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ASTN spotlights leaders in recently released ‘Women in Sports Innovation’ report

ASTN spotlights leaders in recently released ‘Women in Sports Innovation’ report
July 10, 2024

The Australian Sports Technologies Network (ASTN) has released its 2024 edition of the ‘Women in Sports Innovation’ report spotlighting and celebrating leaders who are helping to shape the future of sports innovation in Australia.

This second edition of the report recognises the outstanding contributions of over 100 emerging and established leaders in sports innovation. Spanning across data, digital and technology within sports, entertainment, esports and digital health. These leaders work across government, industry, sporting institutions and universities across Australia. The inclusive list represents a diverse array of talent, expertise, leadership and innovation within the sportstech ecosystem.

ASTN Chief Operating Officer, Amy Crosland (above) notes "in Australia, there's been a commendable focus on gender participation in sports. However, the representation of women founders and leaders in sportstech and innovation remains disproportionately low.

“Recent data reveals that one-quarter of total funding in this sector has flowed to businesses with at least one woman founder, while a staggering two-thirds of funding has gone to male-founded ventures. Additionally, three in four of women founders believe their gender has negatively affected their ability to raise funds, a sentiment shared by only nine percent of their male counterparts.

"This report is one of the many steps we are taking at ASTN to drive change and improve diversity and inclusion within the industry.

"By highlighting these influential leaders, we aim to celebrate their invaluable contributions and inspire the next generation of women leaders in sportstech."

Compiled through ASTN workshops, interviews, research, and conversations over the past 12 months, the leaders were evaluated on the following criteria: innovative impact, leadership and influence, entrepreneurship, collaboration, diversity advocacy, industry recognition, and their overall impact on the industry.

This year, the report also features an 'Interview Series' with seven prominent leaders in the sector, delving into their careers, key initiatives promoting diversity, and their visions for the future of Australia's sportstech industry.

The ASTN Interview Series highlights a wide breadth of experiences and insights, illuminating the landscape of women in sports innovation. These leaders navigate gender biases, champion diversity and challenge norms to foster inclusivity in the sector. Key insights include the value of partnerships, resilience, and community support in overcoming obstacles.

Among those featured are Molina Asthana, Suzie Betts, Hannah Jachmann and Karen Pearce.

Asthana is a leader in both sport and law. She found her passion for sports upon immigrating to Australia, prompting her to champion diversity and inclusion through initiatives like Multicultural Women in Sport. She advocates for greater representation of women in sports innovation, emphasising the need for affirmative action to support aspiring women.

Betts is the creator of Boob Armour, an Australian startup designed to protect and empower females in their pursuit of physical activity. Betts has a strong commitment to promoting confidence and empowerment, dedicating herself to ensure that females of all ages have the freedom to engage in any physical activity they desire.

With a passion for transforming data into growth-driving strategies, Jachmann is particularly drawn to the sportstech community, where there’s a shared drive to push the boundaries of what’s possible with data and technology. Jachmann envisions a future where women play an increasingly significant role in sports and innovation in Australia.

Pearce has over 25 years of experience championing diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in sport and was awarded an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) in 2021 for her services to sport administration. Pearce’s commitment to integrating DEI into the core of a business motivates her to reshape mindsets, lead transformation and achieve growth outcomes that not only leave a lasting impact, but the creation of a safer and more inclusive world.

Crosland added “these women are not only propelling Australian sports onto the global stage, but are also driving a broader cultural shift towards greater diversity and inclusion within the sector,.

"Ideally, we shouldn't need gender prefixes, however, recognising 'women leaders' is essential to address ongoing disparities and challenges. By shining a light on these leaders, we can better understand and dismantle the barriers women face in leadership and entrepreneurial roles, fostering a more inclusive and equitable industry.”

For more information and to view the complete ASTN Interview Series and full Power 100+ list, visit ASTN's official website

ABOUT THE REPORT
This is the second edition of the Women in Sports Innovation Report. If you believe someone should be added to this list, please contact ASTN’s Communications Manager, Tara Ballard, at tara.ballard@astn.com.au

For this list, ASTN does not include the sports wagering and betting industry within its definition of sportstech. Additionally, professional services related to Sports Innovation—such as digital, architectural, engineering, product design, leisure, planning, and strategic advice—are also excluded.

Images. Extracted from ASTN 2024 Women in Sports Innovation Report. Credit: ASTN

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14th August 2016 - ASTN accesses investment funds for sports technology entrepreneurs

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