A lineart graphic of a woman running along with a colorful shoe design

Leading by Example

A new quarterly webinar series produced by the Lundquist College of Business will dive into topics surrounding women’s roles in a historically male-dominated field.

The series, titled “Unleashing the Power of Women in Sport,” aims to amplify the voices of women in the sports industry, highlight the strides made by industry leaders, and inspire new generations to come.

“There are more women in leadership positions in the sports and sports product industries today than in previous years, but the level is nowhere near the representation that is required,” said Shelly Gourlay, director of the University of Oregon’s Sports Product Management program. “Overt as well as unconscious and implicit bias make this challenging, and unless this topic is continually elevated, it is my fear that we will not see significant change.”

The Sports Product Management program and the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center are joining hands to produce the first episode in the series, titled “Sports Product for Women by Women,” which will feature a panel of industry leaders:

  • Sasha Chaplin, MS ’18, associate product line manager of footwear, sportstyle, and run divisions at Under Armour
  • Ashley Czarnowski, MBA ’08, director of brand marketing for planning and women’s divisions at adidas
  • Jennifer Ferguson, founder and CEO of Handful

Two current UO students, Samantha Polanco, MBA ’21, and Sofia Ramirez Maciel, MS ’21, will moderate.

“Our goal is to show young women that others have chosen this path and are succeeding. The best way to accelerate change is to show it in action—and our wonderful panelists are examples of that,” Gourlay said.

A veteran in the sports product industry herself, Gourlay has more than 20 years of experience working at such brands as Columbia Sportswear and Nike. Her advice for women looking to follow in her footsteps: “Surround yourself with people who see your value and invest in it, and trust your instincts on what’s important in a product, in a meeting, and in a decision.”

Upcoming events in the series will focus on other topics within the realm of sports and will be posted on the Sports Product Management program’s event page [[https://business.uoregon.edu/spm/events]] as they are scheduled.

Register for the Event

—Amanda Miner, Lundquist College Communications