Behind The Scenes

Power Of IX: 33 Game Changers

Forty years after Title IX was passed, there are still ceilings to be broken, boundaries to be pushed and paths to be paved.

In the first-ever “Women in Sports” issue, currently on newsstands, ESPN The Magazine and espnW selected 33 game changers, women who will change the way sports are played.

In the video above Chad Millman, Editor-in-Chief, ESPN The Magazine provides insight on the significance of Title IX, what it means to him and how print and digital platforms are supporting ESPN’s company-wide Title IX initiative.

To provide some additional insight on the “game changers” project, Front Row caught up with The Mag’s Senior Editor Raina Kelley on how these standouts came to be the “chosen” ones.

How were the categories devised?
We picked the women based on the following criteria:
1. Power
2. Fame
3. Mission
4. Electromagnetism: Is she a lightning rod for gender based issues e.g. Serena Williams?
5. “Hanging with the Boys”: Is she thriving in a traditionally male field?
6. Ability to Inspire
7. Raising all Boats e.g. Althea Gibson, Billie Jean King
8. A Breakthrough
9. A Whistleblower
10. A Phenom

How many “finalists” for each?
We ended up with 51 finalists for power, four for fame, 15 for mission, two for electromagnetism, seven for hanging with the boys, six for rising all boats, just one for breakthrough, two for whistleblowers and 20 phenoms.

Toughest decision for the selection of “the one” for each category?
Easily the toughest decisions were in the phenom and power categories. We were blown away by the number of women in high-ranking positions pan-sport and equally impressed with the number of young female athletes capable of amazing feats. So the first thing we did was take out all the media people from the power category so as to not have to include half of the ESPN executives. Then for the phenoms, we asked ourselves: Are they phenoms now or simply poised for greatness? It was a matter of potential versus execution.

ESPN’s three-month Power of IX initiative culminates on June 23 with day-long women in sports programming across ESPN, ESPN2, ABC, ESPNU, ESPN3, ESPN Classic.

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