Who Runs the World? Girls.

We should have listened to Beyoncé way back in 2011. Girls, or rather, women, really do run the world—pun intended.

One of the biggest lessons from Running USA 2015, the 12th annual conference of race organizers powered by ACTIVE Network in New Orleans, is that women are changing how races are organized. Staffed with experts from Runner’s World and ESPN, among others, the “Women Leading the Way” panel on Tuesday, Feb. 10 illustrated how races can appeal to women runners.

“Don’t let women step back from leading,” said Mary Wittenberg, President and CEO of New York Road Runners and moderator of the panel.

Another takeaway: Just because a women likes to sweat, doesn’t mean she doesn’t also appreciate bling. Offering jewelry that commemorates a hard-fought finish is another way to attract female runners, according to Alison Overholt, Editor-in-Chief of espnW. These sterling silver pieces from Gone for a Run were featured in Runner’s World.

To keep the conversation going, follow the panelists on Twitter:

  • Mary Wittenberg, President and CEO of New York Road Runners, @nyrrmaryruns
  • Virginia Brophy-Achman, Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon, @TCMVirginia
  • Heidi Boynton, Executive Director and Co-Founder of Mini Mermaid Running Club, @HeidiBoynton
  • Molly O’Keefe, Publisher of Runner’s World, @Mokeefe1
  • Sharon Barbano, VP of Public Relations, Saucony, @SharonBarbano 
  • Alison Overholt, Editor-in-Chief, espnW, @AlisonOverholt

For more insight into how to market more effectively to women and men, check out what we learned when we polled our ACTIVE Lifestyle Panel members. Download the free infographic below.  The Gender Divide in Running   Photo credit: Girlfriends Run for a Cure