“You only go from what you know”: the reproduction, resistance and evolution of gendered recruitment and selection processes in English sport governance
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionEuropean Journal for Sport and Society (EJSS). 2021, . https://doi.org/10.1080/16138171.2021.1941613
Within this article I draw upon Bourdieu’s theory of practice to explore the extent to which recruitment and selection processes within two English national governing bodies of sport (NGBs) reproduce or resist dominant gender power relations that privilege men and masculinity. I present and analyse findings collected through a multi-method qualitative approach of semi-structured interviews with female and male leaders and participant observation. I found that some processes aligned with existing research in the field, while others demonstrated evolving practices that have not previously been reported within the literature. This provided a chance to analyse why some gendered practices continue to be reproduced and/or resisted across different spaces, places, and times, as well as assess the extent to which changing practices are positively impacting upon gender equity within the leadership and governance of the two organisations. Whilst there were different findings across the two NGBs linked to differences in their histories, structures, and resources, I highlight the requirement for the implementation of innovative ways to transform androcentric organisational patterns of value that continue to impede gender equity within sport leadership and governance.