Research confirms benefit of increased representation of women on boards

The Office for Women in Sport and Recreation has today released new research by Deakin University which found that having gender diversity on boards of sporting organisations contributes to more effective decision making, communication, positive culture and better risk management.

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The research report Balancing the Board: Benefits of having gender balance on state sport and active recreation boards outlines key findings into the effectiveness of the Victorian Government’s Balance the Board Policy.

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Since July 2019, the Victorian Government’s Balance the Board policy has required all recognised sport and active recreation organisations to have a minimum of 40% women directors on their board to be eligible for Sport and Recreation Victoria community sport funding.

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The number of Victorian sport sector organisations with a gender balanced board has doubled over six years, from 45% in 2017 to 94% in 2023.

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Undertaken by Deakin University and funded through the Change Our Game Research Grants Program, the research also found that:

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-   board processes became more professionalised in response to steps taken to attract and retain women on boards,

-   a critical mass of women on boards improved the experiences of women directors, and

-   women directors brought key skills to boards which enhanced board dynamics and decision making.

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For more information on the Balance the Board policy, click here.

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To read a summary of the research, click here.

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