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Breaking the glass ceiling for women in sport

Breaking the glass ceiling for women in sport
January 6, 2016

Following the release of a new report championing change for female academics in sports disciplines, Victoria University is aiming to appoint more women sport lecturers and researchers in leadership roles.

The new Victoria University report complements a newly released Victorian government report established to improve the participation and ratio of women and girls in leadership at all levels of sport across the state.

Associate Professor Clare Hanlon, who chaired the Victoria University group advising on change in the University’s sport college and research institute, was also on the Victorian Government’s nine-member panel advising the state inquiry.

Explaining that all organisations need to address the representation of women as participants and leaders in sport, Associate Professor Hanlon stated “the recommendations of both reports show policies and practical strategies are required to engage and empower women in all aspects of sport – whether it’s on the playing field, in the research lab, or at the club boardroom table.”

The Victorian University report, Championing Change for Women Academics in the College of Sport and Exercise Science and ISEAL (Institute of Sport Exercise and Active Living) recommends various strategies including career development programs and mentoring to promote more women into the University’s senior teaching and research roles.

Dr Hanlon commented “there is great support at VU to implement strategies to enable more women to thrive, excel, lead, research and study in our flagship disciplines of sport, exercise science and active living. We now need to activate these.”

She said the tide is slowing turning to change the ‘blokey culture’ of sport, but collaboration with existing structures and consistently applying and pursuing practical measures was required for long-term change to occur.

The Victorian Government’s inquiry into women and girls in sport and active recreation: A Five Year Game Plan for Victoria committed $1 million to help remove cultural and structural barriers to women and girls getting involved in sport.

It also recommended sporting associations and peak bodies be required to fill at least 40 per cent of their board positions with women or miss out on funding.

Dr Hanlon said change needed to come from the top at the University and in the wider community, which was why it was important to attract competent women into governance roles.

She concluded “neither inquiry was aimed at changing women or how they related to sport, but instead about identifying opportunities to empower females so they can be recruited and sustained in participation and leadership in sport.”

Image: Victoria University Associate Professor Clare Hanlon.

1st January 2016 - VICTORIAN SPORT REPORT CALLS FOR BOARDS TO APPOINT WOMEN OR LOSE FUNDING

14th October 2015 - MELBOURNE SET TO HOST WORLD CONGRESS ON ELITE SPORT POLICY

12th April 2015 - ABC HIGHLIGHTS DECLINE IN MEDIA COVERAGE OF WOMEN’S SPORT

18th February 2015 - VICTORIA UNIVERSITY TEAMS UP WITH REAL MADRID TO DELIVER MASTERS PROGRAM IN SPORT MANAGEMENT

28th October 2014 - WOMEN ARE ‘SECOND CLASS CITIZENS’ IN SPORT GOVERNANCE AND MANAGEMENT

1st September 2014 - PEGGY O’NEAL TO CHAIR VICTORIAN GOVERNMENT ‘WOMEN IN SPORT’ TASKFORCE

21st August 2013 - AWRA CALL FOR GOVERNMENT BACKING TO PROMOTE MORE FEMALE LEADERS IN SPORT 

19th April 2011 - NEW ERA OF RESEARCH FOR AUSTRALIAN SPORT 


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