‘Ladies’ Becoming ‘Women’ in the World of Snowsport Competition

In June 2019 the International Ski Federation decided to make the change. Things are moving forwards and nearing completion.

At its meeting in Cavtat-Dubrovnik in Croatia in June 2019, the FIS Council approved a joint proposal of the Gender Equity Working Group to change the official FIS terminology from “Ladies” to “Women” in all applicable places.

FIS said it would using gender neutral terminology in all publications – documents, titles, on the web site, technical materials and official communications.

More than one year on the project is now nearing completion, according the latest FIS newsletter.

The changes have been a ‘mammoth task’.

In total, over 550 documents in the FIS document library were scanned, adapted and changed in addition to 22 sub-sections of the website, each containing multiple documents as well.

Besides the term ‘ladies’, mostly words referencing the male gender only, such as ‘he’, ‘his’, ‘him, ‘himself’ or ‘Chairman’, were identified and replaced with inclusive solutions.

“Language shapes reality and people’s perception at an unconscious level and therefore the language in our publications and rules needs to reflect that FIS and our Sport stands for full participation and activity for all genders,” said FIS Secretary General, Sarah Lewis.

“It is clear that women and men can both be technical delegates, judges, officials, athletes, team support staff and all other roles which needs to be mirrored in our texts.

“This reinforces that the organisation and FIS activities are open, inviting and inclusive for all, no matter what they identify as.”

International Ski Federation

International Ski Federation. Image © FIS.