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For Women, Athletic Ability Could Determine Corporate Advancement

For Women, Athletic Ability Could Determine Corporate Advancement
Photograph by Getty Images

A woman’s race to a top management position may begin with lacing up sneakers. Three out of four female executives say a candidate’s background in sports influences their hiring decisions, a new report found.

The report, released last week by Ernst and Young’s Women Athletes Business Network and EspnW, used an online survey to poll 400 female managers on what they thought about women with athletic backgrounds. Half of them were in so-called C-level jobs, meaning they were on boards or had such titles as chief executive officer, chief financial officer, or chief operating officer. It’s worth noting that these corporate high-achievers were themselves athletic. A full 52 percent of the C-level women had played a sport at the university level, compared to 39 percent of women at other management levels. Only 3 percent of women in the executive suite said they had never played a sport.