Factors affecting women sports officials’ intention to leave across Europe

Pamela Wicker, George B. Cunningham, Tom Webb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study examines the factors affecting women officials’ intention to leave their chosen sport, including personal, work-related, and socio-cultural factors. The empirical analysis is based on survey data of women officials in 69 different sports across Europe (n=3,214). Overall, 10.7% of women expressed a turnover intention. Regression analyses indicate that this intention is higher for women who have more officiating experience (16-20 years), officiate at lower levels of sport (grassroots, junior), frequently experience abuse, and dislike the stress and time commitments of officiating, lack of support from the federation, and their lack of opportunity to progress. Younger women (≤24 years) with a mentor, who enjoy being part of a sport community and live in a more gender equal society are less likely to leave. The findings suggest that multiple factors are at work which need to be addressed by sport managers to retain women in officiating roles.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)(In-Press)
JournalJournal of Sport Management
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 13 Mar 2024


This research was conducted as part of the WINS project funded by an Erasmus+ grant (grant number: 623017-EPP-1-2020-FR-SPO-SCP).


  • Gender
  • Judge
  • Mentoring
  • Referee
  • Turnover
  • Women


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