Michigan governor, Gretchen Whitmer, signed an executive order forming the Task Force on Women in sports, a council represented by leaders from around the state aimed at tackling the ongoing issue of equal opportunity in women's sports. Western Michigan’s Kathy Beauregard has been asked by the Governor to serve on this council.
Beauregard is one of the nine female division one college athletic directors in the country out of the 136 Division I football programs. WMU's Athletic Director has been a staple for women in the industry since taking the position back in 1997. In 2005, the AD became the first woman to receive the Gerald R. Ford Award. She'll enter her 23rd year as athletic director at WMU making her the longest serving director in the country at one university. She has been part of Bronco athletics in some capacity for 38 years.
Beauregard will join 13 other local and national members on the council. Their task is to examine the “systematic problems” in sports at all different levels. They then will report to the governor and provide recommendations on policies, legislation, programs and investments.
Civil rights law, Title IX, was put in affect nearly 50 years ago exclaiming that no person shall be excluded from participating in sports based on their sex. However, a news release from the governor’s office states that female athletes receive less money and attention than their male counterparts.
The task force is chaired by Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, who told the Associated Press Michigan has a chance to become a "national model." The council is the first of its’ kind at the state government level in the effort to to improve female opportunity in sports.
Beauregard will bring the group a unique perspective as she is the only division one athletic director on the council. The task force will start working immediately to offer solutions to the lack of resources to female athletes in Michigan.