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 onboard 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 was conceived by Apex Group’s Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Rosie Guest, who said: “When we were originally discussing a potential partnership with SailGP, one of the most important things to both businesses was how we could be mutually impactful for one another in the areas that matter most. The discussion became really animated when we started talking about our Internal Women’s Accelerator Program within Apex Group, and the tangible and immediate improvements in gender equity we’d seen as a result. We are now extremely proud to be able to share that IP with SailGP and guide them in the construction and delivery of a Women’s Accelerator Program for both their athletes and corporate team members, to ultimately support progression in another equally male dominated industry. I can’t wait to see the results of the program at the end of this year!”