On Her Team: MARCHing toward gender parity

Published on March 4, 2024 by Mimi O'Callaghan
Campaign Girls participation

This March, Greenhouse Sports isn’t just celebrating International Women’s Day; we’re igniting a month-long movement with our campaign: On Her Team: MARCHing toward gender parity. 

Following the global celebration on March 8th, aptly themed ‘Inspire Inclusion’, we’re extending our efforts to empower, inspire, and celebrate the incredible women and girls in our Team for Life. Our dedication isn’t confined to March alone. We’re committed to continuously striving for equality within our programmes, as gender parity is crucial to us. Our organisation’s strategic goal is to achieve this across all our programmes by 2024. 

Thanks to our dedicated Girls Participation Lead, we’ve seen an impressive increase in girls’ participation, from 39% to 44% in just one year. But we still have some way to go! Every girl deserves the opportunity to experience the transformative power of sport. At Greenhouse, we’re always #OnHerTeam to make that happen. 

Our drive toward gender parity 

Gender parity holds huge importance for us, because we understand the immense benefits that sports and physical activity brings. A wealth of research shows that participation in sports leads to improved mental and physical well-being, greater self-confidence, and overall happiness. Despite this, we’ve observed a significant disparity in girls’ participation, both within our programmes and in society at large. Recognising the importance of inclusive access to physical activity, we’re working in partnership with the Sweaty Betty Foundation to drive change in this space. Through our collaboration, we have: 

  • Appointed a dedicated Girls Participation Lead focused on listening to the voices of girls, especially those who identify as less active, to tailor our delivery and enhance girls’ participation.  
  • Undertaken extensive consultation to identify barriers to participation, resulting in the identification of four overarching themes: Development Opportunities, Social Support, Marketing and Exposure, Cultural and Environmental. 
  • Introduced the GameChangeHERS project which has implemented targeted initiatives such as the Sports Bra Roadshow and Girls Ambassador Programme. These initiatives have helped to empower girls and foster a sense of belonging, contributing to a 5% increase in girls’ participation from 39% to 44% in just one year! 

Looking ahead for 2024, we’re committed to continuing this mission. Addressing puberty and period-related barriers and tackling participation drop-offs during critical transitions are among our top priorities.   

Our collaboration with The Sweaty Betty Foundation remains strong, as we continue to amplify girls’ voices, break down barriers, and create a more inclusive sporting environment through our ongoing valued partnership. 

Read more about our partnership here:  

What’s happening as part of On Her Team 

  • Setting new standards: Breaking records with 20,000 hours of coaching. This March, our coaches will deliver a record-breaking 20,000 hours of coaching and mentoring to girls, an increase of 3,000 hours from the current 17,000. From after-school clubs, breakfast clubs, and more – our dedicated coaches will be ramping up their efforts to encourage girls to experience the joy of sport and join our TeamForLife. Our Data and Insights team will be measuring the progress throughout the month. 
  • Spotlighting excellence: Celebrating women in our TeamForLife. From spotlighting our female coaches to sharing stories of inspiration, interviews with leading top female athletes, our social channels will be filled with uplifting content that celebrates the female role models in our TeamForLife. 
  • London Lions x Greenhouse: Teaming up for an exclusive basketball experience. On 8 March, International Women’s Day, we’re teaming up with the London Lions to offer an exclusive afternoon of basketball activities for our Greenhouse girls, providing them with an enriching experience with professional players. Girls will enjoy skills sessions with professionals, reflective creative content sessions, and a Q&A with the inspiring players about their journey in the industry. 
  • Family bonding through sport: Promoting mother-daughter engagement. An after-school club event will be run at Bacons College, promoting mother-daughter engagement. 
  • Empowering futures: International Women’s Day employability workshops. Some of our incredible corporate partners are delivering interactive sessions with our female participants, giving them insight into different career paths and how they could access these. 
  • Taking action within: Greenhouse Team’s pledges for women’s support. Within our own internal team, we’ll be writing pledges to how each staff member plans to support women in their life throughout the month, and enjoy a ladies lunch session with a guest speaker to share valuable insights. 

Beyond the numbers and statistics, the OnHerTeam campaign is about making noise—celebrating the strides we’ve made, amplifying women’s voices, and fostering a sense of belonging. While the journey to gender parity may be ongoing, this month’s campaign will continue to build on the momentum toward this important goal. 

Welcoming Lucy Clarke as our new Girls Participation Lead this March, we’re excited to continue driving change. Our commitment doesn’t end in March; it’s a lifelong dedication to ensuring every girl can thrive. At Greenhouse, we’re always on her team to make that happen.