Gender Informed Coaching

Building on the first adidas Breaking Barriers research paper, Women Win conducted a follow-up research in 2023 investigating gender-informed coaching practices. Given the persisting gender gap in sports participation and girls’ disproportionate dropout rates during adolescence, there is a need for coaching strategies and practices that address the unique barriers girls experience. The research included 13 expert interviews, 19 focus groups, and over 5,000 girls, boys and non-binary youth surveyed to better understand how to engage girls in sports with actionable recommendations for coaches and sports organisations.

This research found that the causes of barriers to girls’ sports participation related to coaching are deeply rooted in cultural and structural gender inequalities. Traditionally, sports have been constructed, organised, and promoted as a man’s activity. While the number of women actively involved in sports has soared over the past 50 years, girls and women across the world still get significantly fewer opportunities and less investment, training, and corporate and media attention when they play sports.

Explore the Topic
Explore the topic

There is a need to change the design of the sports system, with coaching being just one of many elements that help create an environment where girls can thrive. This research paper, developed in collaboration with Common Goal and adidas, examines the state of girls’ sports in the EU looking at the barriers that limit and/or hinder sports participation, and the actionable opportunities that remain.

Dive into the tools

Join the Breaking Barriers Academy

The Breaking Barriers Academy is an online course that has been designed to support those working to advance equity and inclusion through sport. Learning journeys are tailored for those on the pitch (coaches), on the sidelines (instructors/trainers), and in the organizations (staff members).

Improving your gender inclusion approaches is a continuous learning journey. Together with Common Goal, Soccer Without Borders, 17Sport and adidas we have developed an open source programme on gender mainstreaming, gender equality, and inclusivity.

Experience on the ground
Experience on the ground

Learn about the real experiences of some of our champions.

our approach

to learning

Knowledge is power. But only if it is shared. At Women Win, we learn and play every day and encourage others to join our learning playground.  The Learning Playground is the place where all our learnings are open-sourced. We hope it starts debates, sparks ideas, and kick-starts action. We organise our learning in 3 steps: Explore, Dive-in, and Experience.

Explore the Topic
Experience on the ground

If you’re interested in learning more about coach development, check out our page about it within the International Guidelines.


If you have any questions about this subject or if you want to find out how we can help you use this then do not hesitate and please contact us.