England Netball has become the first sport governing body in the UK with an all-female executive team following the appointment of Emma Fielding as director of finance.
Fielding joined chief executive Joanna Adams, director of development Fran Connolly, commercial director Joanne Sinclair and performance director Sara Symington in a move the governing body hailed as a “landmark moment for the sports industry”.
The composition of the leadership group was finalised following the move by England Netball to a fit-for-purpose space on the campus of Loughborough University.
Adams told the Telegraph: “I’m thrilled with the calibre of the leadership team we have been able to attract. All four women have exceptional skills and experience from both inside the sports industry and in other sectors.
“The fact that the executive team is all-female provides not just a strong group to help me steer England Netball’s future path, but also very visible symbols of female leadership in the sports industry to our wider team which includes many exceptional women.”
England Netball also boasts a majority-female board, which was in place before the UK government’s ‘Code for Sports Governance’ stipulated all national governing bodies in receipt of public money had to ensure a minimum of 30 per cent of their directors were from each gender.
The code, introduced in April last year, actually forced England Netball to recruit more men to its own board, with Adams adding: “It was ironic that we were challenged to bring more men on to the board but it did give us an opportunity to review the independence of our board and bring in industry figures from outside the world of sport.”