Susan Williams has served as President of Indiana Sports Corporation since March, 2005. Prior to her appointment, Williams was a long time member of ISC board of directors serving in numerous volunteer roles, including the board vice chair of Administration and Finance and co-chair of the 2005 NCAA Women’s Final Four.
She served 13 years on the Indianapolis-Marion County City-County Council. Her numerous recognition for civic leadership includes the state’s highest honor, the Sagamore of the Wabash Award. Williams serves on the boards of the Indianapolis Arts Council, the Massachusetts Avenue Community Development Corporation, the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association, the Indiana State Museum, the Board of Trustees of Franklin College and is a mayoral appointment to the Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission.
Share a personal story showing how Title IX has affected you.
In my high school, there were no sports for girls. And we were only allowed to play half-court basketball in P.E. class because it was widely believed that full-court would damage ovaries and therefore our ability to reproduce. We’ve come a long way! I was teaching and a volunteer for Senator Bayh when Title IX was signed. I watched the process and listened to all the noisy rhetoric about how Title IX would kill high school and collegiate sports due to astronomical added expense. I remember thinking that Senator Bayh showed such political honesty and courage in the face of harsh critics. His strength of conviction set a standard for me through my public and private life.
How as Title IX impacted your industry or career path?
The way that Title IX played into the whole struggle for gender equity was really impactful. This legislation was the standard bearer as activist women who were thwarted in an unsuccessful struggle to pass the Equal Rights Amendment. Nonetheless, the growing awareness of gender inequities and my good fortune to work in several male dominated organizations headed by responsive leadership, gave me professional opportunities that I never dreamed of. It has also been my pleasure to recently be associated with several women’s sporting events that involved the best of the best in basketball and golf, specifically. The women athletes and coaches that I have had the pleasure to work with are amazing role models for young women. Their lives on and off the field of play are inspirational. I had the opportunity to be part of a conversation in which Pat Summitt thanked Birch Bayh for the opportunities he gave her because of his leadership on the passage of Title IX. That was beyond inspiring.
What would you like to say to Birch Bayh for authoring this legislation?
THANK YOU. Thank you for standing tall for women and for demonstrating political courage, the likes of which we have not seen in decades. Title IX has provided opportunities for so many talented young women who are able to experience all of the life’s lessons that come with participation in athletics; that enrich their lives in so many ways. THANK YOU.