How C-Suite It Is: The Power of Women’s Sports Goes Audible

Audible Originals’ 10-part series “She Got Game: Inspiring Women, Inspired by Sports” illustrates the compelling link between female sports participation and career success. Notable guests include Laila Ali, Chelsea Clinton, Aisha Tyler, Shawn Johnson, Dany Garcia and Sheila Johnson. Award-winning sports journalist, Bonnie Bernstein, who serves as the series’ creator, host and executive producer, discusses the show’s relevance at a time when interest in women’s sports is on the rise. 
Why is this topic timely right now?
Audible’s release window for “She Got Game: Inspiring Women, Inspired by Sports” was impeccably timed. Not only did it enable us to uniquely celebrate Women’s History Month, it’s empowered us to ride the wave of unprecedented investment in women’s sports rights, unprecedented brand support for women’s sports, and record-setting attendance, ratings and merch sales for tentpole events like the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament. The appetite for women’s sports, clearly, is there; “She Got Game” is satisfying that appetite in a different, but very powerful and inspirational way — through the stories of industry leaders, celebrities and world class athletes who’ve leveraged life skills learned through sports to achieve professional success. 
You note that many female C-suite execs played sports. How did that experience contribute to their careers? 
It’s valuable to cite the stat that inspired “She Got Game,” because female athletes, their moms and dads, people in senior leadership positions, executive recruiters… they all need to see it: an Ernst and Young study reveals 94% of female C-suite executives played sports, with more than half of those women competing in college. NINETY-FOUR PERCENT! It makes sense, though. What does it take to be the highest of high achievers in business? Grit, determination, discipline, teamwork, resilience, self-confidence, accountability. What do you learn from sports? Everything I just mentioned. 
Did you get the sense your guests’ personal experience in sports influences the way they structure their leadership teams? 
Sheila Johnson, who’s the first Black female billionaire, and has ownership stakes in the Wizards, Capital and Mystics, told me if a female job candidate has a strong sports background, her resume shoots to the top of the pile, because Sheila knows the type of person she’ll be getting. XFL owner Dany Garcia’s entire executive team for The Garcia Companies is female. So, yes, there’s definitely a pay-it-forward mindset. On a macro-level, it’s reasonable to believe we’ll see an organic trickle UP effect from Title IX, both in corporate America and our entrepreneurial ecosystem. As girls sports participation continues to grow, so, too, will the talent pool of women whose life skills learned through competition will prime them to thrive at the highest levels of business. Hopefully, this helps narrow the C-suite gender gap.
Do you see this content expanding to other formats? 
There are certainly ways to expand — video, on-site activations — and it’s been so gratifying to receive encouragement on that front. That said, I’m incredibly proud of the immersive audio experience that is Season 1 of “She Got Game.” It’s not just 10 episodes of talking heads. It’s snackable storytelling infused with music, sound design and narration… and I love that listeners get to funnel all their energy into their sense of sound, to absorb the phenomenal wisdom our guests have to share.

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