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Forum to witness vision of Australia as an international powerhouse for women in sport

Forum to witness vision of Australia as an international powerhouse for women in sport
March 7, 2020

A new vision for gender equality in sport and comprehensive, national scorecard tracking progress will be released at an International Women’s Day Forum being held at the MCG this Sunday prior to the T20 Women’s World Cup final.

Chief executive of Australia’s major professional and participation sports have developed the approach towards the vision of 'No Boundaries for Women and Girls in Sport' by 2025.

In a world-first, members of Male Champions of Change (MCC) Sport have worked with McKinsey & Company to develop and report against five key focus areas and more than 20 measures identified as critical in driving progress on gender equality including pay equality in sport. The MCC Sport 'Pathway to Gender Equality in Sport including Pay Equality' is the first time globally that sector leaders have united to agree and report on a consistent set of measures and assessment criteria towards these goals. The approach will be profiled globally as part of MCC Sport’s commitment to join UN Women’s 'Sport for Generation Equality' initiative, which brings together members of the sport eco-system from around the world to drive gender equality in and through sport.

Collective results across the 18 members of MCC Sport include:

1. Leadership 
• 40.7% of employees are women (up from 39.6% in 2018) 
• 35.6% of Board Directors are women (up from 31.8% in 2018)
• 38.2% of key leadership positions such as Chief Executive and Chief Financial Officer (up from 33.3% in 2018)
• 17.1% of coaches at elite level are women 
• 35.8% of high performance staff at elite level are women 
• 32.4% of officials at elite level are women 
• 64.7% have a diversity and inclusion policy and action plan 
• 94.1% have implemented flexible working policies

2. Participation 
• 47% of registered participants at grassroots level are women 
• 36% of registered athletes at elite level are women 
• Women have 87.7% the playing opportunities compared to their male counterparts
• 73.2% of total facilities accommodate women’s participation needs such as access to change room facilities

3. Pathways 
• 39% of total funded development pathway opportunities are for female athletes
• 35.4% of investment in development pathways are allocated to female athletes
• 19.9% of promotion and public appearance opportunities are allocated to female athletes

4. Investment 
• 22.8% of promotional/marketing spend is dedicated to women in sport/women's competition 
• 49.4% of budget is dedicated to building women in sport at elite level 
• 87.5% provide equal access to extended resources, e.g. doctors, physios and equipment, for elite female athletes 
• 81.3% have an equal travel/ accommodation policy across genders

5. Practical actions towards pay equality 
• 93.3% have defined, measured and published the gender pay gap data for elite athletes 
• 43.8% have achieved equity in prize money for elite athletes/ teams

The Australian Women in Sport Advisory Group (AWISAG), convened by business leader and philanthropist Susan Alberti and chaired by Professor Clare Hanlon from Victorian University, will also officially launch its 'National Roadmap for Women and Girls in Sport” at the forum. Members of MCC Sport are supporting its ‘No boundaries’ vision and will contribute to achieving the strategic priorities outlined in the plan. 

Commenting on the initiative, Elizabeth Broderick, founder of Male Champions of Change Sport and Convenor of MCC Sport, stated "it’s an extraordinary time for women in sport in Australia, and this report demonstrates that our sports leaders are committed to robust systems and strategies to build on this success and ensure it is sustainable.

“'The Pathway to Gender Equality in Sport including Pay Equality' provides a granular view of the current state of gender equality in our major sports and highlights where focused action is required.”

“The report shows we need to get more women in leadership in sport, especially in coaching and high performance roles. At the same time, we need to build participation, pathways and investment particularly in those traditionally maledominated sports where women are only just getting opportunities to compete at an elite level.” 

“And while a number of Australian sports have led the way globally on pay equity for elite women athletes, there is a clear opportunity for the entire sports ecosystem to get behind the drive for equal pay.” 

“Gender equality and pay equality in sport won’t happen through good intention or token efforts. When you invest in and develop women and girls equally with men, the market expands, the whole sport lifts and success follows.” 

Susan Alberti, business Leader, philanthropist and Convenor of the Australian Women in Sport Advisory Group added “I so often still see sports organisations at grass roots, state and national level really struggling to envisage what true equality looks like and how to get there.

“Through our National Roadmap, 'No boundaries for women and girls in sport', we’ve set out a shared vision, a business case developed by PwC and set of actions that can be used by sporting organisations at local, national and international level to help us drive change.” 

“Working with these industry leaders, we now have a comprehensive blueprint for gender equality that the entire sector can customise to their specific needs.” 

Male Champions of Change Sport (MCC)
MCC Sport was established in May 2015. Members lead organisations that have incredible reach and influence in Australian society and internationally. The group includes representatives from every major national sporting organisation in the country and some of Australia’s largest and most successful sporting clubs. Members work within and across their organisations to advance gender equality. The group’s priorities include advancing women in leadership; creating respectful and inclusive sporting cultures; and pay equality.

Major Sporting Organisations
Raelene Castle (Special Advisor) - Chief Executive, Rugby Australia 
Robert Dalton, acting Chief Executive, Sport Australia 
Marne Fechner (Special Advisor) - Chief Executive, Netball Australia 
Todd Greenberg - Chief Executive, National Rugby League 
James Johnson - Chief Executive, Football Federation Australia 
Kate Palmer AM (Special Advisor) - Non-Executive Director 
Stephen Pitt - Chief Executive, Golf Australia 
Jerril Rechter (Special Advisor) - Chief Executive, Basketball Australia 
Kevin Roberts - Chief Executive, Cricket Australia 
Ian Robson - Chief Executive, Rowing Australia 
Leigh Russell (Special Advisor) - Chief Executive, Swimming Australia 
Giles Thompson - Chief Executive, Racing Victoria 
Craig Tiley - Chief Executive, Tennis Australia

Major Sporting Clubs
Mark Anderson - Chief Executive, Collingwood Football Club 
Ameet Bains - Chief Executive, Western Bulldogs Football Club 
Brian Cook - Chief Executive, Geelong Football Club 
Matt Finnis - Chief Executive, St Kilda Football Club 
Brendon Gale - Chief Executive, Richmond Football Club 
Cain Liddle - Chief Executive, Carlton Football Club 

Australian Women in Sport Advisory Group 
The Australian Women in Sport Advisory Group (AWISAG) was established in 2019 to strengthen industry collaboration and organisational commitment to achieving gender equality for women and girls in sport in Australia. The group has developed 'No Boundaries - A National Strategy for Women and Girls in Sport'.

Susan Alberti  funded the establishment of the group which is chaired by Professor Clare Hanlon from Victoria University. The group includes then Chief Executive of Sport Australia Kate Palmer; leading sport administrator and Chief Executive of Collingwood Football Club, Mark Anderson; PwC Chief Executive Luke Sayers; Westpac Director and former Chairman of KPMG, Peter Nash; and Male Champions of Change Sport Program Director, Julie Bissinella.

Click here to view the report.

Related Articles

5th March 2020 - Workplace equality promoted at EEAA 2020 International Women’s Day Breakfast

19th February 2020 - FFA and NZF to demonstrate unified bid to FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 inspection team

8th February 2020 - AFL announces key partnerships ahead of the 2020 NAB AFL Women’s Competition

10th December 2019 - Accenture set to provide business mentoring to Australia’s top sportswomen

30th October 2019 - Cricket Victoria launches new strategy for Victorian Women’s Premier Cricket

26th September 2019 - PFA drives governance foundation training for professional women players

3rd September 2019 - ESSA highlights the power of exercise this Women’s Health Week

7th August 2019 - AFLX to be ditched as game focuses on AFL Womens

30th July 2019 - Women’s group launches campaign to defend female sport

7th June 2019 - Industry leaders announced as members of Women in Sport Advisory Group

30th November 2018 - New research highlights ongoing barriers to women in sport leadership

7th June 2018 - Twin Melbourne conferences to address role of women in sport

1st September 2016 - New conference Championing Women in Sport

6th January 2016 - Breaking the glass ceiling for women in sport

22nd June 2018 - Philanthropist Susan Alberti named Parks and Leisure Australia Ambassador

13th November 2019 - Victorians urged to fill the MCG for Women’s T20 World Cup final

14th November 2018 - Victoria University to benefit from million-dollar investment in women’s sport

18th February 2019 - Sport leaders unite to advance pay equality for elite women athletes


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