The 51% Club – Are you a member?

Women make up 51% of the population, so why are there so few women in leadership roles in sport. In Scotland. Whilst we continue to increase representation in sport in Scotland, we still have some way to go. So join us for this year’s conference when we look at the good practice currently in place to help redress this imbalance.

Thursday, September 9th 2021
Tynecastle, Edinburgh


Are you an athlete, a coach, a committee member, doctor, physiotherapist or volunteer in sport?  If so this conference is for you.

The 51% Club.  Women make up 51% of the population, so why are there so few women in leadership roles in sport in Scotland.  In 2021 we are still debating gender equality in sport and we continue to fall short of complete inclusion and diversity in leadership roles.

We are taking all precautions to ensure the safety of our attendees and will limit our numbers to 85.  With appreciation to sportscotland and GRM Marketing for their support.


9.30                     Registration

10.15                   Welcome – Maureen McGonigle,  CEO SW/S

1020                   Setting the scene – Your host…………..David Tanner

10.30                   Women in Leadership in Scotland – David Ferguson, CEO, Observatory for Sport in Scotland

11.00                    Changing the Chemistry (SCIO)  -Increasing Diversity on Boards

11.20                     SW/S:  Young Women, Mental Health and Leadership – Robert Nesbitt, Head of Physical Activity and Sport, SAMH and Anneli Ritari-Stewart, MD Andragogy & SW/S Trustee

11.50                    David Tanner, Recap

12.00                   LUNCH  – Networking

13.30                    David Tanner – Welcome Back

13.35                    “Reimagining Sport” Cliona O’Leary

14.05                     The Female Body, unlocking our potential -Dr Emma Ross, co-founder, The Well HQ

14.35                     Katie Sadleir, General Manager, Women’s Rugby – Accelerating the global development of Women in Rugby

15.05                     Panel Debate – Are we doing enough to accelerate equality in sport?

15.30                     David Tanner – Summary

15.35                     Close

Thursday, September 9th 2021
Tynecastle, Edinburgh


Katie Sadleir

Katie Sadleir was appointed World Rugby General Manager for Women’s Rugby in November 2016 and moved from New Zealand to Ireland to take up the role in 2017. The purpose of the role is to accelerate the global development of women in rugby. Prior to joining World Rugby, Katie accrued a wealth of experience as both an athlete and a senior leader working in sports and sports governance in New Zealand. Born in Scotland, raised in Canada, Katie made New Zealand her home, representing her adopted country at the 1984 Olympic Games in synchronised swimming, before going on to win a bronze medal at the 1986 Commonwealth Games.

Following her retirement from international sport, Katie led the establishment of the New Zealand Academy of Sport network in the late 1990s. She then went on to serve as General Manager of Sport and Recreation New Zealand (now Sport New Zealand), from 2000-2006, acting as a leading proponent in the transformation of New Zealand’s High-Performance system. From 2009-2015 she held directorships with both Sport New Zealand and High-Performance Sport New Zealand. She also served as a director with the International Association of Elite Sport Training Centres, a board member of the New Zealand Swimming Federation and a member of New Zealand Olympic Committee’s Athletes’ Commission. In 2016 Katie won the Sport NZ, Lifetime Achievement Award for her contribution to sport in New Zealand.

Glen Killane

Glen Killane took over the role of Executive Director of Eurovision Sport in June 2020, stepping up from the position of Deputy Director of Eurovision Sport, a role he held since August 2018. Before joining the EBU, Glen was Managing Director of Eir Sport and Eir TV, owned by Irish Telco Eir, where he led the launch of their OTT pay sports business and ran the company’s IPTV platform. He was Managing Director of RTE Television from 2010 until 2016, during which time he was elected Chair of the EBU Television Committee. Glen began his career as a sports journalist working in editorial positions for RTE and for ITV in London where he was editor of live football. He was Group Head of Sport for RTE from 2004 until 2010 and was elected as Vice Chair of the EBU Sports Committee. Born in Dublin in Ireland, Glen, 49, was educated at Trinity College Dublin where he gained a degree in English Literature and he holds a Masters degree in Journalism from Dublin City University. Glen and his partner Fiona have four children. On his free time Glen enjoys doing sports, especially running and mountain biking.

Emma Ross

Dr Emma Ross was, until recently, the Head of Physiology at the English Institute of Sport, supporting practitioners working across Olympic and Paralympic sports and leading the EIS Female Athlete Programme. This programme aimed to empower coaches, athletes and sports practitioners to better understand the exercising female, and how to capitalise on her physiology and psychology in the context of sport. Emma recently co-founded The Well HQ, to continue this mission to tackle the taboo’s, educate and empower people in sport and beyond, about topics such as periods and the menstrual cycle, breast health, pelvic floor health and what it takes for girls and women to thrive in sport, in health and in life.

Thursday, September 9th 2021
Tynecastle, Edinburgh


Thanks to sportscotland and GRM Marketing