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“Coaching soccer is a man’s job!” – The influence of gender stereotypes on structures for recruiting female coaches to soccer clubs

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Autor(en)

Torsten Schlesinger Yvonne Weigelt-Schlesinger

Abstract

Statistics published by the German Football Association indicate that women are significantly under-represented amongst soccer coaches, especially in the amateur leagues. In this paper we analyse how gender stereotypes influence the structural conditions surrounding the recruitment of coaches to soccer clubs that contribute to the exclusion of women from coaching positions. A qualitative study of five selected soccer clubs which are members of a German regional soccer association reveals that informal and personal decision-making practices still play a fundamental role in the recruitment of coaches. These practices undermine formal guidelines and give disproportionate weight to stereotyped preferences in the recruitment of soccer coaches. In this context, decision-makers’ (functionaries’) professed support of women largely serves a symbolic purpose and creates an illusion of equality concerning decisions that have already been taken at an informal level.
Keywords: female soccer coaches, gender stereotypes, sports organisations


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