Toronto Metropolitan University
Vernhout, Chelsea - MRP.pdf (4.66 MB)

Sport Culture and Adversity Explained: Exploring My Experience as a Woman Working in the Sport Industry

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posted on 2024-02-07, 17:34 authored by Chelsea Vernhout

The purpose of this study is to investigate the adversities women face in the sports industry through an autoethnographic style. Through practice-based research, this study explores how sports are constructed by men, for men, and how the marginalization of women, representation of women in sport leadership, mediocrity, and self-limitation practices impact women pursuing careers in the sport industry. To accomplish this objective, I reflect on how my personal experiences as an identifying woman working in sport align with current gender and feminist research that exist in academia. A literature review was written in narrative style and based on various secondary sources, including scholarly journals in sport and gender studies.

This study assessed information on the male gaze, descriptive and prescriptive gender stereotyping, role congruity theory, tokenism, emotional labour, and risks of self-promotion. This study examines how the concepts and theories mentioned above are present specifically in sport organizations and sport communities. The findings are demonstrated through qualitative data collected through an autoethnographic approach where I use self-reflection and writing to discuss and examine a woman’s experience in sport. With this study, I produced a media project called “Maiden Mascot”; an animated short film, distributed as a recorded storyboard, focusing on the narrative of women working in sport. My media project is an example of how producing digital storytelling content that shares the experience of a woman working in sport can provide a space for educating audiences about the issues and inspiring societal change. The combination of my paper and project stand to reason a need for future research in analyzing the impact of sharing stories of women working in sports culture through digital media outlets.





  • Master of Arts


  • Digital Media

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type

  • MRP

Thesis Advisor

Laurel Walzak