In a recent EY Women Athletes Business Network and espnW report, “Making the connection: women, sport and leadership,” a global online survey of 400 women executives found 94% of the respondents participated in sports. Of those surveyed, nearly two-thirds (61%) said that having previous experience in sports contributed to their career success and that this background has had a positive influence on their own hiring decisions, with more than two-thirds (67%) highlighting an athletic background as a positive influence on a decision to hire a candidate.
These statistics become even more impressive when you look at the top levels of leadership. The majority (52%) of C-suite women played sports at the university level and just 3% of C-suite women had not played any sport. Furthermore, C-suite women are more likely than average to say that a candidate’s background in sport influences their hiring decision, putting “a particular premium on the discipline it requires compared to other respondents.