How did Accelerate Equity start?

As a former collegiate athlete and long-time fan of women’s sports, I was shocked to learn that fewer than 20% of all colleges are in compliance with Title IX, a 50 year old law that prohibits sex discrimination in education, including in athletics. I wondered how it could possibly be that the vast majority of colleges still don’t treat women’s sports equitably, and also, why I hadn’t known about it.

Being a data nerd, I dove in and found the data that colleges report each year to the Department of Education. I downloaded the data and got a spreadsheet over 500 columns wide. Suddenly, it all made sense. The data are not accessible in a way that is user friendly, which translates into a lack of transparency. As a result, over 80% of colleges self-report that they don’t provide women’s sports with equitable treatment, in violation of the law, without facing any consequences

a woman soccer player kicking ball in game
two female lacrosse players on opposing teams running on field

A new approach

Given that we haven’t achieved equity after 50 years, we can’t just do more of the same. If we truly want gender equity in college sports, we need a new approach. I founded Accelerate Equity to create the transparency that has been missing. You can see how any college is doing on the Gender Equity Dashboard.

We know that transparency on its own won’t be enough. Accelerate Equity will drive high-profile visibility through collaboration with athletes, media, and the public. We will also celebrate schools that treat women’s sports fairly, provide high school athletes with insight about each college, and develop wanna-watch videos so that more people can understand how Title IX works.

Public opinion is solidly in favor of treating women athletes fairly and we plan to leverage this to spur change. Discover what you can do to promote equity. Together we can change the game and achieve fair treatment for women’s college sports.

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Founder and Executive Director

Pamela Seidenman
Pamela Seidenman (she/her) is the founder and Executive Director at Accelerate Equity. She has raised over $30 million to support social and technical innovation, and has worked with multiple organizations that use data to drive policy change. Pamela previously founded Zero Gravity, a company that designed and sold outdoor gear for women. As a student-athlete, she got Cambridge University to finally provide equipment for the women’s ice hockey team. As a high school athlete (field hockey and lacrosse), she got the school to award varsity and JV letters to female athletes. Pamela studied Organizational Behavior at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. She has an MA in Geography from Cambridge University and a BA in Cross-Cultural Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania.

Advisory Board

Anna Baeth
Dr. Anna Baeth (she/her) is the Director of Research for Athlete Ally, a nonprofit focused on ending homophobia and transphobia in sport. A sport sociologist and collegiate coach, Baeth's research centers on the gendering of sport spaces, the eternally moving body, and social movements and sport. Previously, Baeth was a research assistant in the Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport at the University of Minnesota, where she also earned a PhD in Kinesiology. She has coached collegiate field hockey and lacrosse and bicycled across the country to raise awareness of affordable housing issues. Baeth also holds an MS in Exercise and Sport Studies from Smith College.

Ellen Staurowsky
Dr. Ellen J. Staurowsky, EdD, (she/her) is a professor of sports media in the Roy H. Park School of Communications at Ithaca College. Dr. Staurowsky is an internationally recognized authority on social justice issues in sport, including gender equity, Title IX, and college athletes’ rights. In addition to publishing several books and publications in numerous scholarly journals, her critiques and analyses have appeared in popular media such as the Huffington Post, the NCAA News, the New York Times, and the Atlantic. She currently serves as a senior writer with Sports Litigation Alert and Legal Issues in College Athletics and is editor-in-chief of Title IX Alert. She also hosts the podcast Talking Title IX and College Sports. She has received numerous honors including the Women’s Sports Foundation Researcher of the Year award and the National Association for Girls and Women in Sport’s President’s Award.

Natalie Welch
Dr. Natalie M. Welch (she/her) is an Assistant Professor of Marketing in the Albers School of Business and Economics at Seattle University and host of the Creative Native podcast. Her research focuses on the positives of sport in Native communities and the use of alternative methods of sharing research such as documentary film and podcasting. She is an enrolled member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and grew up in Cherokee, North Carolina. Previously, Natalie worked at ESPN, Nike, and global creative company Wieden+Kennedy. Natalie has a PhD in Sport Management from the University of Tennessee and an MBA and Master of Sport Business Management from the University of Central Florida. Natalie is passionate about advocating for Indigenous athletes and equity across all of sport.