November/December 2020 - 25

Beginning the conversation meant I had to counter
every preconceived notion my male peers had about me.
Though these men never once had a conversation with
me, I had to refute them. Those false assumptions never
allowed for the men in the room to hear me. I didn't fit
their narrative of what a high school athletic director
looked like. I had to find ways for them to get to know
me, not the person they assumed I was. In turn, I needed
to get to know them. Having these preconceived notions
about me made my job that much harder. The visual I
like to use is that of Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire,
the great dancing duo. Ginger Rogers did everything
Fred Astaire did but backward and in heels; and that
is how I feel every day as a female athletic director. I
am doing my job backward and in heels. As women, we
are expected to perform at least as well as our male
colleagues but without pointing out why what we are
doing is actually more challenging. We sit shoulder to
shoulder with our male colleagues doing the same job
but with a higher degree of difficulty because of the
preconceived notions of women in sports and that is the
Every time I walk into a meeting, I know I will be
viewed as too masculine and, at the same time, too
feminine, simply because I am a female athletic director.
People have told me my place is on the sideline, not at
the table or the meeting. I have walked with my husband
through the vendor fair at the national conference and
every single vendor approaches my husband for the
sale. The vendors assume he is the athletic director. I
have had vendors try to sell me equipment for football or
baseball, things I don't need because I work at an all-girls'
school. I have been told on more than one occasion " that
must suck - working at an all-girls' school - because
girls' sports are boring and not as good as boys' sports " .
" Not as good as boys sports " - this is a sentiment I
face every day. While it may be their reality, I have the
added responsibility as a woman in sports to broaden
perspectives. I have the opportunity to educate;
hardest; reaching out and connecting. I decided it
was time to unsubscribe from doubt and decide to
be confident. I believe confidence is a choice and it is
perfected over time and through experiences. I choose
to be confident. Immediately, I was rewarded. Upon
making those connections I was instantly inspired,
energized and in awe of the amazing female athletic
directors, I met. The best thing about those connections?
They wanted to be a part of the movement, the education;
The Global Community of Women in High School
Sports. A number of us had previously inquired to other
organizations to see if they would create a space for us.
The answer was that no one saw a need for it. Of course,
they didn't see a need for it. They had a seat at the table
and for various reasons couldn't see why women were not
at the table as well.
My mantra for life is " this is good " . It means finding
the good in all situations, even those that appear to be
negative or challenging. When the COVID-19 pandemic
closed the doors to my school and those across the
country, the need to connect virtually skyrocketed.
So if I am looking for the good during this time of
uncertainty it is that by being pushed into the world of
virtual connection, it allows for the Global Community to
connect on a scale that had never before been considered.
When once I thought our only connection would be
through email and the National Athletic Directors
there is a
better way to address me, to view girls and sports, and to
hear the female perspective.
This responsibility was the genesis behind the Global
Community of Women in High School Sports. If I was
to change the lens through which my male colleagues
looked at me and my female peers, seeing us as more
than just visitors in their male space, I needed to first
find support from and with people who looked like me.
Therein lies the problem, finding people who looked
like me, female athletic directors. I live and work in a
state with over 500 Athletic Directors, yet very few are
females. This is where the global part came in. If I was
going to have a major impact, a global impact, a " go big or
go home " impact then I needed females from all around
the globe so our collective voice could be heard. There
simply weren't enough females in my county, much less
my state to have a united presence.
I walk the fine line of being an introvert and extrovert.
So trust me when I say taking that first step was the
Choose #116 online

November/December 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of November/December 2020

November/December 2020 - 1
November/December 2020 - 2
November/December 2020 - 3
November/December 2020 - 4
November/December 2020 - 5
November/December 2020 - 6
November/December 2020 - 7
November/December 2020 - 8
November/December 2020 - 9
November/December 2020 - 10
November/December 2020 - 11
November/December 2020 - 12
November/December 2020 - 13
November/December 2020 - 14
November/December 2020 - 15
November/December 2020 - 16
November/December 2020 - 17
November/December 2020 - 18
November/December 2020 - 19
November/December 2020 - 20
November/December 2020 - 21
November/December 2020 - 22
November/December 2020 - 23
November/December 2020 - 24
November/December 2020 - 25
November/December 2020 - 26
November/December 2020 - 27
November/December 2020 - 28
November/December 2020 - 29
November/December 2020 - 30
November/December 2020 - 31
November/December 2020 - 32
November/December 2020 - 33
November/December 2020 - 34
November/December 2020 - 35
November/December 2020 - 36