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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

Mar 28, 2022

About Emily McKie

Emily McKie is currently the Women’s Head Coach at the Monbulk Football Netball Club. She is also Project Officer for the Girls on the Move project— a project that serves to increase physical activity among culturally and linguistically diverse girls and young women in Melbourne’s south-east...


Mar 20, 2022

About Shelley Ware:

Shelley Ware is a media personality, professional speaker, educator and consultant. Shelley hosts her own Facebook show Ware2Now? and appears regularly on Facebook show Broad Radio. She is also a member of the Outer Sanctum podcast and writer for the Koori Mail.   

Shelley is well known for...


Mar 14, 2022

About Dr. Kate O’Halloran

Kate is an award-winning journalist, media consultant, and academic, and is currently working for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation as Digital Sport Journalist. In 2019, Kate cofounded Siren, a women in sport collective calling for better coverage of women’s sport and raising the...


Mar 7, 2022

About Lisa Alexander AM

Lisa Alexander AM is a former athlete and coach of Australian netball. She played for the Victorian State Netball team from and coached the Australian National netball team from 2011-20. Lisa has also seen gold and silver medal success at the Commonwealth Games and the Netball World Cup, and has...


Mar 1, 2022

Moving from awareness to action for gender equality in sport is easy to say, and as the latest statistic prove, harder to do

When I started to research how wide the gender gap in sport was, I was very very surprised. I had laboured under the belief that sport was more equal and more inclusive than business. In...