What Will It Take is proud to announce the launch of its Women & Sports Initiative, which strives to raise awareness about the array of cultural and institutional barriers women face as they continue to level the playing field throughout the sports system.

This timely initiative addresses the conundrum at the heart of it all: sports participation plays a pivotal role in developing successful women leaders, yet while we are finally seeing women athletes like Serena Williams getting their due as the greatest of all time, regardless of gender, women still lack equal opportunity, pay equity, and endure countless double standards both on the fields of play and off. 

By connecting, educating and engaging women everywhere to advance in all levels of leadership and take action, the Women & Sports Initiative brings together champions of women’s leadership on a single platform to foster greater collaboration and engender fair game both in sports and beyond.  



Women & Sports Summit
Date and City TBA

This thought leadership event is bringing together a diverse group of executives, athletes, and activists to raise awareness, initiate collaboration, and activate change through provocative conversations about equality in sports. The summit will address the economic, media, and social challenges faced in sports at all levels and how, through a unified approach, we can transform the industry and finally address the issues surrounding equality.

More details coming soon!





Raise the Bar: Using Your Voice to Make a Difference

On October 16th What Will It Take joined with the Women’s Sports Foundation at their Athletes Leadership Summit to present an important conversation “Raise the Bar: Using Your Voice to Make a Difference.”  Moderated by Sandra Richards, Managing Director at Morgan Stanley, Marianne Schnall, What Will It Take founder and author of What Will It Take to Make a Woman President? joined veteran sports journalist and advocate Sam Marchiano as they talked with 2012 gold medalist in gymnastics Jordyn Wieber, an outspoken voice for change. For more on the Athletes Leadership Summit, go to womenssportsfoundation.org.

Marianne also had the privilege of interviewing keynote speaker and Women’s Sports Foundation founder Billie Jean King. See what King had to say in Marianne’s article:

Interview with Sports Icon Billie Jean King 
The tennis legend and changemaker shares insights on why women’s leadership is so important and what her call to action is for women and girls.


From left: Marianne Schnall, Jordyn Wieber, Sam Marchiano

Marianne Schnall with Billie Jean King


Studies show that there are many benefits to having more women in sports, yet women’s representation is still dismally low: 

  • 94% of women who make it in the high echelon of corporations have a sports background
  • Women’s equal participation in sports would add $28 Trillion to the economy by 2025 according to a 2015 study 
  • Of the top earning 100 athletes globally, there is only one woman: Serena Williams. At #51, Williams’ income is $66M lower than the top earning sportsman according to Forbes
  • Women earn only 1% of what men earn in the elite athlete segment according to a recent study by Global Sports Center 
  • Women hold less than 40% of college coaching opportunities in women’s sports according to the Institute for Diversity & Ethics in Sports 2017 College Sport Racial and Gender report card
  • 49% of women drop out of sports in their teen years, which is six times higher than boys



World Surf League to give equal prize money to women starting in ’19 season

Billie Jean King: Serena is still treated differently than male athletes

WNBA’s Take A Seat, Take A Stand brings its passion for social justice to its fans

UCLA Gymnastics Assistant Jordyn Wieber Makes Victim Impact Statement Against Nassar



Click here for tools and organizations that advance women in sports.