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Report outlines efforts to increase women in sports management

13 Dec 2016

A report released today by the Male Champions of Change Sport reveals how they have progressed in realising their commitment to increase the representation of women in sports management in Australia. The group comprises 11 CEOs of Australian sporting organisations.

Drawn from 22 focus groups conducted across their 11 organisations, the report reflects the Male Champions of Change Sport’s commitment to deepen their understanding of the barriers they must tackle to address the unacceptably low levels of women in leadership positions, and the work they must do to change this picture.

“Despite the fact that women are significant consumers of and participants in sports across the country, women remain under-represented in most sport organisations, particularly at the leadership and governance levels,” said Elizabeth Broderick AO, Convenor of the Male Champions or Change Sport.

“Sporting organisations need to recognise the significant opportunities that a gender diverse environment creates”, said Brendon Gale, CEO of Richmond Football Club. “We need to do more to address gender equality, particularly at the leadership and governance level.”

Coming 18 months after their formation, the report outlines the listening and learning journey each leader has undertaken and the action plans established to drive lasting change within their organisations. They are:

  1. “50:50 If not, why not?” driving gender balance throughout the pipeline;
  2. “All Careers Flex” aimed at normalising flexibility and caring;
  3. “Break the Mould” aimed at fostering a culture of inclusion in sport;
  4. “Lead on gender reporting” ensuring MCC Sport organisation understand their diversity metrics and paths to improvement.

The Report includes unprecedented transparency in gender reporting in sport organisations.

“While it is early days for the group, it is clear that we must champion gender equality in our organisations if we are to see a visible and lasting increase of women in leadership positions,” said Bill Pulver, CEO of Australian Rugby Union.

“The Male Champions of Change Sport recognise that to move the dial on women in leadership, men must step up beside women and champion gender equality with visible leadership and informed action,” Ms Broderick said.

“We are determined to build on the momentum for change and create more inclusive workplace cultures. It is a journey, and it will take time, but we are in it for the long-haul,” said Craig Tiley, CEO of Tennis Australia.

“Just as we expect in the pool, talent, hard work and values-driven leadership should be the determinants of success in our organisations and not gender,” said Mark Anderson, CEO of Swimming Australia. “We are working across the Male Champions of Change Sport group to ensure our organisations, and the Australian sporting system more broadly, enable both men and women to thrive and advance to leadership positions.”

“Though it has been a momentous year for women in sport in this country, with the success of our female athletes on the international stage driving greater visibility of women in sport, we need this to translate into greater female representation of women within sporting organisations,” Elizabeth Broderick said.

The MCC Sport led the following organisations in 2016: Australian Rugby Union, Australian Sports Commission, Basketball Australia, Collingwood Football Club, Sydney Sixers, Melbourne Stars, Racing Victoria, Richmond Football Club, St Kilda Football Club, Swimming Australia and Tennis Australia.

The Report is available at:

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