By 1 July 2019 all sport and active recreation organisations funded by Sport and Recreation Victoria and the Victorian Government will be expected to comply with the mandatory 40% women on boards quota.
In December 2015, the Inquiry into Women and Girls in Sport and Active Recreation – A Five Year Game Plan for Victoria – was released. The Victorian Government committed to implement all nine of the Inquiry’s recommendations to enhance participation by women and girls and to increase their engagement in leadership and governance roles.
Recommendation 3 was to ‘Mandate gender balance and good governance principles’. The Inquiry found a minimum quota of 40% should be set for female representation on governing bodies, and that a phase-in period of up to three years was reasonable for change.
Research shows that increased gender diversity on boards leads to improved organisational performance. The introduction of mandatory quotas aims to bring about long term cultural change for Victorian sport in order to grow and strengthen sport and recreation organisations through good governance practices.
Organisations that are not at the mandatory quota by 1 July 2019 risk losing funding through the Supporting Victorian Sport and Recreation program.
Bridie O'Donnell will chair an advisory panel on gender diversity which includes representatives from VicHealth, Vicsport, and Sport and Recreation Victoria, who will make decisions around sport and recreation organisations' eligibility to receive government funding based on their attainment of the quota.
Over the next 12 months the panel will:
- monitor sport and recreation organisations' status with the policy;
- consider each scenario on a case by case basis;
- align the approaches of Sport and Recreation Victoria, VicHeath and Vicsport to ensure consistency in implementation of any funding from 1 July, 2019 onwards.
Balance the Board, a regular communication designed to keep the discussion front of mind and to highlight the work that is being done to achieve gender balance throughout the sector;
September, 2018 - Balance the Board - Read Edition 1
November, 2018 - Balance the Board - Read Edition 2
February, 2019 - Balance the Board - Read Edition 3
May, 2019 - Balance the Board - Read Edition 4
Vicsport have developed a range of resources and information to help with the transition, and the Office for Women in Sport and Recreation will update organisations monthly in the lead up to the deadline to provide as much support as possible.
The Office for Women in Sport and Recreation and the Victorian Local Governance Association recently held a forum talking about board quotas and the importance of diversity. The following video is a highlight reel from the day.