World Athletics International Woman's Day

A Pledge to Improve the Sport Landscape for Women: Fifty Digital and World Athletics

Arguably one of the biggest consequences of the pandemic has been the backwards step in women’s sport, through no fault of its own. Compared to the Premier League, Six Nations, IPL and many more male-fronted sporting events, their female counterparts were very much overlooked when getting professional sport back up and running in a COVID-19 world.

This state of affairs has led to the term ‘gender play gap’, whereby women have found it harder to get back to competitive sport and therefore have suffered further losses in income (advertising, appearance fees, sponsorship). This current landscape feels far-removed from the advancements we were making in women’s sport; the triumph of the Lionesses at the She Believes Cup and Fallon Sherrock’s World Darts Championship run to name a few.

Whilst we are back on track (again) making headway for women’s sport – Sarah Thomas became the first female officiate at the Super Bowl and the Ladies European Tour has put up record-breaking prize money and a competitive schedule with broadcast coverage to match – lockdown has also led to an increase in abuse which female athletes in particular are facing on social.

Former Arsenal and England player-turned-pundit Alex Scott has faced unacceptable comments across digital and social media when she was linked to headlining BBC’s A Question of Sport. It appears that now, more than ever, social media platforms are not a safe space for athletes, presenters or professionals, both male and female, to tell their story. This is echoed in World Champion Dina Asher-Smith’s decision to come off Twitter.

With a commitment to the sport of athletics and the industry as a whole, governing body World Athletics recognise these issues and are making a commitment to change with their We Grow Athletics initiative. This strives to tackle three major areas:

  1. Empowering women to pursue leadership positions

  2. Breaking with traditions

  3. Helping women’s storytelling and tackling online abuse

A partner of World Athletics since November 2018, Fifty Digital is proud to support their mission to change perceptions of women’s sport and increase awareness of the opportunities within sport.

This is why we are pledging to empower women in sport across digital and social. We are committing to running biannual workshops for women in the sports industry, athletes and non-athletes alike, to equip them with the tools, skills and confidence to use digital and social media platforms to tell their stories in an engaging way.

In leading these workshops, Fifty Digital’s ambition is to increase women in sport’s storytelling opportunities and provide guidance in tackling online abuse females in the industry find themselves facing. Covering topics from personal and professional brand building to how and when to engage fans and critics, we aim to drive another step towards positive change and increase the share of female voices and stories on digital and social.

We will be inviting females from all walks of the industry to join these collaborative workshops, kicking off in the second half of this year.

This International Women’s Day we are committed to doing our part in improving the industry in which we work.

This International Women’s Day #WeGrowAthletics.


For more information on how World Athletics and their partners are progressing the industry, read more on the #WeGrowAthletics initiative HERE.

If you would like to be part of the Fifty Digital Women in Sport workshops, then please get in touch with the team: