Women and Girls

Change doesn’t happen without leadership and commitment. If you want your sport or sporting organisation to become more inclusive and welcoming, then it’s vital that you find leaders who are committed to making a positive culture change happen.

It’s important to remember that in addition to board and committee members, leaders can be anyone from your sport or community. They just need to be able to see possibilities and opportunities to open your sport up to more people.

Once you’ve found people who are passionate about making your sport more equitable, they may need some training and guidance to support their work to shift attitudes and practices to create more inclusive environments.

Successful organisations will identify, recruit, and promote opportunities for a diverse range of people to take on a leadership role across the sport.

Everyone benefits when more women and girls are given opportunities to lead. This is true within families, the workplace and communities across Australia.

It’s also true for sport.

Having women and girls in leadership positions – as players, coaches, umpires, officials and committee and board members — can make sports and sports organisations more dynamic. This is because females bring different experiences, skills, expertise, approaches, views and opinions.

Women and girls are passionate about their sport. They are willing to dedicate time and energy to make a difference. Sports organisations that harness this energy and dedication will reap the benefits.

Women and girls have already proved they can make a positive impact on and off the field. They help create well-rounded organisations and build a sense of welcoming that all sports and organisations should strive to achieve.

When females take on leadership positions — as players, coaches and officials — the community will appreciate that your sporting organisation provides genuine opportunities for all genders to follow their passion. It’s also good for business! Having more female leaders can help your sport attract more participants, including players, coaches, volunteers, officials and spectators.

If your sport wants to create positive change in this area, your leaders must be committed to supporting females in leadership positions.

The Change Our Game Recruitment and Retention Guidelines for Women in Sport and Recreation have been developed to assist community sport and recreation organisations increase the number of women and girls in leadership roles.

Click HERE to access the Women in Sport Recruitment and Retention Guidelines

The Change Our Game Women in Sport and Recreation Communication and Marketing Guidelines have been developed in conjunction with the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission (VEOHRC) to assist community sport and recreation organisations looking to develop inclusive communication and marketing practices.

Click HERE to access the Women in Sport Communication and Marketing Guidelines

Statistics show that females remain under-represented in sport (both on and off the field), in media coverage and leadership positions. This is despite increasing participation rates of over recent years.

Yet sporting organisations can change this. Sport has the power to challenge and change social norms, attitudes and behaviour towards women, and to shape community values.

Improving gender equality within your sport can:

  • Help ensure your sport’s success into the future by increasing female membership and participation.
  • Provide more varied decision-making ideas, and increased innovation at the leadership level.
  • Provide opportunities to reach out and work with different businesses, sponsors and partners.
  • Help to build more respectful relationships and attitudes towards women and girls.

Putting gender equality on the agenda will deliver benefits that reach far beyond sport. For example, research shows a link between gender equality and building respectful relationships between men and women, and this can help prevent violence against women.

This video by Maroondah, Knox and Yarra Ranges councils highlights work local clubs are doing to promote gender equity:

Evaluation of the VicHealth Everyone Wins program found that State Sporting Association CEOs and board members understood that increasing opportunities for women and girls in sport is good for business.

The following information may assist your organisation in developing strong, positive leaders:

Your Sport Organisation as a Leader Women and Girls as Leaders

Information regarding Aboriginal Victorians, people with disabilities, and people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds will be coming soon.


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