IOC Adds 30 Female Commissioners in Effort to Improve Gender Equality

In an effort to improve gender equality and representation in sport, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced Wednesday that it has added 30 women to various commission positions. Though the names of the new commissioners and the roles they will play throughout the IOC’s 26 commissions has not yet been released, the IOC noted that care was taken to ensure women from Africa and Oceania were also given representation.

Though women have been historically underrepresented within the IOC, the organization has made a push in recent years to increase the number of women serving on its 26 commissions. In 2017, the IOC announced that women then occupied 38 percent of commission positions–a move which itself increased the overall representation of women in IOC commissions by 70 percent since 2013. Now, with the addition of 30 new members, women occupy 42.7 percent of IOC commission positions, which increases female participation by 16.8 percent compared to 2017 and a whopping 98 percent compared to 2013.

According to the IOC press release, the work of its commissions “supports the Olympic Movement and helps progress in topics such as the development of “Sport for All”; cooperation with public and private organisations to place sport at the service of humankind; the fight against doping; the promotion of sports ethics and fair play; awareness of environmental problems; financial and educational support for developing countries; and many other areas.

Increased gender equality is one among many recommendations put forward in the Olympic Agenda 2020, a document intended to essentially save the Olympics from ailing public opinion by making the Games more sustainable, legacy-oriented, and inclusive. An IOC study on gender equality published in March 2018 puts forward 25 more recommendations to increase gender equality in sport. The 25 recommendations are spread throughout five key “themes” including Sport, Portrayal, Governance, Funding, and HR, Monitoring, and Communications, and deal with topics such as coaching, medical, and athlete protection (all Sport), gender equality in leadership (Governance), and equal payments (Funding).

Speaking on the addition of 30 female members to its commissions, IOC President Thomas Bach said, “The IOC is continuing to increase female participation and geographical representation at every level of the Olympic Movement. We have made significant progress in the past few years and this work will continue. Universality is at the heart of the Olympic Movement, and it is this strength through diversity which unites us all.

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Well it’s nice to see they we’re picked because they’re the best people for the job and not because they’re merely females…


How do you know they aren’t the best people for the job?

Dan D.

Guess meritocracy is dead.
I thought we moved away from judging people by their gender or skin color instead of their abilities and the content of their character?


Why did you think that? In 2013 there was almost no women in any of these positions. Is that the ideal state to you?


It shouldnt matter. Whoever has the best qualifications should get on regardless of gender. If its all men, its all men. If its all women who have the qualifications, its all women. Who cares as long as the best people are the ones doing the job.

Dan D.

Yep, I don’t care what gender a person is as long as they are the best person for the job.

College Coach

Lots of women in olympic sports. Maybe they would’t mind having some women in administration representing their interests…


Did anyone really think the IOC was staffed using a meritocracy? Hahahahaha hahahahah

Dan D.

LOL! Fair point!


Ahh here comes the comments from people who don’t understand that due to societal structures that make it harder for women and POC a meritocracy is very unbalanced

Dan D.

What structures are you talking about? Can you explain them?

Steve Nolan

No! Figure them out yourself!

Having to constantly explain to people what is BLATANTLY OBVIOUS after just like, I dunno, maybe ten seconds of concerted thinking is exhausting.

I want YOU to come up with one reason why maybe, JUST MAYBE, it’s harder for women to get a fair shake in this world.


the burden of proof lies with the one making the claim

Dan D.

No. If you make a claim, you’d better be able to back it up. You cannot make a claim, and then expect someone else to defend it for you. If it is so blatantly obvious and only requires 10 seconds of thinking to figure out, you have no reason to be unable to defend your own case.


POC are less likely to get a position that a non POC has despite the POC having an equal resume. Women are much less likely to even ask to be moved up in position or get a raise, and experience harassment much more than their colleagues, even more so if you are a woman of color. Oh yeah and people did the POC resume experiment with women and guess what people chose the man way more than the woman because despite having equal credentials he was deemed more competent. But yeah women and POC totally are not held back at all by society. Also who is to say these women are not all qualified in the first place. Maybe they… Read more »

Dan D.

You didn’t list any societal structures.


Those are societal structures. Does D stand for dumbass?

Dan D.

You present yourself as a classy fellow. I thought SwimSwam has rules about using crude ad-hominem in the comments section?

No, you did not provide examples of societal structures. You provided statistics without references, not examples of societal structures. A societal structure is a demonstrable pattern of social relationships.

Think before you lash out with a crude ad-hominem. When constructing an argument, you should avoid logical fallacies.

About Reid Carlson

Reid Carlson

Reid Carlson originally hails from Clay Center, Kansas, where he began swimming at age six.  At age 14 he began swimming club year-round and later with his high school team, making state all four years.  He was fortunate enough to draw the attention of Kalamazoo College where he went on to …

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