WOLA: Cultivating a Culture That Supports Women In the Sports Tech Industry
February 1, 2017
Today marks the 31st anniversary of the annual National Girls & Women in Sports Day, a national observance celebrating the extraordinary achievements of women and girls in sports. To coincide with today’s historic event, LeagueApps is happy to share with everyone some initiatives around the office regarding WOLA, or Women of LeagueApps.
As of March 2016, LeagueApps started a group called WOLA — Women of LeagueApps. The objective of WOLA is to create a safe environment for the women of LeagueApps to feel comfortable, confident and empowered. WOLA aims to grow the diversity at LeagueApps through sharing resources about women in a leadership in sports role.
As you can imagine, a sports technology startup is severely male-dominated. All three industries (sports, technology, and startups) are each predominantly male themselves. LeagueApps is no different. Only 9 out of 50 employees- less than 20%- are women.
“WOLA is an opportunity in our company for female empowerment. We’ve come a long way in terms of gender equality, but there are still gaps, and we happen to be a part of two, sports and technology,” Senior Launch Coach Emily Mumford said
“By creating this safe space in our office we have an opportunity to lift one another up, be encouraging and grow into great women in business. Being a strong woman isn’t easy, but having encouraging role models and mentors is important and WOLA provides that opportunity.”
According to National Center for Women & Information Technology, in 2015 only 25% of professional computing occupations in the U.S. workforce were held by women. Additionally, only 17% of Fortune 500 Chief Information Officer (CIO) positions were held by women in 2015.
LeagueApps is cognizant of these numbers and through supporting WOLA, welcomes guest speakers to speak to the women in the office on topics such as confidence, communication, building your personal brand, and negotiation.
“Just like female sports, WOLA is here to show that there are barriers and obstacles that women have to overcome, purely based on their gender. It’s refreshing to be supported by a group of successful, powerful women in this company, and I’m eager to see where it can go from here,” Partnership Development Specialist Melanie Rose said.
LeagueApps believes every team member deserves the opportunity to be a difference maker. Through creating an environment where everyone feels comfortable, confident and empowered, LeagueApps is paving the path to making an even bigger impact across youth sports.
Our mission is to help people everywhere have greater access to great sport experiences — sports touches people of different genders, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, etc.
“LeagueApps is all about empowering everyone involved with sport – from the organizer to the parent. WOLA empowers the women in our company. Being empowered and empowering others is a transferable skill,” Business Development Manager Casey Miller added.
“The WOLA community enables us to be the very best we can at our jobs because it empowers us and puts us in a position to empower other people around us,” she added.
Consider your sports organization and the market you are serving. By creating a culture that is open to all and allows everyone to feel comfortable, confident and empowered, you eliminate barriers to productivity and put yourself in a better position to achieve your goals.
Casey sees the success of LeagueApps as also coinciding with the power of WOLA,
LeagueApps recognizes the power of the female voice in an otherwise male dominated space, and WOLA has encouraged the entire company to not only accept but actually seek out that perspective. I think this is a big reason for our success. Women offer perspectives that men might not have, and creating a safe space where women feel confident to vocalize that only leads to bigger and better things. Have women in your organization. Encourage them to voice their opinion. Give them a seat at the table. Their perspectives and insights will challenge status quo and improve the company’s bottom line.