Coaching Association of Canada

Canadian Journal for Women in Coaching

The Canadian Journal for Women in Coaching provides timely, accurate, targeted information to aid in creating a healthier and more positive environment for women coaches – in Canada and around the world.

March 2016, Vol. 16, No. 2

Examining the Benefits of Female-to-Female Mentorship as a Result of Participation in a Female Coach Mentorship Program

By Madeline Belding and Ann Dodge

As was noted in the January 2016 issue of the Journal, mentorship was a pervasive theme of “The 2015 Conversation on Women and Sport” that took place in Quebec City in June 2015. Delegates agreed overwhelmingly on the need for well-structured mentorship programs that meet the needs of both the mentor coaches and the apprentice coaches.

Such a program is running successfully in Nova Scotia through its Department of Health and Wellness. A unique program in Canada, the Female Coach Mentorship Program (FCMP) is specific in its goals: to increase the number of qualified women coaches at the performance level and to support community and provincial coaches in improving their coaching skills, enhancing their coaching experience, and attaining higher levels of coaching certification.

This article reports on a study of the first apprentice coaches to have completed the FCMP. As authors Madeline Belding and Ann Dodge discovered, the FCMP goals are being met to such an extent that “mentorship can be confirmed as having a significant positive impact on the experiences of the women coaches …” It is to be hoped that this Nova Scotia success story will encourage other jurisdictions to take similar action. — Sheila Robertson, Journal Editor

To read the full article, please click here.

The views expressed in the articles of the Canadian Journal for Women in Coaching are those of the authors and do not reflect the policies of the Coaching Association of Canada.


    In recent years, as the participation of girls and women in sport in Canada has skyrocketed, barriers have tumbled and opportunities have proliferated. Women are now found in every aspect of sport, from the playing fields to the boardrooms, as administrators and officials, at the grassroots level through to high performance.

    While coaching, too, has been affected by this explosion, women who choose to coach continue to face serious challenges, generally as a result of programs that, when designed, did not consider their unique needs. Other barriers include a lack of mentoring, the failure of sport organizations to spotlight female role models, mis-communication, and a lack of access to information that is critical to professional success.

    To address these challenges, in September 2000, the Women in Coaching program of the Coaching Association of Canada introduced The Canadian Journal for Women in Coaching. The premise of the Journal is that timely, accurate, targeted information goes a long way towards creating a healthier and more positive environment for women coaches, in Canada and around the world. During the research phase, a worldwide search turned up little information that is specific to the situation of the woman coach. One dominant concern is family life. Other pressing issues focus on negotiating equitable compensation and satisfactory contracts, breaking into the high performance echelon, establishing personal behaviour guidelines, understanding employee and employer rights, and working effectively with a board of directors.

    As well as tackling pertinent issues, the Journal goes one step further by providing practical, hands-on, and proactive suggestions and solutions that inform coaches, their employers, the parents of their athletes, and their clubs and associations. Above all, the Journal is designed to make sure that readers will develop an understanding of the unique challenges women coaches face.

    If, through the Journal, the challenges faced by women coaches are "put on the table" and workable solutions are offered, an important step will have been taken towards breaching the formidable barriers to getting ahead.


  • Journal Personnel>>>

    Publisher: Coaching Association of Canada

    Copy Editors: Lucie LeBel, Astou Diop

    Translator: MATRA • gs Inc. 

    Editorial Board:

    • Chair: Guylaine Demers, Laval University
    • Research Members: Gretchen Kerr, University of Toronto; Penny Werthner, University of Calgary; Diane Culver, University of Ottawa; Dru Marshall, University of Calgary
    • Editor: Sheila Robertson
    • Coach: Sheilagh Croxon, Head Coach, Synchronized Swimming, Granite Club
    • PhD Student: Janessa Banwell
    • Ad Hoc: Dr. Dru Marshall, University of Calgary Nancy Lee, Broadcast Sports Journalist and Producer; Rose Mercier, Maverick Consulting
    • CAC Staff Resource: Isabelle Cayer, Senior Coaching Consultant, Women in Coaching