The Magenta Project
Empowering Women in Sailing and Beyond
Sailing is a sport where women can be incredibly successful, but still find themselves feeling secondary. Enter: The Magenta Project, which “aims to advance women in the sport of professional sailing, and promote inclusion, diversity, and positive female role models in society at large.”
The Magenta Project started after the 2015 Volvo Ocean Race. For the first time in 25 years, an all-women’s team (TeamSCA) won the race. TeamSCA was also the first all-women’s entry in twelve years.
These women thought it strange that their victory was so rare. They wanted to challenge society’s view of women by making waves in their own community – professional sailing.
This year, The Magenta Project attended Cowes Week, organized two sailing clinics, and sent sailors to elite competitions worldwide. As The Magenta Project’s visibility increases, more and more people in the sailing community and beyond are showing their support.
Lijia Xu, who won gold in sailing at the Beijing Olympics, said, “Being part of the Magenta Project means we can accumulate as much power and voice as possible for women’s sports, especially female sailing. So that we can raise the general awareness around the world in order to create more opportunities for women.”
Tennis legend Billie Jean King said, “Thank you for showing girls and women around the world that we can accomplish anything and to dream big. Your perseverance, drive and commitment to this grueling competition is inspiring.”
The Magenta Project has some big goals, but they also have the strength and the strategy to achieve them. These goals include:
- Increase the percentage of professional female sailors from less than 3% to 10% by 2020
- Promote global female role models within the sailing industry
- Showcase the differing pathways for women to achieve in sailing
- Influence organisations across the globe to develop opportunities for women
These are no easy tasks, but the Magenta Project truly believes that achieving these goals will help steer society’s perception of women in a positive direction.