Ministry of Sport

The Hard Facts, Brutal Truths and Good News about Women in Sports Leadership

New research into the status of women in sports leadership in Australia has been released and highlights the higher than average gender inequality gap that sport and recreation scores when compared with other industries.

The research paper comes only weeks after Sport Australia CEO, Kate Palmer, launched the AIS Talent Program for women to address “what remains a gross under-representation of women in high-performance coaching and executive positions.”

Advancing Women director, Michelle Redfern, launched the first of a series of five research articles into the status of women in the sporting sector in Australia and has designed the research series not to keep “polishing a well-polished problem” but to provide sports leaders with a blueprint to take action on advancing women into sports leadership.

The research paper not only highlights the significant barriers women in sport face but provides detail about the contribution that sport makes to Australia’s economy and how sports leaders can, and should, tap into the female economy and sports fandom more effectively.

Carol Fox, President Women Sport Australia, provided opening remarks for the launch stating: “This is much-needed research in the area of gender equity in sport.

“The research supports what Women Sport Australia advocates on a daily basis and justifies the need for organisations to take more action for women in sport by sponsoring leadership programs and mentoring opportunities.”

Redfern, an AFR 100 Women of Influence and experienced sports director said: “Australia has 3 of the most successful sporting teams in the world, The Matildas national football team, The Southern Stars national cricket team and The Australian Diamonds national netball team, yet despite this, and explosive growth (76%) in AFL participation rates by girls and women since the advent of the AFLW, women are horribly under-represented in sports leadership, media and funding.

“This is solution oriented research to finally shift the dial on equality in sport in Australia”

Research Paper

Shaun Carney

Shaun Carney