An Advocate for Women in Sport on and off the Job
Updated: Mar 25
Meaghan Donahue Wies (She/Her) is a newer Academic Instructor in the UNB Faculty of Kinesiology but is not to UNB and the sports community; she came to UNB in 2009 to complete her MBA in Sport and Recreation Management and has been working in the sports industry for over ten years. She has quickly become a fan-favorite Academic Instructor of kinesiology students here at UNB. Meaghan's career background and knowledge have led to a compelling classroom experience. Her pathway in the sport industry has led her to her current position as the Athlete Services Manager and Game Plan Advisor with the Canadian Sport Centre Atlantic. A passionate advocate for sport and women in sport, Meaghan continuously contributes her exceptional expertise in management functions at the CSCA level and the performance of sports systems throughout the province of New Brunswick.
The love for the game from a young age is what motivated Meaghan to begin her pathway into the sports industry. Her sport growing up was figure skating. Meaghan still loves the feeling she gets every time she steps back onto the ice. For spectating, her favourite Olympic sport is track and field, and her favourite professional sport is football. Meaghan worked on the wellness side of things over the past several years. Through her time in the field of wellness and sport, she became particularly passionate about the role that sport can play in developing not just better athletes but better people. Being a better person or a successful individual is not necessarily limited to specific individuals. High-performing individuals often emulate qualities of drive, passion and resilience. But success is not limited to these singular individuals. Meaghan strongly feels that if you know yourself, your core values, and what's important to you (and you can articulate it), you'll find it easier to be authentic, build your network and advocate for yourself.
Being a female working in the sports industry and often at times in managerial positions, Meaghan notes that she has been fortunate to have, for the most part, really positive experiences and role models already working in the field of sport. She applauds the already large number of amazing women in the sports management field, both in the province and nationally, and notes that she draws a lot of inspiration from these individuals. Meaghan believes it is so important to seek out mentorships, confidants and role models throughout your career. Building a network of women who can support, connect and inspire you enhances the experience of working in the sports industry. Meaghan's passion for advocating for women in sport is often done so as a general undercurrent of all of her work, in a variety of ways: she works with Canadian Women & Sport as a facilitator for their Women and Leadership workshop series; she represents the performance sector on the women and girls network She Is Active NB; she makes sure to incorporate discussions of equity, diversity, and inclusion in teaching at UNB. Meaghan sits on a couple of Boards and lobbies for gender equity policies; considers gender equity whenever she is involved in a hiring process; and tries to fill a mentorship role for young women in the field, encouraging and facilitating opportunities whenever possible.
Meaghan's experience as a woman working in business and management fields has impacted not just herself but the way she has chosen to parent and raise her young daughter. Through her experiences and understanding of how often women have been on the sidelines in society and sport, she is more keenly aware of the uphill battle that girls and women can face in both participating and working in sport. With this known, Meaghan is more dedicated than ever to raising a strong, confident, active young woman who can advocate for herself on the field of play and in the boardroom. Meaghan is well aware that society has conditioned girls and women to underestimate themselves, and when we do so, we are only hurting ourselves. But she encourages girls and women to put their hand up for every opportunity ("that you have the time and capacity to take on!"). To believe in their right to be on the field, at the table and a part of the conversation. Fight for those opportunities if people are unwilling to give them to you and prove them wrong.
Meaghan's advice for other women who also deal with balancing busy schedules is to find a time management system that works for you. For Meaghan, to-do lists and colour-coded calendars keep her from getting lost in her work. However, at the same time, she wants to be clear in saying that saying 'no' and setting boundaries is okay; to quote Meaghan, "it sounds cliché, but you really can't pour from an empty cup". When asked about what individuals can do to continue the women in sports conversation, Meaghan mentions that the topic needs to be at the forefront of everyone's minds. She notes that yes, there have been strides taken towards equity, but we are still far from being truly there. Meaghan acknowledges celebrating the wins but urges individuals to keep in mind that there is always work to be done. In Meaghan's opinion, that work includes speaking up, speaking out, raising each other, standing strong in our convictions, and influencing change at every table at which we sit.
The UNB WIS team thanks Meaghan for answering our questions and being a tireless advocate for girls and women in sport. The UNB faculty and surrounding sporting community are fortunate to have Meaghan a part of the conversation here on our platform. We can't wait for more opportunities to work with Meaghan in the future.
How to connect with Meaghan: