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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

Smashing the Patriarchy in Sport by being an Ally with Adam Bishop

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...


Nov 28, 2022

Professor Clare Hanlon is focussing on building organisational capacity to encourage more women to advance into leadership roles in sport. Clare discusses how she learns from the sport industry to identify what is working and what is not when it comes to having more women in leadership. Whilst she is a researcher, she...


Nov 21, 2022

Dr Ryan Storr is a ‘pracademic’ who is determined to move beyond research and reporting on how bad things are for the LGBTQIA+ community in sport. He is the co-founder of Proud2Play which is the peak organisation for LGBT sport in Victoria, Australia and a vocal advocate for enabling people in community sport to...


Nov 14, 2022

Moya Dodd is a self-confessed football nut who has had lots of adventures in football. In fact, she has played 3 different codes of the game in her life. Including playing at the highest level for Australia for The Matilda’s, Australia National Football (soccer) team.
 
In our conversation, Moya and I reflect on her...


Nov 7, 2022

Welcome to Season 2 of The Advancing Women in Sport podcast. This time, I am lifting my eyes and shifting my focus to the whole system of sport. 

I know from the work that I do with clients in both the business and sport areas that it's important to fix systems and remove barriers that prevent women from all walks of...