Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Survey of female business leaders: almost all played sports

It's not news that athletic participation by women correlates with academic and career success, but this recent study serves as a remarkable underscore of that point.  Accounting firm Ernst and Young surveyed its female senior managers and executives, and found that nearly all of them had played sports at some level -- as high as 96% athletic participation rate among women at the highest level of management! Moreover, when comparing the athletic background between the top executives and managers, the executives had higher rate of athletic participation as former professionals, participants in adult recreation, or as college athletes, suggesting that the benefits of athletic participation are particularly helpful to reaching the very top level of business.  Overall, while athletic participation does not directly cause career success, the strong correlation between the two suggests the possibility that athletics provides women unique setting to cultivate leadership and teamwork skills that have positive impact on their careers.  This, in turn, provides another reason why Title IX is so important: gender equity in athletics today can promote gender equity in the executive suites tomorrow.