ITF Press Release, July 15, 2020
As part of its Advantage All gender equality initiative, the ITF is today launching a series of films to promote and profile female leaders and role models from within the sport. The films feature inspirational women discussing their own personal journeys in tennis as well as their views on gender equality. It follows a 2020 ITF Female Leadership Survey that identified the lack of female role models as one of the greatest challenges women face in their careers.
Despite the fact that 47% of all tennis participants globally are women, there is still a large gender participation gap in coaching, officiating and sport decision-making, all the way from club level to the top of the sport. By raising the profile and sharing the experiences of female leaders from around the world, the series aims to encourage women to pursue opportunities in tennis and inspire them to fulfil their potential within the sport.
The series begins with a profile of Wanjiru Mbugua-Karani. Once one of Africa’s top juniors, she has served tennis in Kenya as a coach, junior tennis co-ordinator, Fed Cup player and captain. Today, as Secretary General of Tennis Kenya, she is establishing herself as a force for change beyond her nation’s borders.
Among those featured over the coming weeks will be: Lindsay Davenport, a three-time Grand Slam Champion; Jennie Price, Tennis Integrity Unit Chair and former Sport England CEO; Hannah Behan, Director of Tennis at Hawk-Eye Innovations; Amanda Hopmans, a former Fed Cup player and wheelchair tennis coach; and Valerie Maalouf, coach of Lebanon u12 girls’ national team.
The ITF and the Gender Equality Committee are actively engaged with all national associations, delivering a series of practical tools and guidance so that they may develop and implement their own gender equality strategies. The ITF will continue to work with all nations to assess current policies and programmes and support those who are focusing on this area for the first time.
ITF President David Haggerty said, “Achieving gender balance at all levels of our sport through Advantage All is a core principle of our ITF2024 strategy. By sharing the stories of these female role models, we hope to inspire women and girls to explore and pursue the opportunities that are available in tennis.”