May 27, 2021


For Immediate Release:

27 May 2021

Local AB Alpine Officials Women’s Initiative goes national! 

At its fall 2020 meeting, FIS (Federation Internationale de Ski) announced a gender balance requirement for all its committees and sub committees, which mandated the representation of women to be at 30% for the 2021/22 season followed by a target of 40% for 2022/23 season.  

This May, an online event hosted by Julie Parchewsky of the Banff Alpine Racers/Bow Valley Quickies, attracted seventy-two women from across Canada for solution-focused discussions that addressed the underrepresentation and marginal progression of women as race officials in the domain of alpine ski racing at the community, provincial and national levels. 

Attendees included Canada’s leading women in alpine ski racing serving as FIS and National Technical Delegates, Canada Alpine alumni and executives, along with provincial officials, coaches, PSO board members, club representatives and race directors.  

Presentations were given by Dr. Guylaine Demers, Co-director of E-Alliance, Canada’s Research Hub for Gender and Equity in Sport, Haley Baxter from the University of Waterloo, and Kim Gurtler, Manager of Programs and Operations at (SIRC) Sport Information Resource Centre; followed by inspirational comments from Sue Schwartz, Chief of Race World Cup Women at Lake Louise and Lynne Gibson FIS Technical Delegate from Panorama Ski Club.  

The program took place over two evenings on May 11 and May 20th. The first evening focussed on the identification of perceived and experienced barriers to the progression and retention of women in leadership roles and as officials. The second evening entailed facilitated small-group discussions that generated ideas and solutions to support women and address biases that exist at the institutional, organizational, and individual levels. 

The seeds for a supportive community have been planted. The energy of these dynamic and capable women in the sport is invigorating.  This network will use the momentum from the event to further the development and encouragement of current and future women as officials and leaders in alpine ski racing throughout Canada.  

Plans for future events and meetings are underway.    

For more information, contact Julie Parchewsky at parchewsky.julie@gmail.com

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