Naz Foundation created a leadership pipeline that led participants into positions as community sport coaches, life skill facilitators and staff. Using the LEEP framework, the organisation created a partnership with The International Youth Foundation and managed to find employment opportunities for girls reaching the highest leadership levels at Naz. Girls eligible for the employment opportunities kept turning them down, saying they would much rather stay with Naz then move on. This blocked Naz’s leadership pipeline, not allowing younger girls to move into positions of leadership. Naz eventually had to create a strict policy that limited the time girls could spend at each leadership level to ensure the pipeline was not blocked.
Many organisations do a great job of incentivising adolescent girls to take part in different leadership levels of the pathway and to remain engaged in the programme for a long period of time. However, if those girls are not exiting the leadership pipeline and moving on in their leadership journeys toward external employment, entrepreneurship, or education, they could be blocking the progression of younger girls through the pathway. Girls and young women may enjoy their leadership positions and the organisation or programme so much, that other options in the community don’t seem as appealing. This is particularly true if the young women are very much interested in being sport for development coaches and life skill facilitators, as there may not be very many options for that type of employment outside of your organisation.
It is important to ensure that the leadership pathways your organisation creates not only incentivise girls to keep moving up and forward, but also ensures that there are support and incentives for girls to think about their future outside of the organisation or programme.
- Connect participants with mentors who can guide them in finding opportunities outside of the sport programme
- Develop partnerships with other sport for development organisations and connect your successful LEEP girls with opportunities to continue what they love at another programme
- Create a policy that allows girls to stay in certain positions for a finite amount of time and be transparent from the beginning, applying the policy to everyone at that level