espnW vice president Laura Gentile lives the mission of empowering women in sports every day. She has overseen the incredible growth of espnW.com, which has become a go-to platform serving both female sports fans and women’s sports enthusiasts.
This past week, Gentile, along with women from every level of ESPN, shared that message with hundreds of people — all from very diverse backgrounds — across the nation in the course of five days.
Here, Front Row recounts the week in Gentile’s shoes — both heels and sneakers:
Oct. 1 -3: espnW Women + Sports Summit
Ritz Carlton, Tucson, Arizona
The third annual espnW Women + Sports Summit kicked off in Tucson, Ariz., bringing together world-class athletes, innovators and leaders in the women’s sports industry. Gentile, the driving-force behind the Summit, welcomed athletes including Olympians Aly Raisman, Carmelita Jeter and Kerri Walsh as well as Julie Foudy, Gabby Reece, Swin Cash and Alana Nichols.
The message of empowering women in sports was heard by the more than 250 attendees through panel discussions, interactive workshops and guest speakers. Attendees left inspired and with a sense of empowerment to continue advocating for women in sports. Gentile left energized and caught a red-eye to Washington, D.C.
Oct. 4: Global Mentorship
U.S. Department of State, Washington D.C.
The five-week Global Sports Mentoring Program, developed by the U.S. Department of State and in collaboration with espnW, concluded with a celebration luncheon hosted by Assistant Secretary of Educational and Cultural Affairs Ann Stock.
During the month of September, 17 emerging leaders in sports from around the world were paired with leading American women who work in sports-related fields. The program was created in an effort to build capacity and create sustainable sports opportunities for underserved women and girls worldwide.
These 17 women left feeling empowered and ready to tackle women in sports issues in their respective countries. Gentile left feeling humbled and on a train to New York City.
Oct. 5: Title IX Panel
NFL Headquarters, New York, N.Y.
As part of their recognition of the 40th anniversary of Title IX, the NFL hosted a series of employee events, including a Title IX panel at their NYC-based offices. Gentile joined Theresa Moore of T-Time Productions LLC and Dr. Marjorie A. Snyder of the Women’s Sports Foundation as a panelist where they discussed the past, present and future of Title IX.
The NFL employees who participated left feeling inspired by the power of Title IX. Gentile left motivated and hopped in a cab to her New York office to tackle an afternoon of meetings. To Gentile, it was just another week sharing the important message of espnW.