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In December 2015, the Victorian Government released a report from the independent Inquiry into Women and Girls in Sport and Active Recreation. The report shed light on gender inequality in Victorian sports and recreation. The report outlined a way forward, helping change and improve sport and recreation for all involved

The report involved consultations and workshops throughout the state with representatives from all levels of sport and recreation, from coaches to administrators, to assess the current state of female representation in the sport sector, especially in leadership roles.

The overwhelming finding is that women are under-represented in leadership roles in a sports sector that is still predominantly male-centric and dominated. The report also highlights a growing movement of women and girls keen to showcase their talent and desire to contribute to the sport and active recreation sector, but the opportunities to participate and lead are either elusive or not readily evident.

The Inquiry into Women and Girls in Sport and Active Recreation outlined nine recommendations to increase leadership and participation by women and girls.

Recommendations

  1. Drive commitment through an Ambassadors of Change program
  2. Engage and empower by connecting Ambassadors to women and girls
  3. Mandate gender balance and good governance principles
  4. Reform recruitment practices and processes for leadership positions
  5. Enhance participation choice and improve how opportunities are marketed
  6. Deliver female-friendly built environments and equitable facility usage policies
  7. Build an enabling environment through education and training
  8. Showcase the pathways and opportunities through role models
  9. Increase the profile of women in sports media.

The Victorian Government has started working to implement all nine recommendations, with an additional $1 million allocated through the sport portfolio to assist with this work. Partnerships and collaboration with the sport and active recreation sector will be central to achieving change, recognising that the aspirations of the Inquiry will only be realised through joint effort.

Why change?

Women and girls make up just over half of the Victorian population. We know through academic graduation rates and other measures that women have skills, knowledge and experience that are equal to men. Not tapping into that talent pool is inequitable and wasteful. This Inquiry set out a five year game plan to bridge the gap between the number of men and women in the sport and recreation sector.

Our goals

  • Champion leadership for women in sport
  • Challenge traditional stereotypes and structures
  • Develop new participation and leadership opportunities
  • Nurture new ways of ‘thinking’ and ‘doing’ through education and training
  • Promote female sports, role models, recreation opportunities and pathways – whether they focus on participation or leadership – to provide an opportunity for inspiring and engaging more women and girls.

Overview

The Inquiry into Women and Girls in Sport and Active Recreation was conducted by an independent advisory panel of nine prominent state sport sector representatives appointed by the Victorian Government, chaired by Richmond Football Club President Peggy O’Neal.

The Inquiry involved consultations and workshops throughout the state with representatives from all levels of sport and recreation to assess the current state of female representation in the sport sector – especially in leadership roles.

The overwhelming finding is that women are under-represented in leadership roles in the sport and active recreation sector. 

To find out more about the recommendations of the advisory panel:

Leadership Centre

Women in Sport
Leadership Centre