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My research into the conditions for women working in the Australian sporting sector began in 2017 out of a curiosity to go beyond my experiences and observations and to understand the reality for women working in the sporting sector.

With my background as a corporate executive and sporting director and experience as a gender diversity expert, I thought I would not be surprised by the data. On the contrary, I was staggered—the statistics relating to gender inequality in the Australian sporting sector were much worse than I had anticipated.

I was astounded by the gaps in sheer numbers and lack of parity, especially in pay. And so, I decided to go beyond the existing data and conduct my own research, which shed light on the endemic issues, barriers and systematic discrimination faced by women in the sporting sector.

For example, 70% of women in sports who responded to our surveys believed their gender had caused them to miss out on a salary increase, promotion, or chance to get ahead.

Yet, while women working in the sporting sector tell me they feel disadvantaged by their gender when advancing their careers in the sporting sector, they persist! Why?

  1. Because they are committed to doing challenging and inspiring work
  2. Because they want to make a difference in the world, and they understand that sport can achieve this
  3. Because they are committed to helping their sporting organisation excel and grow

Leaders in the sporting sector generally have good intent and a desire to make a change for the better with regard to women, inclusion and diversity. However, the maturity of the sporting sector is low relative to other sectors when it comes to initiating and driving enduring strategies and positive change for women in leadership.

That is why my research and this podcast exist. So that sporting leaders have a blueprint for action that is grounded in evidence and will the means to address the significant underrepresentation of women in leadership — on and off the field — in the Australian sporting sector.

I hope you both enjoy listening to the episodes and use them as a tool in your gender equality toolkit for your workplace - whether it's in sports or not!

You can read my first two research reports by clicking the links below:

Moving Gender Diversity from Conversation to Action

Tapping into Progressive Attitudes

Jan 30, 2023

Holly Bailey plays like a girl! And that’s a great thing. Because playing like a girl means she is strong and plays with freedom. She is not to be underestimated, and she has capabilities beyond what can be seen. In this episode, you'll discover Holly's secret mission: empowering women through sport.

Holly is the...


Jan 23, 2023

Kerry Harris is the founding Chair of Women Onside, a membership group that advocates on behalf of women in football and for women’s football. The organisation commenced in 2017 as a response to the governance issues at Football Australia and FIFA and to ensure that women were part of the discussion and were...


Dec 19, 2022

Like many of my other guests, Gen Dohrmann has had a lifetime in and around sport. She is now CEO of Table Tennis Australia and President of Women Sport Australia and has held numerous roles in her career, predominantly in sport.
 
The gold in our interview is the work Gen is doing in her role at Women Sport Australia....


Dec 12, 2022

Tony Hallam has evolved from an auditor to an advocate for women in sport. Tony wears a couple of different hats when it comes to sports. He is a co-owner of the Deakin Melbourne Boomers WNBL (Women's National Basketball League) and is also the Executive Chair of the board.
 
In this episode, we discuss the...


Dec 5, 2022

Adam Bishop has had a long career in sport and became aware, very early in his career about the disparities and discrepancies in terms of access and profile of women and girls in sport in general. Rather than ‘admire the problem’ he decided to take action, whenever and wherever he could.
 
We discuss the matter of...