Advancing Women in Sport

Moving gender equality in sport from conversation to action

This is my contribution to gender equality in sport

My research into the conditions for women working in the Australian sporting sector began in 2017 out of a curiosity to go beyond my experiences and observations and to understand the reality of women working in the sporting sector. With my corporate executive and sporting director background and experience as a gender diversity expert, I thought I would not be surprised by the data. On the contrary, I was staggered—the statistics relating to gender inequality in the Australian sporting sector were much worse than anticipated. Compared with other industries, sport and recreation scores higher than average in gender inequality.

I was astounded by the gaps in sheer numbers and lack of parity, especially in pay. And so, I decided to go beyond the existing data and conduct my own research. My research shed light on the endemic issues, barriers and systematic discrimination faced by women in the sporting sector.

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Achieve Outcomes, Engage Greatness, Use the greatness

70% of the women who responded to my initial survey believed their gender had caused them to miss out on a salary increase, promotion, or chance to get ahead.

Disadvantaged on Gender

While women working in the sporting sector tell me they feel disadvantaged by their gender when it comes to advancing their careers in the sporting sector, they persist!



Because they are committed to doing challenging and inspiring work


Because they want to make a difference in the world, and they understand that sport can achieve this


Because they are committed to helping their sporting organisation excel and grow

Leaders in the sporting sector generally have good intent and a desire to make a change for the better with regard to women, inclusion and diversity. However, the maturity of the sporting sector is comparably low when it comes to initiating and driving enduring strategies and positive change for women in leadership.

Happy looking women at a conference

Closing the Gap

My research and the organisational solutions I create from that research contribute to a level playing field for women in sports leadership. I hope that through reading my reports, you'll understand that together, we can close the leadership gender gap in sport.

Talk to me if your organisation needs to move gender equality from conversation to action.

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Michelle Redfern CARICATURE