Research Output

Leading the way: women’s experiences as sports coaches.

  Explores women's under-representation from sports coaching roles in general and from high status roles in particular. In-depth interviews were carried out with 20 women who coached one of the following sports: cricket, gymnastics, netball, squash or swimming. A purposive sample ensured that the coaches reflected different levels of commitment to coaching. Witz's model of occupational closure, used by her to analyse the medical profession, provided the basis for analysing the women's experiences as coaches. Analysis of the interview data revealed that exclusionary and demarcationary strategies operated to limit women's access to coaching roles. Such strategies included gendering the coaching role as a masculine role and closing access to networks of coaches. Women challenged such strategies through inclusionary and dual closure strategies by drawing on their coaching qualifications, their experiences as competitive athletes and the successes of the athletes whom they coached

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  • Date:

    01 January 2001

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  • Publisher


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  • Library of Congress:

    HD Industries. Land use. Labor


Woodward, D., Brackenridge, C., Green, E. & West, A. (2001). Leading the way: women’s experiences as sports coaches. Women in management review. 16, 85-92. doi:10.1108/09649420110386610. ISSN 0267-4602


sport; coaching; gender; occupational closure; Witz;

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