The Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) and Sport Australia have announced the opening of applications for the AIS Talent Programs, in an effort to increase the numbers of women in decision-making roles in Australian sport.
The 2020 program is aimed at supporting women in identifying opportunities and removing barriers for personal and professional development, with a high-performance coaching program and sport executive program set to be delivered together at the AIS.
Sport Australia chief executive, Kate Palmer, said the representation of women in leadership roles in sport must rise at the same rate as female athletes.
“Advances continue to be made for elite female athletes in Australia and across many areas of gender diversity,” Palmer said.
“This must be matched by opportunities for women in other areas of sport, particularly in executive and high-performance coaching positions where representation is still too low.
“The talent is absolutely there.
“Australia has a pipeline of passionate, talented women who are inspired to lead and drive change in this sector.
“But doors and minds must be opened to help them reach their potential.
“These programs help build depth and diversity by equipping women with the skills to progress to executive and senior coaching jobs and challenge the status quo,” she said.
AIS CEO, Peter Conde, said the first year of the program, 2019, saw a diverse range of women embrace the opportunities in Australian sport.
“17 coaches and 16 executives were selected from more than 250 applicants to participate in the inaugural program in 2019,” Conde said.
“We supported a talented group of women in 2019 including former Matilda Tal Karp, Australian Football coach Michelle Cowan, Melbourne Rebels Super W Head Coach Alana Thomas and journalist Sam Lane.
“The lack of women in high performance coaching roles is still an issue across all sports and the AIS is leading the way to support systemic changes.
“Not only does diversity increase the talent pool, innovation and retention, but it’s critical for young women to see role models holding these positions so they see coaching as an option,” he said.
This program, the AIS Talent Program, has been supported by the Women Leaders in Sport grant provided to Sport Australia by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet’s Women’s Leadership and Development Program.