By Haley Thierry
Youngstown State University encourages and looks for roles in its Athletic Department to be led by women, given that it’s a male-dominated industry.
Rebecca Fink, senior woman administrator and senior associate athletic director, said the Athletic Department has been working toward boosting female coaches and administrative positions.
“We’ve tried to be really intentional, whenever we have job openings, coaching or administrative positions, in being strategic in recruiting, or trying to gather a [pool] of candidates that’s not only diverse from a gender perspective but diverse in general,” Fink said.
In her positions, Fink oversees compliance, academic units and is a sports administrator for track & field, women’s soccer and women’s bowling.
“My main role is just serving on our senior leadership team and having a voice within that room as we make larger decisions that affect not only different programs but also our department as a whole,” Fink said.
Aline Scott, women’s volleyball head coach, explained what it is like to be employed by YSU as a female head coach.
“I have felt very supported here. It’s been a good five years and I have felt like every year I have a lot of people behind the scenes that help me grow and help the kids grow and it’s been a nice time here,” Scott said.
Scott said it’s helpful for female athletes to have female head coaches, and it’s a great representation to help women believe they can achieve the goal of working in her profession.
“We as women understand one another a bit better, and I think it’s a good way to share your experiences and be able to know what they’re going through because you went through it exactly the same way that they did,” Scott said.
Madison Chapman, athletic communications graduate assistant, oversees women’s lacrosse, men’s and women’s swimming & diving teams, and men’s and women’s cross country. Chapman said she loves working with the women in the field and feels women help each other excel in their roles.
“My experience here at YSU has been wonderful, especially being a woman in sports. I feel valued over here and respected by my peers. I’ve not had that in other internships and other things that I’ve done,” Chapman said.
Chapman also said women should not be afraid to work in a male-dominated field. It may be scary, but have confidence and be yourself. Each woman has unique capabilities that allow them to do well in sports and in their roles.
Scott explained challenges she faces with being a female head coach and how expectations for female coaches differ from male coaches.
“There is certainly a different way that we have to behave, just based on society and people thinking that women need to be more agreeable, they need to be more nurturing, they need to be less direct, that those are expectations that accompany women everywhere and it’s no different in my profession,” Scott said.
Fink said any full-time position in the Athletic Department will be posted on the NCAA Market and YSU Human Resource website. For student employment opportunities, openings can be found on Handshake.