New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

NYU students continue the fight for women in sports

Society for Women in Sports is a club that aims to advance gender equality for women in the sports industry.
Mikaylah Du
(Illustration by Mikaylah Du)

As we celebrate Women’s History Month, it’s important to spotlight women in all industries — and sports is no exception. It’s been more than 50 years since the passing of Title IX, which determined gender equality in education as a civil right. Women’s sports have come a long way since the law was put in place, but the work is far from over. The Society for Women in Sports, an NYU club, is committed to advancing gender equality in sports.

SWIS was founded by three sophomores studying sports management in the School of Professional Studies, and it is currently in the NYU’s New Club Development program. As women in a primarily male-dominated field, the founders of SWIS are exceedingly passionate about creating an environment where women in sports can truly build relationships. Beyond that, they are strong advocates for the inclusion of feminism in the industry itself.

The co-founders, Stuti Daga, Sarah Rabin and Alekhya Mangharam, started this club after years of experiencing a lack of community as women in the sports management program — despite recent advancements for female athletes.   

“Especially in collegiate sports and the NCAA, we’re seeing women finally get the recognition that they deserve,” said Sarah Rabin, a president and co-founder. “It’s time to capitalize on that attention and really push this all forward, and push women forward.”

Alekhya Mangharam, another president and co-founder of SWIS, expanded further on the club’s commitment to fostering meaningful and impactful conversation regarding women in sports.

“We see people like Caitlin Clark breaking records or Sabrina Ionescu going up against the best male shooter of all time,” Mangharam said. “We see these events happening, and it would be neglectful to sit here and not say something about it.”

Networking events and professional panels are a large part of the club’s mission, as SWIS aims to “bridge the gap between aspiring professionals and accomplished women in the field.” 

Professor Gina Antoniello, who attended the club’s kickoff event on March 6 as a supporting professor, is a clinical assistant professor in sports management at the Tisch Institute for Global Sport. Echoing the goals of the club’s founders, Antoniello cites her notable career for providing her with firsthand experiences, motivating her to continue uplifting women in the sports industry.

“I manage locker rooms and worked in the NBA and in American football for over 10 years before coming to NYU,” said Antoniello. “I know what it’s like to be one of the only — if not the only — woman in the room at times.”

The event featured an informational presentation from club leaders followed by a mixer where students could converse and mingle. 

“The initial kickoff event they had last week was amazing,” Antoniello said. “There was that true desire to have a conversation, and to even have that catharsis of, ‘hey, this is what I’ve experienced and I’m not alone.’”

This Women’s History Month, SWIS hopes students and faculty will shine the spotlight on women in the sports industry. Whether it be through discussion, education or advocacy, they emphasize that there are always more conversations to have and more women to uplift.

“Celebrating women is so important, and it should be done every day,” Mangharam said. “We’re far from where we should be in society.”

Contact Anjali Mehta at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Mikaylah Du
Mikaylah Du, Illustration Editor
Mikaylah Du is a first-year studying Media, Culture, and Communication. She's a fine art nerd and one of the few people that actually likes writing essays. Follow her art account on Instagram @mikaylahdoodles to see her post once in a blue moon.

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