#100experts for sport, against stereotypes to give voice and visibility to female expertise

Initiative promoted by the Bracco Foundation, the Gi.U.Li.A journalists association, the Pavia Observatory

This afternoon at the headquarters of Cones the project was presented #100experts for sports. The initiative, promoted byGi.U.Li.A. Journalists Associationfrom thePavia Observatory and from Bracco Foundation, aims to promote the visibility of female sports professionals in the world of information. In a particularly happy moment for Italian sport and with an eye towards Olympic Games And Winter Paralympics 2026in light of recent recognition of sport in the Constitution (‘The Republic recognizes the educational, social and promotional value of psychophysical well-being of sporting activity in all its forms’ art 33) the #100experts project offers an opportunity for 360-degree information and reflection on the multidimensionality of the gap between women and men in the world of sport which is reflected in media representation, in the dimension of work (top positions, professionalism, salary gap) and in rights.

According to Global Media Monitoring Project 2020, on a global level, sport is the 5th most frequent topic, but the percentage of news concerning women is negligible: only 4%, which drops to 0% considering Italy. If the topic concerns professional athletes we have an incidence of 14%, which drops to 3% in our country. The Censis Report 2023 “Women, work, sport in Italy” underlines the correlation between the intensity of sports practice and the rate of female employment: where there is more sport, there is also more female work and women work better. In this way, a virtuous circle is created whereby sport and work feed each other.

For this reason, the recognition of women in sport is not only a question of social justice and equal opportunities, but also as a topic of broader social and economic development. And the media have a central role in contributing to this process, as recently reiterated in the Recommendations and Action Plan of the European Union, in the document Towards More Gender Equality in Sport (European Commission, Directorate General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture – Directorate Culture, Creativity and Sport 2022).

“I deeply believe in the educational and social value of sport and we consider competitive activity a unique opportunity for boys and girls to mature, improve, compare, learning every day respect for others, loyalty and sacrifice,” he states Diana Bracco, President of the Bracco Foundation, which has contributed to its development since the start of the #100experts project in 2016. “We have always tried to do our part, also by supporting various women’s societies, such as Pro Patria Volleyball And Bracco Athleticsor like the Enotriaa men’s club that promotes Bracco Cup
– Women’s Football. We have added to this commitment an initiative that aims to send an important cultural message: the national competition
“Donna Sport, the best athlete at school”, of which the Bracco Group will launch the seventh edition at the beginning of 2024. An initiative that I care a lot about, dedicated to girls – athletes and para-athletes – aged 14 to 18 who, despite practicing federal sports at high levels, have excellent academic performance”.

“A lot has changed in the last 20 years: at the beginning of the century, Winter Olympic athletes represented around 1/3 of the total. The Milan Cortina 2026 Winter Olympics will be the most gender balanced in history” declares Diana Bianchedi, Chief Strategy Planning Legacy Officer Milan Cortina 2026. “The ‘100 experts for sport’ project has the merit of shining a light on this issue by entrusting us with a commitment concrete in this direction. The names are there. The skills are there and they are precious. We must continue on the path we have undertaken.”

“I fully agree with the message of this initiative”, underlines Silvia Salis, Deputy Vice President of Coni, “as it is very important to give voice to the experiences and abilities of women in an environment such as that of sport which, at a management level, is still very male-oriented, as highlighting the skills of the female sporting universe is more necessary than ever.”

“In recent years, women in sport in Italy have made giant strides, and thanks to their tenacity and the extraordinary results achieved, even in disciplines traditionally considered masculine, they have been able to impose a new and winning female image on the general public,” she recalls Elisa Giomi, AgCom Commissioner. “In this regard, the positive role of the media must be underlined, sector studies have long shown that the growth in media exposure of women in sport and the greater number of journalists and commentators help to fight and overcome gender prejudices as well as to be a source of inspiration for girls and boys. But there is still a long way to go if outside of the Olympics only 4% of all global media coverage is dedicated to women’s sports. We therefore welcome initiatives like this which are an important push towards gender equality.”

The project “100 women against stereotypes” (#100 experts), born from an idea by Gi.U.Li.A. Journalists and the Pavia Observatory, with the support of the Bracco Foundation and the support of the European Commission Representation in Italy, is a freely accessible online database with over 450 profiles of experts in strategic sectors (Sport, STEM, Economics and Finance, International Politics, History and Philosophy) selected with scientific criteria, to be interviewed by journalists, organizers of events and talk shows, agencies and press offices, schools and universities to fill the absence of women of great professionalism and excellence in the media panorama and of Italian communication.

The meeting, moderated by Tg2 Deputy Director Elisabetta Migliorelli, was attended by Andrea Abodi, Minister for Sport and Youth, Silvia Salis, Deputy Vice President of CONI; Antonio Parenti, Head of Representation in Italy of the European Commission; Diana Bracco, President of the Bracco Foundation; Diana Bianchedi, Chief Strategy Planning Legacy Officer Milano Cortina 2026; Monia Azzalini, Head of Media and Gender Sector, Pavia Observatory; Marco Mazzocchi, Editor-in-Chief and presenter of RaiSport; Silvia Garambois, President of GiULiA; Elisa Giomi, AGCOM Commissioner; Manuela Claysset, Head of Gender Policies and Rights UISP; Fiona May, former long player, Board of trustees children’s Foundation of UEFA; Luisa Rizzitelli, President of ASSIST; Valeria Straneo, former athlete, marathon champion. Video contributions by Maria Luisa Garatti, sports lawyer and athlete, and Katia Serra, former footballer and Laura Pellicoro, middle-distance runner.