The Minerva Network has formalised a new sponsorship agreement with Accenture Australia and the network’s chairman, Christine McLoughlin, says the support will further help Australia’s elite sportswomen realise their full potential on and off the field.
Accenture joins as the first foundation sponsor for the Minerva Network, a leading support network established to help Australia’s women in sport identify and navigate commercial challenges through meaningful mentor-mentee relationships.
Senior female executives from Accenture will join other leading Australian businesswomen who act as mentors to leading athletes across Australia (Minerva stars).
They will work closely to further develop leadership skills, communication techniques, career pathways and general business acumen.
“We are delighted to have Accenture on board to enable us to accelerate the delivery of our programs in support of women in sport and, by doing so, also build future leadership capability for Australia,” Ms McLoughlin said.
“The beauty of the Minerva Network is that you have some of Australia’s leading businesswomen mentoring our rising stars of sport who, in turn, are extraordinary role models for thousands of boys and girls, and future leaders in our communities.
“We thank Accenture for joining us on this journey as it is an organisation whose values and goals are fully aligned with the Minerva Network, especially around diversity and inclusion and leadership capability in the broadest sense.”
Mr Bob Easton, Chairman, Accenture Australia and New Zealand, said: “Supporting the Minerva Network is a natural fit for Accenture as we strive to level the playing field and accelerate gender equality in our communities, in the sporting arena and in our own organisation.
“At Accenture, we are committed to gender and pay equality and look forward to working with the Minerva Network to help our female athletes build new skills and create new opportunities to work with corporate Australia.
“Together we are developing a new generation of leaders.”
Accenture is the first of five foundation sponsors being sought by the Minerva Network as it helps drive Australia’s leading women in sport to new levels of professionalism at a critical time for major international events such as the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020, Tokyo 2020 Olympic & Paralympic Games, and other international and domestic premium competitions where Australia’s leading female athletes will shine.
Established in early 2018, the Minerva Network has already enabled a host of Australia’s best-known athletes to close the gap between on-field action and off-field success by helping them understand their full potential and their true value in the business world.
The foundation class of athletes has included some of the biggest names in Australian sport such as cricketers Rachael Haynes and Alyssa Healy, Olympic Rugby 7s gold medallists Alicia Quirk, Emma Tonegato and Charlotte Caslick, Matildas defender Ellie Carpenter and Western Sydney Wanderers’ indigenous star Jada Whyman, NSW rugby league player Kezie Apps, Paralympic champion Madison de Rozario and Australian netball star Maddy Proud.
The Network now has almost 100 leading athletes working with some of Australia’s most prominent female business leaders, including McLoughlin who is Chairman of the Venues NSW Board and the Suncorp Group, and a Director of nib Holdings.
Other Minerva Network mentors include former AFL Commissioner Sam Mostyn, Chair of CitiGroup; Romilly Madew, CEO of the Infrastructure Australia; Kate Aitken, General Manager of Human Resources for Westpac; Ann Sherry, Chairman of Carnival Australia; former NSW Liberal leader Kerry Chikarovski; and Raelene Castle, of Rugby Australia CEO.
Australia’s leading women have dominated sporting headlines in 2019, with the Matildas becoming the first national women’s sporting team to earn pay parity with their men’s equivalent, the Australian Socceroos.
Among a host of stunning individual and team achievements, Ash Barty rose to world No.1 in singles tennis, becoming only the second Australian WTA singles No.1 after Evonne Goolagong Cawley.
The Matildas won the Cup of Nations in March and set a new record attendance for a women’s stand-alone football game at Bankwest Stadium in November.
The Australian women’s rowing team won World Cup gold; Australia’s Southern Stars cricket team retained The Ashes and dominated the world stage; Sally Fitzgibbons became surfing world No.1; 53,000 fans packed into Adelaide Oval for the 2019 AFLW Grand Final; and the Brisbane Broncos won back-to-back NRLW Premierships in front of 36,785 at ANZ Stadium after a season in which Belinda Sharpe became the NRL’s first top-grade female referee; and Kelsey Lee Barber won Gold at the 2019 World Championships in athletics.