The most obvious reason is that girls and young women need leadership role models so that they can learn to lead.
Like many swimmers of my generation, I never, ever had a female swim coach. Not one. According to Nicole M. LaVoi, Ph.D., Co-Director of the Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport, same sex role models provide emulation, aspiration, self-esteem, and valuation of abilities. Many girls grow up NEVER having had a female coach, whereas 100% of their male peers have had male coaches their entire sports careers.
It doesn't just impact female athletes
Boys that see women as competent leaders are more likely to respect women, see women as equals, and are less likely to objectify women.
And did you know...
Women coached by women are more likely to go into coaching!
Girls and young women want and need female role models, like former female athletes who become coaches, they share experiences and many of the same issues in swimming.
And, after the recent Olympic Doctor Sexual Abuse Scandal, as well as the last two decades of headlines regarding inappropriate and often criminal behavior by male coaches- is it no wonder there is increased concern about athlete health, wellbeing and safety? It seems obvious that increasing the number of women coaches, head coaches, and swimming leadership would make a huge difference in reaching the objective of keeping swimmers safe.