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election, Africa had the highest proportion for the posts of president and secretary general, while Oceania ranked the highest for treasurer and other executive committee posts.The results did, however, highlight that the level of electoral competition within the system is somewhat limited. The questionnaire responses for NOCs in the study indicate that on average, approximately 60-70% of all elections for the top three posts are uncontested, often with the incumbent standing unopposed. This has significant repercussions for the election of women since new candidates (and in most posts women, by definition, would be in this category)are underrepresented. While the quantitative data provide insights into what is happening within Olympic organisations in terms of progress towards gender equity, the qualitative data from interviews with women who have had the experience of submitting themselves to election and working within such organisations provide important insights into how and why gender equity initiatives work or not. As previously indicated, 36 in-depth interviews were conducted, lasting between 40 minutes and two hours. Three of the principal themes to emerge from the interviews were recruitment processes, electoral experiences and gendered styles.With regards to recruitment processes, perhaps the most striking feature was the emergence of a small number of cases of appointment of candidates to executive committees on the basis of competencies rather than through election. The former is a common approach in the appointments to company boards in the business world and is significant for the recruitment of women who are able to provide objective evidence of relative skills and experience, but who might be less likely to be elected or even to submit themselves for election by a male dominated electorate. One of our interviewees had been recruited onto her NOC because of her skills and experience in industry; she subsequently became head of her NOC in a short period of time on the basis of the relevance of her experience and abilities to the needs of the role.When it came to electoral experiences, women generally found putting themselves forward for election a slightly uncomfortable experience. Of course, this may also be true of some men, and it is not necessarily true for all of the female interviewees. However, the nature of the experience for many interviewees was clearly influenced by the fact that the electorate is predominantly male within general assemblies for NOCs, continental assemblies and IFs and similar meetings being dominated by men. Data published in the 2010 NOC Annual Review - undertaken by the IOC's NOC Relations Department - indicate (from a survey question with a 35% response rate) that while Oceania and the Americas had general assemblies with 23% and 21% female membership respectively, the figures for Africa (12%), Europe (11%) and Asia (11%) remain relatively low. Women thus find themselves outnumbered by their male counterparts in the electorate, as well as being outnumbered as candidates, a context which can provide a potentially intimidating environment.The issue of the extent to which men and women adopt different leadership and management styles, which has been debated in the management literature for some time, also emerged during the interviews. Masculine styles are characterised as, for example, "ambitious, dominant, forceful, independent, daring, self-confident, and competitive", while feminine styles are described as, "helpful, kind, sympathetic, interpersonally sensitive, nurturing" (Eagly and Johanneson-Schmidt, 2001). Of course, men can adopt feminine, and women masculine, styles and a tendency was noted by some interviewees of women once "inside" the organisation to adopt a more masculine style in adapting to the norm. However, as interviewees indicated, the adoption of what might be regarded as a more consensual or more participative approach, one which was more democratic than autocratic in orientation, does not imply any sacrificing of commitment to achieving effective outcomes. Gendered styles of management can represent a significant component of organisational culture, which in turn can have a major impact on how comfortable individuals feel in an organisational setting and how effective they may be in performing their organisational role. Interviewees reported both positive and negative examples of organisational culture Right For the first time, women will compete in every sport on the Olympicprogramme, as women's boxing makes its debut in 2012and reflected also on how mixed gender organisations often operate in a very different way to those which are predominantly male. In seeking to explain the influences and mechanisms which explain gender inequity, we conceptualised the relevant issues as falling into three sequential elements, namely: the general pre-election context; the process of the elections; and the post-election experience of women. The three themes 58 OLYMPIC REVIEW OLYMPIC RESEARCH CORNER

selected are representative of issues at each of the three stages and thus provide examples of the tasks to be faced in addressing the gender equity issue.This article can only provide a brief insight into the findings of the study, which aimed to provide information and evaluate progress on the implementation of the IOC policy in relation to women's leadership in the Olympic Movement. By evaluating the processes of recruitment of women to decision-making structures and exploring the views of both women executive committee members and NOC secretary generals on the implementation and impact of the policy, it is clear that there is still work to be done with regards to gender equality in decision-making bodies. This study represents the analysis and views of the authors rather than those of the IOC or the Centre for Olympic Studies and Research. The full report can be found in the documents section of ? Ian Henry is Professor and Director of the Centre for Olympic Studies & Research at Loughborough University. His research interests include Olympic policy and management, gender and equity in the Olympic movement. He is currently working on an evaluation of the studies of Olympic legacy for the London 2012 Games.OLYMPIC REVIEW 59OLYMPIC RESEARCH CORNER