We need more women, particularly women of color, in positions of power across all sectors to close the workplace leadership gap.
The Kicking Glass Career Accelerator, a two year transformational career building experience, provides women college athletes with access, sponsorship, and connections to fast track them into powerful positions. Women college athletes are a diverse group of high potential women who have built the skills to lead, and are uniquely positioned to capitalize on early career investment.
Women college athletes make up only 2% of college students, but represent 52% of C-suite women.
Yet, many athletes in this untapped talent pool face barriers that limit their career trajectory. Through innovative career boot camps, learning labs, micro internships, and mentoring, the Career Accelerator takes aim at early barriers and promotion inequities, resulting in more women advancing to more powerful roles more quickly to close the workplace leadership gap, and expand women’s power and influence.
The Kicking Glass Career Accelerator, a transformational career building experience, provides women college athletes with access, sponsorship, and internships to fast track them into powerful positions.
The Kicking Glass Career Accelerator is built for women college athletes. We use the term athletes throughout, referring to women athletes.
College athletes in their junior year are recruited to apply for the Kicking Glass Career Accelerator. Recruiting focuses high potential athletes, recruited nationally with a focus on first generation, BIPOC, and LGBTQ athletes.
A diverse group of 250 athletes are drafted from applicants around the country to join the Kicking Glass Career Accelerator. Athletes are drafted into five industry cohorts. Entrepreneurship topics and opportunities weave through the experiences of all five Industry cohorts.
Participants travel to Training Camp, an intense five day boot camp experience for each Industry cohort. At training camp, Kicking Glass Career Accelerator participants:
Build Career Readiness Skills through interactive opportunities to work deeply on their resumes, and personal pitch, and practice their networking and interview skills.
Build Professional Skills during business etiquette training sessions
Gain Access and Connections by participating in 10 on site company visits and speed networking events, and hearing from career panels and industry speakers.
Career Accelerator Cohorts
Training Camp Locations
Summer Season - Micro Internships
July – August 2022
Career Accelerator participants are matched to micro internship experiences aligned with their Industry. Micro Internships are part-time project-based virtual internships completed in small teams composed of five Career Accelerator participants. Sponsoring organizations provide a project internship Coach, and a Career Accelerator Mentor provides support and coaching during the micro internship. Micro internships provide the flexibility for athletes to continue their athletic training while building meaningful professional experience.
Based on their micro internship experience, participants have the option to be traded to a different Industry cohort for their subsequent Off Season Game Plan experience.
Off Season Game Plan
September 2022 – May 2023
Building on the momentum of their summer season, each Career Accelerator cohort will engage in monthly, virtual career readiness learning labs and leadership sessions during their senior year focused on landing a post graduation job in their industry, and preparing to fast track their careers. Off Season Game Plan sessions include group coaching and 1:1 mentoring check ins, industry speakers, and other opportunities for support, access, and coaching to prepare athletes to break into powerful roles.
Rookie Year Accelerator
June 2023 – April 2024
All cohorts will gather together for a three day “Rookie Boot Camp” to help them accelerate their careers as they transition to the working world. Through learning labs, experiential training, and interactive learning, athletes will be equipped to excel in their first year in the workplace. They’ll learn how to build their professional brand, create a network, develop advocates, handle co-worker conflict, negotiate for promotions and raises, position themselves in performance reviews, and make the most of every professional development opportunity. Taking aim at early promotion inequities, Rookie Year Accelerator support will continue virtually throughout the first year of each athlete’s career, positioning them for early promotion opportunities.
As their Rookie Year comes to an end, Kicking Glass Career Accelerator participants are welcomed into the broader Her Next Play Career Accelerator Network (CAN) community. CAN Members enjoy a community of support from current and former college athletes from across the nation.
Project Team & Advisors
Her Next Play Digital Media Specialist & Program Developer
NCAA Volleyball Player
Her Next Play Intern
NCAA Basketball Player
Junior Play Assistant at USTA
President of Her Next Play
NCAA Soccer Player
Her Next Play
Her Next Play
Strategic Planning Senior Consultant at Prouty Project
NCAA Basketball Player
It will take 25 years to reach gender parity at the senior-VP level and more than 100 years in the C-suite. We need to speed up the clock…sport is a powerful way to advance women in society.
McKinsey & Company 2015 study, and EY and espnW study