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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 sport 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 it comes to 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 exists. 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 sport 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

Feb 15, 2022

Episode 1: The Advancing Women in Sport Podcast - Invisible Barriers


Women in sport face many invisible barriers. My podcast will highlight some of those barriers and help sporting leaders take action to address them.

I want all of us to know what in the world is going on for women in sport. Because achieving gender equality in sport will create a more prosperous, sustainable, and enjoyable sporting arena for all of us.

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Read Full Show Notes and download the paper: https://michelleredfern.com/advancing-women-in-sport/