SIGA Convenes Female Leaders in Sport in the US and pledge action towards diversifying sports governance

Washington, 08 March 2019:

SIGA brought together major female figures in sport in Washington DC, on Thursday March 7th, during the SIGA Special Session entitled “Female Leadership in Sport: Making it Happen.” This event was an integral part of SIGA´s strategy to enhance sports governance and drive greater diversity within the industry.

Speakers from a wide range of US based sports leagues, including the National Football League, Major League Baseball, PGA Tour, National Hockey League Players´ Association, amongst others shared their experiences of how they achieved success in the sport sector and inspired future generations of female leaders to pierce the gender glass ceiling.

This event was hosted by George Washington University in partnership with SIGA Member Mastercard. During the Special Session the SIGA CEO, Emanuel Macedo de Medeiros committed to having this event on a biannual basis, promoting the implementation of SIGA´s Universal Standards in Good Governance across the industry and confirmed that next year´s event will be  held in Brazil.

For more details about the event including the agenda and list of speakers please click on the following link:

Katie Simmonds, General Counsel and Senior Director, Global Partnerships, SIGA said: “We launched the SIGA Global Female Mentorship Programme exactly one year ago to instigate real lasting change in the industry. Not just with words, but with actions. Women have a significant role to play in shaping the next generation of female leaders. Now is our time to press for change and extend a helping hand to the future leaders of tomorrow – #SIGAWomen. This is a crucial step for effective good governance in sport.”


Holli Richmond, Executive Director, President’s Council on Sport, Fitness & Nutrition: “Sport plays a critical role in the health and development of youth. We must implement best practices to combat threats to the safety of young athletes across the United States and around the world. The Council is committed to working alongside international leaders, like SIGA, to promote positive values, as well as support good governance, integrity and transparency in sport”.


Melanie Le Grande, Vice President, Social Responsibility, Major League Baseball said “Representation matters. Diversity in business, at all levels and in all areas has proven to be a contributing factor to a company’s success. I was pleased to join SIGA on this exciting panel and look forward to the global female mentorship program, which is sure to provide a meaningful experience for all involved.”


Anna Blanchard, Senior Manager, Partnership Marketing, Major League Soccer said “If you are a woman in a position of power, it is your responsibility to champion the women around you. If you are not doing that currently, think about the ways you can change that. We’ve all worked with women who have championed and lifted us up, and some who have held us back or pushed us aside, which do you want to be?”


Neera Shetty, Senior Vice President, Deputy General Counsel, PGA Tour:

“We need to do a better job of explaining why diversity of thought & inclusion matters. Diversity of thought is one of the things most forgotten. It is mutually helpful to minority groups and mainstream groups.”


Sandra Monteiro, Chief of Global Business Strategies and Branding, National Hockey League Players´ Association: “By being one of the few, if not the only (in some cases) female in all my career in business and sports, I am long well familiar with the challenges of gender equality and in particular on female leadership. The world of sports can be inclusive and offer great opportunities, but it can also be challenging and a lot of work still needs to be done.”


Shellie Pfohl, Former CEO, US Centre for SafeSport: “Over 2000 reports of sexual abuse in sport were made in the 2 years since US Safe Sport was launched; the vast majority, girls & women. A key advocacy component is how do we engage more dads to be part of the solution?”



– ENDS –

Note to Editors

About SIGA

SIGA is the world´s largest, independent and neutral global coalition in the field of sport´s governance and integrity. Supported by more than 100 international multi-industry supporters, SIGA is an independent and neutral organisation whose mission is to bring about meaningful reforms and enhance the integrity of all sports through a set of universal standards operated by an independent and neutral body. SIGA is the only organisation to bring together sport, governments, academia, international organisations, sponsors, business, rights holders, NGOs and professional services companies, from every region in the world, around a common cause of fostering greater integrity throughout sport. For the list of SIGA Members & Committed Supporters, please visit

For more information on SIGA, including its vision, mission and reform agenda, please refer to the website:

To contact SIGA, please email: Find SIGA on Twitter at