Feb 14, 2024
SailGP and its exclusive financial solutions partner, Bermuda-based Apex Group, have launched the league’s first Women’s Accelerator Program. Having signed a new three-year sponsorship deal in June 2023, SailGP and Apex Group have been working together to bring the latter’s Women’s Accelerator Program into the world of sport for the first time.
The recent 2023 McKinsey Women in the Workplace Report, the largest study of women in corporate America, recorded that there are only 28% women at c-suite/senior vice president level, 37% at senior manager/director level and 40% at manager level. SailGP’s figures are higher with 36% at head of department level and 42% at director level, however there is still a gap at the top that this program will seek to close.
In partnership with Apex Group, the program aims to increase representation of women at senior management levels, working towards driving more inclusive decision making through the league and the wider sport. Breaking boundaries in sailing since October 2021, SailGP’s Women’s Pathway ensures female athletes race on board all ten national teams at every single SailGP event, a milestone for women’s sailing. The league has an ambition to have a female driver by Season 6.
The program is based upon Apex Group’s Women’s Accelerator Program, which was designed and launched in January 2022. It has proven to break down gender-related barriers in the 13,000-strong financial services giant, as it operates in another traditionally male dominated industry. Over 50% of Apex Group’s participants secured promotions, progression or new roles in its inaugural program, and the firm doubled the size of its intake the following year.
The program is designed to provide all participants with support and tools that enable progression within SailGP and beyond. In addition to being part of an intimate, global peer group consisting of four SailGP athletes and eight workforce members from various business departments, participants will move through the program together and can expect the following opportunities:
- Sessions with inspirational leaders in key areas that women are known to face during career progression, both in sport and in business
- Peer learning via round table sessions, small group coaching, and the ‘Accelerator Project’
- Support through coaching and mentoring and the opportunity to refine their own mentorship skills
- Reflection to recognize their progress made on their leadership journey
- Support to create and implement their own development plan
Fiona Morgan, Chief Purpose Officer at SailGP, said: “SailGP has an ambition to be the most inclusive league in sailing and change the face of the sport. We are proud of the Women’s Pathway but we are fully aware that we can do more and need to do more. This first ever Women’s Accelerator Program has the potential to make a real difference both on and off the water.”