to engage in a partnership with Dolce&Gabbana Beauty: the brand made each guest discover the novelties and its iconic products. Moreover, all guests had the chance to sing up for a tailor-made beauty experience signed by Dolce&Gabbana Beauty. 

Thanks all for the participation and collaboration as well to this great event! 

See you soon and....stay tuned!

Text by Alissia Molteni

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