Record number of women attend 2022 Women’s Leadership Forum at West Point

WEST POINT, NY — More than 290 women administrators and coaches from five NCAA Division I athletic conferences in the Northeast gathered at the Women’s Leadership Forum on Tuesday, May 17 at the United States Military Academy.

The Women’s Leadership Forum is a partnership between the America East Conference, Ivy League, Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, Northeast Conference and Patriot League to provide an impactful professional development experience for their female coaches and administrators.

The content of the day has been organized to align with the theme: “Empowering the current and future generation of women in sport”. The forum kicked off with keynote speaker Crista Samaras from BRAVE Enterprises. Subsequent sessions included panels made up of coaches and athletics administrators, including career navigation in administration and coaching. Topics covered throughout the day included managing and resolving conflict, supporting the mental health of female student-athletes, coaching and mentoring female student-athletes and male staff, dealing with difficult parents and creating positive team dynamics. Breakout sessions were used for many topics to allow for enhanced discussion in small groups.

This was the forum’s fourth year and the second year the forum focused on the development of women administrators and coaches. When the forum started in 2016, the focus was on the professional development of female coaches in partner conferences. However, statistics released during the 2016-17 academic year showed that women made up only 11.3% of Division I athletic directors and 39.7% of Division I head coaches in women’s sports. As such, the forum was expanded to include female administrators with the aim of increasing the representation of female administrators and coaches in leadership positions.

Mara R. Wilmoth