The NHL Coaches' Association announced Sunday they are launching a new initiative focused on the development of female hockey coaches.

The new initiative will support development of female hockey coaches at all levels of hockey in areas such as skills development, leadership strategies, communication tactics, networking, and career advancement opportunities, per an NHL Coaches' Association release.

The initiative will start in June this year and run through the 2020-21 season.

“We’re excited for the meaningful impact this initiative can have on the development of female hockey coaches, and in turn, the game as a whole,” President of the NHL Coaches’ Association Lindsay Artkin said in a press release. “Female coaches are a critical component of supporting the growth of hockey at the grassroots level, and it is essential to the game to diversify the current pool of hockey coaches. We intend for this program to be an impactful step forward in doing so.”

“Our research suggests there are three critical elements to accelerating the growth of girls hockey: access to inclusive programming in early childhood, casual and aspirational pathways in hockey development, and quality female coaching and role models along that journey,” said Kim Davis, NHL Executive Vice President of Social Impact, Growth Initiatives and Legislative Affairs. “We can close the gender gap in hockey with the right partnerships and strategies, and this NHLCA Female Coaches Development Program is advancing equity in a way that will produce dividends for the sport long-term.”