The ITF have unveileved their "Empowering Female Leaders" programme ©ITF

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) have announced the launch of their "Empowering Female Leaders" programme in a bid to improve gender equality in leadership positions within tennis.

The programme will be supported by the Foundation for Global Sports Development (GSD), which has provided the ITF with a grant of $375,000 (£262,000/€304,000) to fund workshops, education courses and professional development for women in sport.

This programme by the ITF and GSD aims to elevate more women into leadership roles with opportunities for coaches, officials, administrators and volunteer set to open up.

Part of the programme will see the ITF provide funding for at least one female delegate from each region to attend the ITF's Annual General Meeting (AGM).

This year's AGM is due to take place this August in Orlando in the United States.

This latest announcement by the ITF follows the creation of the ITF's Women in Sport Committee in December last year.

The Committee, chaired by ITF vice-president Katrina Adams, will advise and make recommendations to the ITF Board on ways to promote equal opportunities for girls and women to get involved in tennis, including in leadership positions.

ITF President David Haggerty believes the
ITF President David Haggerty believes the "Empowering Female Leaders" programme will help create opportunities for women in tennis ©Getty Images

ITF President David Haggerty expressed his delight at the latest announcement.

"The ITF is proud to be leading initiatives to ensure that equal opportunities for women in sport, and particularly tennis, are no longer difficult to come by," he said.

"I am confident that the ‘Empowering Female Leaders’ programme will deliver a better future our sport through improved diversity of skills and perspectives at the leadership level.

"I look forward to seeing many of these female participants exhibit their leadership skills nationally, regionally and internationally in the coming months and years.

"I would also like to thank GSD for their important contribution to this very important initiative."

GSD Executive Board member Steven Ungerleider added: "By supporting the ITF and the ‘Empowering Female Leaders’ programme, we believe we are encouraging future generations of young women to participate in sport and take on active leadership roles."