Less Than a Quarter

November 3, 2017

More than four decades after the implementation of Title IX, women are still under-represented among athletic directors. But many female athletic directors remain determined to succeed in spite of the challenges.

According to the Del Mar Times, in the California Interscholastic Federation's San Diego section, only 21 out of 127 athletic directors are women.

Charlenne Falcis-Stevens, Athletic Director at Torrey Pines High School, said that when the principal of her school called to ask her if she was interested in the position, she found the prospect daunting. Thinking about another female inspired her to take the job. 

“As head track and field coach, I supervise 10 assistant coaches and 200 athletes,” Falcis-Stevens said. “As AD, the skill set would be comparable and I had seen Kari [Giulio]’s effectiveness as the AD at La Costa Canyon and felt, ‘She can do it, there’s no reason I can’t do it too.’”

DiGiulio said that some people remain prejudiced against her because of her gender, and because they are not used to female athletic directors.

“I’ve been laughed at and humiliated in this position, simply for being a woman and been told I know nothing about sports,” DiGiulio said. “I consider it something of an insult seeing the sheer shock in people’s expressions when I say that I am the Athletic Director at La Costa Canyon High School.”

DiGiulio said she hoped she could serve as an inspiration to others, and that other women will follow in her footsteps.

“I tell them to ‘Go for it,'” DiGiulio said. “Women can succeed in athletics, in anything. I’ve held my own in the thick of it all. I would remind young women to stay confident and never give up on yourself because young girls will always be watching and admiring. I love it when my daughter tells her friends about my job. I see the pride in her eyes and I know I have made an impact.”

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