IOC President Thomas Bach to attend Women. Fast Forward at Olympians Reunion Centre by EY

1 | 8 | 2016

World Olympians Association is pleased to confirm the attendance of International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach at Women. Fast Forward, an event honouring some of the world’s most accomplished women in sport at the Olympians Reunion Centre by EY in Rio during the Olympic Games. Bach will make a special guest appearance alongside prominent female Olympians, business leaders and other dignitaries, to pay tribute to the impact the Olympic Movement has had on empowering and advancing women.

Taking place on 10 August, the event will be co-hosted by the WOA and the EY Women Athletes Business Network.

The EY Women Athletes Business Network was established by EY in 2013 to help unlock the potential of sport in the advancement of women. EY recognizes the critical role sport plays in preparing women for leadership roles, boosting career opportunities and increasing earning power and works to support elite female athletes in advancing their careers beyond competitive sport.

Since women first competed in the Olympic Games in 1900, the Olympic Movement has made great strides in gender equality on the playing field. At London 2012 women competed in every sport for the first time and every competing nation was represented by at least one female athlete. The total number of participating athletes also approached parity with nearly 45 per cent of competitors being female. At Rio 2016 the margin is expected to be even closer. 

A recent EY WABN report on women in leadership found that 94% of C-suite female executives played sport and more than half (52%) played at the University level.  In addition, 74% of female executives believed a background in sport can help accelerate a woman’s career. 

IOC President, Thomas Bach, said:

“While participation of women in the Olympic Games has steadily increased, we are conscious that we must continue to lead by example and promote strong female leadership across the governing and administrative bodies of the Olympic Movement.

“Through our Women and Sport Commission and initiatives such as our educational and training programmes that target women in sport, we are ensuring female athletes are given the best possible opportunity to succeed as future leaders and ambassadors for sport.” 

WOA President, Joël Bouzou, said:

 “We are honoured and delighted to have Thomas Bach attend Women. Fast Forward at the Olympians Reunion Centre in Rio next month. Mr Bach has always been a strong advocate of the leading role sport can play in the advancement of gender equality and his record on driving change and promoting diversity within the Olympic Movement is excellent.

“The WOA fully supports the efforts of the IOC and others within the Olympic Family to encourage greater representation of women in sports leadership and decision-making roles and has ensured we are leading by example. As mandated within our new constitution, our Executive Committee requires equal representation of male and female Olympians from our continental groupings. Through our collaboration with EY and the Women Athletes Business Network we can help to further break down barriers and strengthen the pathways for female athletes to thrive in the work place.”  

EY Global Vice-Chair of Public Policy and Leader of the Women Athletes Business Network Beth Brooke-Marciniak, said:

“Our Women. Fast Forward event in Rio will be a defining moment in our efforts to support the transition of elite female athletes into successful careers beyond sport.  We are delighted IOC president Thomas Bach will be joining us to shine a spotlight on women’s advancement and to celebrate the female Olympians who inspire us every day.

“The IOC has made a commitment to increase the number of women in leadership roles across the Olympic Movement and we look forward to supporting that goal through the work of the Women Athletes Business Network. The collective leadership potential of elite women athletes who have retired from sport has yet to be fully realised but we will continue to create opportunities and develop pathways from the playing field to the boardroom.”

While present at the event, Thomas Bach will take the opportunity to tour the Olympians Reunion Centre, a destination hub for Olympians of all ages to gather in the heart of the Olympic action in Rio. The unique venue, situated at the iconic Club de Regatas do Flamengo on the shores of Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas, has been exclusively designed to enhance the Rio experience for visiting Olympians. 

Image credit: Getty Images