Introduced in 2000, the Canadian Journal for Women in Coaching provides timely, accurate, targeted information to aid in creating a healthier and more positive environment for women coaches – in Canada and around the world.
Navigating a Minefield: Allyship in Women's Coaching
- July 2021, Vol. 21, No. 3
Allyship is an Oxford University Word of the Year 2020 yet its roots date back to 2003 and the scholarly writing of author, educator, and researcher Christopher Earley. Put simply, it is the “ability to connect with people from different backgrounds”. Some call it “active support for the rights of a minority or marginalized group without being a member of it. As recently as February 2021, an article in the Harvard Business Review described allyship as “a strategic mechanism used by individuals to become collaborators, accomplices, and co-conspirators who fight injustice and promote equity in the workplace through supportive personal relationships and public acts of sponsorship and advocacy (Male Allyship Is About Paying Attention (hbr.org).”
Whether the preferred definition of the allyship ideology is simple or complex, because it applies to those who are marginalized, allyship is particularly relevant within the sport context as it applies to women in the coaching profession. As author Amanda Schweinbenz articulates, women coaches must have allies if they are ever to break through the barriers, visible and invisible, that impede their progression in the profession. Her article is a timely and pertinent contribution to this perennial discussion. – Sheila Robertson, Journal editor