Skip to content

Women in Sport

Prepared by: Christine May, Senior Research Consultant, Clearinghouse for Sport
Evaluated by: Professor Clare Hanlon, Susan Alberti Women in Sport, Victoria University (February 2021)
Reviewed by: Australasian Sport Information Network
Last updated: 11 May 2021
Content disclaimer: See Clearinghouse for Sport disclaimer

In Australia, women are under-represented in organised sport—as participants, coaches, officials, administrators, and board members—when compared to their male cohort. A variety of strategies exist to help equalise opportunities for girls and women, however, concerns continue on how gender bias may prevent them from receiving the full benefits sport and physical activity (PA) can offer.

Key messages


Women are more likely to be insufficiently active [59% compared to 50% for men] and less likely to play sport. AusPlay data shows that 52% of Australian women and 68% of girls regularly participate in sport related activities.


Health, fun and socialising are key motivators for girls and women. Increased physical literacy and inclusive and less competitive environments can increase engagement with sport and PA.


In 2019, women comprised 24% of CEOs across 63 national sporting organisations (NSOs), and 15% of high performance coaches. At the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, only 9% of accredited Australian coaches were women.


Providing entry level and pathway opportunities-to learn skills and grow confidence-are important to help address the gender imbalance in coaching, officiating, and leadership.

Topic focus

Is this information complete?

The Clearinghouse for Sport is a sector-wide knowledge sharing initiative, and as such your contributions are encouraged and appreciated. If you would like to suggest a resource, submit a publication, or provide feedback on this topic, please contact us.

Alternatively, if you would like to be kept up to date with research and information published about this topic, please request a research profile setup.

Return to top