Gov. Whitmer creates ‘Task Force on Women in Sports’


MICHIGAN — Last month, Governor Gretchen Whitmer established the ‘Task Force on Women in Sports’, the first of its kind at the state level. The goal? Create opportunities for girls and women in the athletic field.

“It’s been judged that boys are better than girls or whatever and I want to prove it wrong,” says Carley Palomaki a Marquette athlete.

The task force is chaired by Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, an athlete herself.

“Many female leaders have backgrounds as athletes and many athletes become leaders in different sectors. So ensuring that women have equal access to opportunities to essentially become leaders through access to sports that was the genesis for this task force on women in sports for Michigan,” Secretary Benson tells Local 3.

The task force’s main goals are to:

  • Create a board of women in sport leadership roles from across the state of Michigan
  • Develop legislation and programs to support girls and women in sports
  • Recognize the upcoming 50th anniversary of Title IX, the law that prohibits discrimination based on gender.

Marissa Palomaki is the Recreational Director for Superiorland Soccer and the previous Athletic Director for Marquette Area Public School. She believes the task force will help young girls see their potential.

“I think anything that we can do to get our girls more involved in seeing the benefits of exercise and team sports, the better it is. But I think we still need to work on respecting women in the athletic avenues,” says Palomaki. “As we get adult women to take more leadership roles, girls can see that that’s a respected career and they can attain more than they thought they could.”

The task force has plans to travel around the state to hear what residents think needs to be accomplished for females in the sports field. Secretary Benson says they plan to be in multiple locations in the Upper Peninsula next year.

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