The Women’s Sports Foundation (WSF) recently announced Chevrolet as a national partner and the official automotive sponsor of the organization founded by Billie Jean King, one of the 20th century's most respected, influential champion for social change and equality.
The leading authority on the participation of women and girls in sports, the Foundation is the charitable partner of the Chevrolet GoalKeepers Project [#BeAGoalKeeper], a program that provides the tools and resources to inspire and empower girls to become the next generation of female leaders, to stay in sport, and to pursue their athletic and professional goals.
“The Foundation believes in the transformative power of sports and has a longstanding commitment to the health and future success of girls and young women,” said Dr. Deborah Antoine, Chief Executive Officer of the Women’s Sports Foundation.
“Alongside Chevrolet, we will expand sport and participation for future generations and showcase powerful female role models to inspire girls to get and stay in the game.,” said Antoine.
The partnership reflects the Foundation’s mission to create leaders by ensuring all girls access to sports. Research demonstrates the profound impact of sports participation; a girl who participates in sports is healthier, has higher self-esteem and shows greater achievement in education and employment.
With more than 90 percent of female leaders in the C-suite playing sports as girls, these women are shining examples of what’s possible for the next generation of GoalKeepers around the world.
The link between female leadership and competitive sports has been well-documented. A 2015 study of 400 female C-suite executives conducted by espnW and EY found an undeniable correlation between athletic and business success: more than half (52%) of the c-level execs surveyed played sport at the university level, compared to 39% of women at other management levels. That same study reports that 80% of female Fortune 500 executives played competitive sports at one point in their lives.
The women on the 2017 Fortune list of Most Powerful Women are no exception. Of the 31 Most Powerful Women who responded to Fortune‘s query, 20 (65%) played sports competitively in either high school or college; sometimes both. The most popular sport was a three-way tie between swimming, basketball, and tennis (five women each).
“Girls who play sports are more likely to graduate from college, have successful careers, and become leaders,” said GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra. Supporting sport, Chevrolet is bringing positive changes to countries around the world by encouraging youth in need to use their passion for sport to solve problems and inspire tolerance, #FindNewRoads.
“That’s why Chevrolet has partnered with the Women’s Sports Foundation to help girls get ahead of the game and achieve their goals, on and off the pitch,” said Barra.
Featuring a group of “GoalKeeper Legends” — accomplished female leaders who played sports in their youth and transformed that experience into success later in life, the Chevrolet GoalKeepers Project will feature a collection of digital content, education and resources to inspire and empower global audiences and fans.
The “Women’s Sports Foundation Legends” include an incredible array of professional athletes and leading executives: WSF Founder and winner of 39-time Grand Slam tennis titles, Billie Jean King; President and Chief Executive Officer, National Women’s Law Center, Fatima Goss Graves; former U.S. State Department Public Diplomacy envoy and two-time Olympic medalist figure skater, Michelle Kwan; Senior Vice President for Baseball Operations, Major League Baseball, Kim Ng; Chief Executive Officer, Flywheel Sports, Sarah Robb O’Hagan; and Co-Founder of Project 2020 and four-time Olympic medalist, Brenda Villa.
As part of its commitment, Chevrolet joins the Women’s Sports Foundation at today’s Salute to Women in Sports in New York City, the Foundation’s annual fundraising gala that celebrates the most accomplished women in sports and the girls they inspire. Watch the 38th Annual Salute to Women in Sports awards gala live, at 7 p.m. EST, beginning with the Grand March of Athletes.