Women Leaders in Sport

Leanne Evans, Australian Womensport and Recreation Association (AWRA)’s Executive Officer joined other representatives from the Equality Rights Alliance, Australia’s largest network of 64 organisations advocating for women’s equality, to state the case that supporting women into leadership roles and on Boards is good for business and for the health of the Australian community.

Despite research which shows that having three or more women on Boards changes the dynamics and results in better performing organisations, six of the recognised 55 national sports organisations have no women on their Boards. Another 39 have just one or two. AWRA is asking that all vacant Board positions be advertised publicly and that sports organisations be encouraged to make better use the Australian Sports Commission’s “Women in Sport Leadership Register” designed to assist in the placement of women on boards within sport.

Evans stated, “We know that well qualified women are out there who could help improve the way sports are run but at the moment, many aren’t getting a look in. We believe with a bit more effort, some of our Sporting Boards could be transformed to perform better and to reflect their membership and community expectations”.

Sporting success has not translated to coaching, officiating and administration roles either with women under-represented within sports organisations. Leadership training, mentoring and networking opportunities are solutions identified in the most recent Senate Inquiry. These are priorities for AWRA to help advance the careers of female middle managers in sport. 

“AWRA is running programs that support women into more senior roles and it is often just having that network around them that gives them the confidence to take on new challenges,“ Evans noted.

Find out more about aWRA’s Mentoring Program: http://www.australianwomensport.com.au/default.asp?PageID=569

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