Government Body Warning To Sporting Organisations About Lack Of Females In Leadership Roles

he head of a new Australian Government body has warned sporting organisations that receive public funding must do more to increase the representation of women in senior leadership roles.

Fewer than 13% of the 68 publicly funded national sporting organisations (NSOs) have a female chief executive and just 26 per cent have a woman as board chair, Sport Integrity Australia said in a statement last week.

Sport Integrity Australia chief executive, David Sharpe, said more needs to be done to support women in leadership roles.

“More needs to be done to develop and promote women to leadership roles in sport and ensure they are supported,” Sharpe said.

“At the moment the number of women in these roles in Australian sport is unacceptably low,” he said.

Sport Integrity Australia was established in July this year to oversee issues of doping, corruption and safeguarding in sport across the nation.

Sharpe said the new body had a half-half gender balance in the executive team with women representing around 46% of its leadership positions.

“Those numbers still need to improve and we are committed to that,” Sharpe said.

AusCycling announced last week Marne Fechner will be its first chief executive, after she decided to leave Netball Australia.

Sport Australia, which is in charge of funding elite sports among other functions, has yet to replace Kate Palmer after she elected not to renew her contract as the body’s first female chief executive in January.

Raelene Castle, who resigned from Rugby Australia in April after nearly three years at the helm, was the first female chief executive of one of the country’s main football codes and she has since been appointed to a similar role with Sport New Zealand.