Australian and international initiatives to support and encourage female participation and leadership in all aspects of sport.
Girls Make Your Move
Girls Make Your Move is an Australian Government initiative, through the Department of Health, to help inspire and empower young women to be more active, regardless of ethnicity, size or ability. It is inspired by Sport England's 'This Girl Can' initiative. The program targets young women because studies have shown that they are twice as likely as young men to be inactive, and that they experience more barriers to being physically active.
- 2016 Physical Activity and Sport Participation Campaign: Insights Report, van Bueren D, Elliott S and Farnam C (TNS Consultants), prepared for the Department of Health (2016). The Australian Government is developing a campaign, Girls Make Your Move, to communicate with young women and generate greater interest about participation in a wide range of physical activities and sport. While the campaign is inclusive of girls/women across a broader age-range (i.e. 12 to 19 years) the primary target audience is 15-18 year old girls. This report reviews existing models (e.g. Sport England’s This Girl Can campaign) and reviews the available evidence for effective public awareness campaigns.
- Campaign evaluations (2017-2019). Independent evaluation research undertaken assessed the impact of the Girls Make Your Move campaign against its objectives to: build and reinforce positive perceptions of physical activity and sport; and, increase intentions to participate in physical activity among young women aged 12-21 years. The findings from evaluations of three waves are available on the Department of Health website.
Sports Diplomacy 2030
Developed by the Australian Department of Health, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Sport Australia, Tourism Australia, and Austrade Sports Diplomacy 2030 is the second Australian sport diplomacy strategy. It builds on the success of the first strategy and works to bring the Government’s first national sports plan, Sport 2030, to an international stage.
A key focus of the Strategy is to help more women and girls participate in grassroots sport in the Pacific region. This includes dedicated funding to help address participation barriers and to build capacity of staff and coaches to embrace diversity and inclusion, focus on gender equality, women's leadership, and issues such as gender-based violence.
The Women Leaders in Sport (WLIS) program
The Women Leaders in Sport (WLIS) program is an Australian Government initiative that is managed by Sport Australia in partnership with the Office for Women. The WLIS program aims to provide women with development opportunities enabling more women to reach their full leadership potential in the sports industry. From career start, through to boardroom, the program ensures that women are exposed to and receive targeted development.
In 2021 WLIS will provide the following opportunities:
- Leadership workshops;
- Individual development grants; and,
- Organisation development grants.
Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) Talent Program
Launched in 2021, in partnership with the Office for Women, this is a leadership program for women working in the Australian high performance system in Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths and Medicine (STEMM) with the overall purpose of increasing depth, diversity and representation of women in Australian sport. The key objectives are to:
- Provide opportunities and remove barriers for personal and professional development.
- Support and advance women in STEMM leadership roles in Australian sport.
- Support, retain and progress talented women in STEMM that can challenge the status quo and increase diversity in sport.
AIS Athlete Accelerate Program
Launched in 2021, the inaugural program will be available for up to 15 athletes and is funded by the Australian Government’s Office for Women and supported by Sport Australia. The program has a career and leadership development focus for female athletes transitioning to other professional career pathways in sport. The program will cover areas such as:
- debriefing the athletic experience
- fast track career advice
- developing a career action plan
- building professional networks
- leadership skills development
- understanding the barriers for females to transition and progress their professional careers
Australian Capital Territory (ACT)
Sport and Recreation offers financial assistance through the Sport and Recreation Grants Program (SRGP) to eligible organisations to support participation in active lifestyles. Programs targeting the participation of women in the sport and recreation industry are generally considered through the SRGP. A couple of specific grants focusing on women's participation and leadership are offered.
- Women Sport and Recreation Participation and Leadership Program (WSRPLP). The primary objective of the WSRPLP is to provide financial assistance to eligible individuals, clubs and organisations within the ACT to support participation, education and training activities that enhance the availability of participation opportunities for women and girls in the ACT and the abilities for females to take on leadership roles in the sector.
- The Elite Female Coaching Scholarship (EFCS). Developed in response to the identified gap in female coaching development pathways and opportunities within elite sport. The program provides financial support for State Sporting Organisations (SSO) or elite teams (in the case where this is not linked to the SSO) to design and administer elite coaching programs for selected scholarship participant/s within their sport.
Female Friendly Change Rooms, ACT Government, (September 2017). Provides information and advice on how to deliver more inclusive and comfortable change room facilities for all to use.
New South Wales (NSW)
The NSW Office of Sport is the lead NSW Government agency for sport and active recreation.
Her Sport Her Way: shaping the future of women's sport in NSW 2019-2023, NSW Government, (December 2018). 'Her Sport Her Way' has been developed following stakeholder consultation to drive powerful change for women and girls in sport in NSW, leaving a lasting legacy for the way women’s sport is played, led, promoted and consumed. The four year strategy features 29 initiatives that aim to increase women’s and girls’ participation as players, leaders and coaches, improve facilities, and attract more investment and recognition for women’s sport.
- Her Sport Her Way Year One Highlights 2019-2020. The success of the first year of 'Her Sport Her Way' centres around the clear role it set out for the NSW Government to work with the sport sector. The strategy has been enthusiastically embraced by NSW sporting organisations of all sizes, government agencies, academia, and new partners.
- Her Sport Her Way Year One Action Plan 2019-2020. A key feature of the Year One Action Plan is a strong focus on initiatives that reduce barriers to participation and promote inclusive sport experiences that reflect what women and girls want.
- Her Sport Her Way Year Two Action Plan 2020-2021. In the development of the Year Two Action Plan the Her Sport Her Way team have applied a COVID-19 lens to pivot initiatives. Our aim is to ensure that women’s sport stays a priority in terms of investment and visibility. More than ever we want 'Her Sport Her Way' to unite, inspire and give direction to our stakeholders working in women’s sport.
Programs and resources
- Her Sport Her Way grants, (accessed 28 January 2021). Provides up to $2.6 million over four years to assist state sporting organisations grow their game for women and girls, reduce barriers to participation, and promote inclusive sport experiences.
- Her Sport Her Way Awards, (accessed 28 January 2021). The Her Sport Her Way Awards recognise and celebrate the individuals, clubs and organisations who are giving women and girls more opportunities and equal access to participate in their sport.
- Her Sport Her Way Participation Planning Tool, (accessed 28 January 2021). Developed with the goal of helping sporting organisations increase participation among women and girls. Using the Sport Australia Drivers of Participation framework as a guide, we’ve created a questionnaire to help identify positives and potential focus areas. We’ve also compiled relevant resources and recommendations to drive action and reach your female participation goals.
- Daughters and Dads Active and Empowered program, (accessed 28 January 2021) Developed by the University of Newcastle, Daughters and Dads Active and Empowered is an award-winning, evidence-based program proven to enhance the physical and social-emotional well-being of girls.
- Think Tanks and planning workshops, (accessed 28 January 2021). Her Sport Her Way Think Tanks are designed to build capability across the sport sector to innovate and drive cultural change to increase participation of women and girls both on and off the field.
- Collective Voices: Her Sport Her Way, NSW Office of Sport, (2019). Collective Voices is an online book showcasing stories of individuals and organisations that are driving positive change for women and girls in sport. Featuring four themes: Design Shapers, Dream Makers, Ceiling Smashers, and Game Changers, it celebrates the many and varied voices that are contributing to the women’s sport landscape including initiatives undertaken to bring the 'Her Sport Her Way' strategy to life.
Northern Territory (NT)
The Northern Territory Government is committed to growing women’s sport in the Territory and improving female participation and leadership opportunities for women in sport.
- Women in Leadership, (accessed 28 January 2021). In 2019, the Northern Territory Government committed to working with Northern Territory Peak Sporting Bodies (NT PSBs) to establish a pathway for sporting organisations to achieve 50% female representation in executive boards and committees. As part of this commitment, the Northern Territory Government has established an expression of interest register with the purpose of providing candidate contact information to sporting organisations for recruitment to vacant board and committee positions.
- She Plays NT, (accessed 28 January 2021). Aims to increase the profile of women in sport and encourage more women and girls to be active. One of the key pillars, identified by the Women in Sport Advisory Committee, is to profile women in sport. By focusing efforts on Territory wide campaign, it is envisaged that we can create the confidence to participate.
- Grass Roots Grants allow organisations (including clubs, groups, service deliverers, peak sporting bodies) to apply for up to AU$5000 to implement a new sport or recreation program or increase the capacity of their organisation to deliver sport or recreation services. While not specifically identifying programs targeting women in the application criteria, such programs are not excluded.
An independent Women in Sport Advisory Committee operated in 2018. With 10 members from a wide spectrum of sports the committee was established to provide strategic and practical advice that would improve the delivery, recognition, promotion and development of participation and leadership opportunities for women in sport in the NT. The Advisory Committee held its final meeting in November 2018 and produced a final report with recommendations to be considered by the Northern Territory Government. As a result of this report, seven key initiatives have been established and are being implemented by the Department of Tourism, Sport and Culture.
- Northern Territory Women in Sport Advisory Committee Final Report Summary, (2019). Provides an overview of recommendations made to the Northern Territory Government by the Northern Territory Women in Sport Advisory Committee’s Final Report.
The Queensland Department of Tourism, Innovation and Sport offers a range of grants to help the sports industry to develop programs and facilities. While not specifically identifying programs targeting women in the application criteria, such programs are not excluded
Other programs and reports
- Activate! Queensland 2019-2029. A10-year strategy to get more Queenslanders moving, more often. One of the key identified priorities is to 'inspire female participation' including:
- Increasing participation rates of women and girls through initiatives aimed at improving the sport and active recreation experience.
- Harnessing the power of social connection and inclusion to motivate and inspire women and girls and raise the profile of women at all levels of sport and active recreation.
- Providing our female athletes, coaches and leaders with pathways to high performance sport to encourage equity and success.
- Helathier. Happier. This Queensland Government resource is designed to encourage Queenslanders to be stay healthy. Provides healthy recipes, fun exercise videos and handy guides to get you started.
- Start Playing, Stay Playing: A plan to increase and enhance sport and active recreation opportunities for women and girls. This report presents the recommendations of the Committee after research and stakeholder consultation.
- Start Playing, Stay Playing - Appendix: A summary of the evidence and stakeholder insights into women’s and girls’ participation in sport and active recreation.
Women and Girls Advisory Committee
The Ministerial Advisory Committee on Women and Girls in Sport and Recreation was established in March 2013 to provide advice to investigate ways to improve participation rates of women and girls in sport and active recreation. Stakeholder forums were held in Townsville and Brisbane to seek input, discuss ideas, and help the Committee formulate forthcoming recommendations.
- Women and Girls in Sport and Active Recreation Stakeholder Forum: Forum Report, Queensland Government, (2013). The Committee asked stakeholder organisations and institutions to consider what cultural and societal factors need to change to make sport and recreation more inviting for women and girls and how they view the role of government on this issue and what actions they believe the government should take to encourage more women and girls into sport and recreation. Nine key changes/approaches were identified:
- enable flexible participation to allow women and girls to participate in sport and recreation whilst managing school, work and family priorities;
- help women and girls to feel comfortable participating;
- promote the social aspects of participation in sport and recreation;
- provide a broader range of activities that women and girls are interested in;
- promote role models and effectively market programs to women and girls;
- support women as board and committee members, coaches and volunteers;
- foster partnerships between organisations, clubs and schools to provide participation opportunities;
- address the costs of participation; and,
- address the issues with access to sporting and recreational facilities in regional, rural and remote areas.
South Australia (SA)
The Office for Recreation, Sport and Racing is the lead agency for the South Australian Government's policy on sport and active recreation.
Other programs and reports
- SA Women in Sport [videos]. The Office for Recreation, Sport and Racing is creating an environment that values, recognises, includes and promotes the contribution of women at all levels and in all aspects of sport.
- Sport and Women Wikipedia Project. In support of South Australia's women's sport, and the sportswomen who have lead by example, we've supported capturing the history of their rich and outstanding achievements through a digital footprint. This has involved: searching and linking existing Wikipedia profiles to Wikipedia page and researching and creating 21 individual biography Wikipedia pages representative of significant sports women across a range or eras in sport in South Australia.
- Words into Sporting Action: A Practical Guide to Achieve Gender Equity in Your Sport and Recreational Organisation and Improve Performance, Government of South Australia, (2015). If your sport or recreational organisation wants to embed policies and strategies to promote women to leadership roles, refer to this guide when reviewing your existing practices and identify at least one action under each Principle as the start of your change process.
- Keeping Young Women in Sport Project. The Office for Recreation and Sport funded several State Sport Organisations in 2013 to develop reports on how to keep young women involved in sport:
- Lacrosse SA Project: Keeping Young Women in Sport, W. Piltz, Lacrosse SA, (2014). This study seeks to investigate the participation patterns of young women (15-24 years old) in Lacrosse in South Australia. It focuses on identifying the reasons why young women drop out from participation in the sport whilst others continue to participate. The study also focuses on identifying strategies to promote participation for young women in lacrosse to foster their retention in the sport.
- Women’s Rowing in South Australia Engaging with the Future of Rowing, Jessica Molsher-Jones, Rowing South Australia, (2014). The report is designed to investigate into why young women between the ages of 15-24 choose not to be involved in Rowing within South Australia. It investigates the strengths and weaknesses of current and former rowing programs, facilities and experiences within the rowing community. The evaluations of these various factors are resourced from the responses of former and current rowers, as well as coaches. This is designed to better understand all possible influences directly attributed to the retention and loss of female rowers.
Communities, Sport and Recreation Tasmania provides funding to increase opportunities for participation in sport and active recreation in Tasmania, and to assist the ongoing development of Tasmania’s sport and active recreation sector. Clubs, not-for-profit organisations and local government entities that provide sport and recreation opportunities may apply for available grants. While not specifically identifying programs targeting women, such programs are not excluded.
- Levelling the Playing Field Grants Program. The Tasmanian Government invested $10 million over two years to the Levelling the Playing Field Grants Program to upgrade sports facilities for girls and women, with funding being distributed across two rounds; one in 2018-19 and one in 2019-20.
Other programs and reports
- Women on State Sporting Organisation Boards, Department of Communities, Tasmanian Government, (March 2019). In 2009 Sport and Recreation Tasmania delivered the inaugural Women on State Sporting Organisation Boards Report which found that women were under-represented on the boards of Tasmanian State Sporting Organisations (SSOs). Subsequent reports by Communities, Sport and Recreation (CSR) on 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 boards confirmed that this trend was continuing. Although female representation on SSO boards has risen marginally, the 2018 data has again found a similar result. In 2018, the number of women on Tasmanian State Sporting Organisation boards was 39.43 per cent, an increase of 2.04 per cent since the 2017 study.
Sport and Recreation Victoria is working to inspire women and girls to participate and become leaders in sport at all levels. There are a range of grants to help the sports industry to develop programs and facilities. Alongside more general grants there are currently several that specifically target increases in female sport and physical activity participation.
- Change Our Game Community Activation Grants program. Funds one-off community level events that showcase and celebrate the role of women and girls in sport and active recreation.
- Change Our Game Scholarship Program. Provides funding to assist women to access professional learning and development opportunities to enhance skills in sport and recreation leadership and management.
- Community Motorsport Program. First dedicated motorsport investment program that provides grant opportunities through two funding categories. Under the Motorsport Club Assistance Category: Stream 3: Women and Girls Participation (up to $5,000).
In 2019 the Victorian Government became the first state in Australia to mandate that all sport and active recreation organisations funded by the Government must comply with a mandatory 40% women (or men) on Board quota.
- Balance the Board, Victorian Government Change our Game media, (accessed 28 January 2021). By 1 July 2019 all sport and active recreation organisations funded by Sport and Recreation Victoria and the Victorian Government will be expected to comply with the mandatory 40% women on Board quota. Organisations that are not at the mandatory quota by 1 July 2019 risk losing funding through the Supporting Victorian Sport and Recreation program.
- Mandatory Board Quotas, Vicsport, (2019). Dr. Bridie O'Donnell, Head; Office for Women and Sport and Recreation along with a few SSAs share their insights as to how they are taking action in order to meet the mandatory board quota by July 1 2019.
Office for Women in Sport and Recreation.
In October 2017 the Victorian Government announced the appointment of the first Head of the Office for Women in Sport and Recreation, Dr. Bridie O'Donnell MBBS. The office has been created to implement the nine recommendations from the Inquiry into Women and Girls in Sport and Active Recreation and deliver further Change Our Game initiatives to boost participation and create more leadership opportunities in sport for women.
- The Office for Women in Sport and Recreation is supported by the biggest investment by any state government into facilities, participation, leadership opportunities, and professional and grassroots sport and active recreation for girls and women. The aim is to support and encourage women in leadership roles, ensuring they are not subject to unfair or unfavourable treatment because of their gender, sexuality, appearance, age or any other personal characteristics protected by anti-discrimination law.
- Inquiry into Women and Girls in Sport and Active Recreation: A five year game plan for Victoria, Government of Victoria, Women in Sport and Recreation Taskforce (November 2015). The advisory panel reviewed current research and reports and sought public feedback on the current issues women are experiencing, which present barriers to participation and leadership, as well as possible solutions. The overwhelming message from the consultations was that there are many women and girls with the talent and desire to contribute to the sport and active recreation sector, but the opportunities to participate and lead were either elusive or not readily evident. Four key themes emerged concerning participation and leadership by girls and women: (1) leadership, clear goals and measurement are the first necessary ingredients to create and support change; (2) changes to traditional structures and ways of working are essential to developing new participation and leadership opportunities; (3) new ways of ‘thinking’ and ‘doing’ need to be nurtured through education and training, and; (4) visibility is important - promotion of female sport and active recreation opportunities, leadership, pathways, and role models.
Other programs and reports
- Female friendly sport infrastructure guidelines, Sport and Recreation Victoria, (2017). Information and advice about developing gender equitable sports and recreation facilities. The information assists community sport and recreation clubs, governing sport bodies, recreation facility management organisations, as well as local government bodies.
- Guidelines for the recruitment and retention of women in leadership roles: a toolkit for Victorian sport, Victorian Government, (2016). This toolkit has been developed to assist organisations in the sports and active recreation sector to increase the number of women in leadership roles in their organisation, at board and senior management level. It provides an overview of the benefits of increasing women’s leadership in your organisation. It is a practical resource you can use to review and develop your recruitment practices, and to increase the attraction and retention of women in leadership roles in your organisation.
VicHealth programs and reports
- This Girl Can - Victoria. Based on Sport England’s highly successful This Girl Can campaign, This Girl Can – Victoria is here to celebrate and support Victorian women embracing physical activity in a way that suits you. Whether it’s a little or a lot, what matters is getting some movement into your day.
- This Girl Can keeps Victorian women moving through lockdown, (30 November 2020). Close to 320,000 Victorian women have been inspired to keep moving during coronavirus restrictions as a result of VicHealth’s This Girl Can – Victoria campaign.
- Changing the Game: Increasing Female Participation in Sport Initiative. In October 2014 VicHealth announced $1.2 million to get more Victorian women and girls involved in sport. The program aimed to create new opportunities to increase female participation in sport and raise the profile of women’s sport in Victoria. It concluded in June 2017 with a variety of examples and case studies from recipients available on the VicHealth website.
- Female Participation in Sport and Physical Activity [infographic], VicHealth, (2014). A snapshot of the evidence.
- Move My Way is funded through VicHealth’s Changing the Game: Increasing Female Participation in Sport program. Gymnastics Victoria and five other state sporting associations are encouraging women and girls to become more physically active, while championing the important role women play in sports’ leadership and management.
Yarra Ranges, Maroondah and Knox Councils are providing resources for sporting clubs to achieve gender equity by improving pathways for girls and women to participate in sport at all levels.
- Equality Is The Game! Our Codes, Our Clubs: Changing the story to promote gender equality [video]. Maroondah City Council, YouTube, (15 August 2017).
- Creating a place for women in sport: A gender equity self-assessment for sport and recreation clubs. Yarra Ranges, Maroondah City, and Knox City Councils, (2017). The Gender Equity Audit Tool is for clubs to identify strengths and opportunities for improvement to promote equality. This tool aims to assist clubs to look at different areas in the club environment, and recognise how they are going in relation to gender equality. It includes an action plan template for clubs to record their actions to improve gender equality within their club.
- Equality is the Game Sporting Club Committee resource. Yarra Ranges, Maroondah City, and Knox City Councils , (2017). Equality is the Game! is a resource for all sporting codes to highlight how they can contribute to the prevention of violence against women, by creating safe, equal and respectful environments for all members, particularly women and girls. It outlines the practical actions sporting club committees can undertake to promote gender equality, and highlights the benefits for clubs in creating a more inclusive and welcoming environment.
Western Australia (WA)
The Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries offers a range of grants to help the sports industry to develop programs and facilities. While not specifically identifying programs targeting women such programs are not excluded.
In 2018 the WA Government announced that it would support the Women in Leadership target for Boards to consist of 50/50 male/female directors (for Boards with an uneven number of director positions the final position can be male or female). Organisations that do not achieve and maintain the target within three years will have their funding reduced.
- Women in Leadership: Targets for WA sport bodies, WA Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries fact sheet, (August 2019). A recent survey of sporting organisations carried out by the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries (DLGSC) found that 42 per cent of organisations achieve the target.
Gender Diversity Case for Change
The Case for Change is a key enabler of the cultural change required to improve gender balance within the sport and recreation sector. Resources include templates, case studies and the Case for Change report.
- Gender Diversity Case for Change: The case for gender-balanced leadership in sport and recreation, WA Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries, (January 2019). The recently completed DLGSC Gender Diversity Project identified that a significant barrier to increased gender balance is the fact many people are unaware of, or don’t fully understand, the benefits and opportunities that increased gender balance can bring to their organisations. The purpose of the Gender Diversity Case for Change is to help sport and recreation organisations understand the business case for gender diversity, in order to motivate them to address gender inequality in their organisations.
Other programs and reports
- OnBoardWA. The OnBoardWA Register allows you to submit personal and professional information to be considered for vacancies, and you can specify your 'portfolios' of interest. On those occasions that a specific vacancy is advertised publicly and applications invited, those on the OnBoardWA Register with the relevant portfolios of interest or relevant skills and experience may be contacted directly and encouraged to apply.
- Pathway to Pay Equality: Elite women athletes, Male Champions of Change Sport, (February 2019). The pathway to pay equality involves many dimensions, and sports may find that achieving pay equality takes several years. However, success within any single part of the ecosystem makes success in the other parts more likely. The report identifies three distinct stages (pre-professional, a fair and reasonable wage, standalone pay) and a strategic focus, practical goals and actions for each.
- Pathway to gender equality in sport including pay equality, Male Champions of Change Sport, (March 2020). This report is the first time globally that sector leaders have united to agree and report on a consistent set of measures and assessment criteria towards these goals. The Pathway is freely available and can be adopted or adapted by any sport or sports sector to accelerate their progress on gender equality. Collective and individual results across the 18 members of MCC Sport are included.
- The Minerva Network helping women in sport, Sky News, (10 August 2019). Video interview on the Business of Sport with Minerva co-founder Romilly Madew and Rugby Sevens star Dominique Du Toit.
- Minerva Network welcomes NSW Government funding and partnership with Her Sport Her Way strategy, Minerva Network, (10 August 2020). Minerva Network Chairman Christine McLoughlin today thanked the NSW Government for its funding support for the network.
- Minerva Network teams with Sydney Roosters and Easts Group to kick off Minerva Tertiary Scholarship Porgram, Minerva Network, (13 September 2020). The Scholarship will be open to Australia’s elite and professional level female athletes who are Minerva Stars and who would benefit from financial support to complete or commence an Australian certified education or vocational qualification in their career off the field.
- She's Game - Women making Australian sporting history. This project highlights the achievements of women to Australian sporting life and culture. Athletes, coaches, administrators, journalists and volunteers are recognised for the important roles they have played in Australian sporting history.
- The Australian Women’s Register. This site is a source of information about Australian women and their organisations.
- Research and industry insights on women in sport, Victoria University, (updated quarterly). Local to global industry-based research to influence sectors on policy and strategy that will increase opportunities for women and girls.
- A level playing field: the case for investing in women's sport, Australian Women in Sport Advisory Group, (2019). The importance of women as leaders to grow the participation capacity of an organisation should not be underestimated.
- No boundaries for women and girls in sport and physical activity, Australian Women in Sport Advisory Group, (2019). Our vision is that there are no boundaries for women and girls in sport and physical activity. Our goal is to achieve this by 2025. But what does it look like and how will we know when we have made it? Here we set out what we are striving for, actions to take and measures of success. Key members of the sport sector, governments and industry are onboard.
- No Boundaries for Women and Girls in Sport, Australian Women in Sport Advisory Group/Victoria University, (18 December 2019). Australian business, government and sport leaders are being urged to back a new strategy to achieve gender equality in sport by 2025.
- Women Sport Australia manifesto: Harnessing the positive momentum for active Australian women, (2019). This plan sets out the key actions Women Sport Australia continues to advocate for to effect lasting change. These actions include: pay equality and living wage for elite female athletes and staff; equal access to facilities and amenities on and off the field; equal media time and space for women's and men's sport; and, championing role models in women's sport.
Womensport and Recreation Tasmania (WSRT) is a group of concerned individuals and organisations with a broad range of interests in women's sport and recreation issues. Members include people interested in sports administration, coaching, officiating, participation, education, recreation and leisure. The organisation’s objectives are to: provide a platform for women’s sport and recreation groups to communicate and share their common problems and solutions; act as a united group to inform and lobby legislators; make public comment about issues facing women in sport and physical recreation; provide support to sporting organisations; promote media coverage of women in sport; and to encourage all women to participate in physical activity.
- Cadbury Get in the Game, (accessed 29 January 2021). Through shining a light on the diverse women kicking goals across AFLW, NRLW, Cricket Australia and the Matildas, we want to show all girls that no matter who you are, you can push past barriers and get in the game.
- Diversity Council Australia (DCA). Diversity Council Australia is the independent, not-for-profit workplace diversity advisor to business in Australia. DCA addresses many issues facing women and minority groups within the workplace. DCA consults with industries and work sectors and produces a number of submissions to Government Departments and Agencies, such as the Productivity Commission.
- The Encyclopaedia of Women and Leadership in Twentieth-Century Australia, Australian Research Council, Linkage Project, (2014). Naming Australia's 20th-century leading women performers in sport is a difficult task because there are so many of note. Browse the list of names in the Sport Australia Hall of Fame (SAHOF) and one can see a roll call of household names, women who are not just legends of world sport but important to Australia's sense of itself as a sporting nation. This ‘encyclopaedia’ provides a profile on women who have been elite athletes, administrators, coaches, and role models to generations of Australian women.
- Increasing the number of women in senior executive positions: Improving recruitment, selection and retention practices, Hellicar M, Business Council of Australia, (2013). This report has been prepared as a support tool for companies in reviewing their recruitment and promotion processes with a view to enhancing the numbers of women in senior leadership roles. It is based on a combination of research, interviews, and questionnaires completed by recruitment firms, companies, consultants and members of Chief Executive Women. Companies will need to select actions that suit their culture, aspirations, capability and stage of engagement with gender diversity and inclusion. The business case for gender diversity and, more recently, gender diversity and inclusion, has been frequently made in terms of improved business performance and access to talent. Given that talent is randomly distributed across both genders, there is a high probability that at least half of a talented workforce should be women.
- Siren: A Women in Sport Collective. A collective of women’s sports advocates, content creators and fans who for years have been left wanting more from mainstream coverage of women in sport. Our mission is to elevate women’s voices, alongside other diverse and marginalised voices through in-depth storytelling, analysis and opinion, and deliver feminist content that challenges the status quo of sport media.
- Vicsport. An independent, non-government, member-based organisation that advocates and supports a sport, active recreation and health agenda. Vicsport has an active presence on issues involving women's participation in sport.
- Women on Boards (WOB). There are thousands of Government statutory authorities, committees, councils and advisory boards that regularly seek appointees. Women on Boards (WOB) started as an informal network in 2001 and was founded as a company in 2006 to improve the gender balance on Australian boards. It is funded through subscriber fees and earnings from services to organisations seeking to improve gender diversity. More than 16,000 women are registered with Women on Boards from all sectors and industries.
- Gender Equality Strategy, Commonwealth Games Federation, (2016?). Equality is one of the three core values of the Commonwealth Games Federation. Our dynamic sporting movement has an important part to play in an energised, engaged and empowered Commonwealth of Nations and Territories - and we are working hard to explore how Commonwealth sport and everyone in our diverse sporting family can better deliver for women and girls. Non-discrimination is now a clause in all of our host-city contracts. We strive to set the benchmark for gender equality standards seen anywhere in international sport. The 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games saw several firsts:
- Gender parity in the number of medal events between women and men: 133 Women’s events; 133 Men’s events; 9 Mixed/Open events.
- Basketball, Hockey and Swimming featured over 50% female Technical Officials: a first in international sport.
- Launch of first Women’s Coaching Internship Programme to build women’s coaching capacity across Commonwealth.
- Far-reaching Gender Equality Strategy a First for Sport, Sheila Robertson, Canadian Journal for Women in Coaching/Commonwealth Games Federation, (2016?). Provides a detailed overview of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) Gender Equality Strategy (GES). GES goals focus on organizing committees (OCs); women coaches; broadcasters and media; athlete participation; officiating; Commonwealth development; governance; leadership development; mission staff; and outreach.
The Women in Sport platform has been created by the International Sport and Culture Association (ISCA) as part of the Alice Milliat Foundation’s Erasmus+ supported project ‘European Network for Promotion of Women’s Sports’. It provides 60 examples from more than 12 countries that demonstrate tried-and-tested ways of promoting women’s participation at all levels of sport, particularly at the community level.
- Declaration of core principles on sport integrity, Sport Integrity Global Alliance, (2016). In the case of good governance, SIGA supports the highest governance standards, including, but not limited to: democratic and transparent electoral processes; term limits; separation of powers between their regulatory and commercial functions; monitoring of potential conflicts of interest; risk management procedures; gender equality at board level; independent directors; meaningful stakeholder representation in the decision-making bodies; transparent and accountable financial management and proper oversight.
Women Sport International (WSI) was formed to meet the challenge of ensuring that sport and physical activity receive the attention and priority they deserve in the lives of girls and women and to meet the need for an international umbrella organisation that can bring about positive change. WSI is both an issues and action based organisation.
- Gender based violence guide, (accessed 21 September 2020). Over the course of two years, Women Win has gathered a diverse set of experts, coaches, programme directors and girls from around the world to share their knowledge about how to address gender-based violence through sport.
- Guide to addressing girls' sexual and reproductive health and rights through sport, (accessed 28 January 2021). Adolescent girls throughout the world are denied the fundamental right to control their bodies and sexual choices, free of violence and discrimination. Solution: use the power of sport to convene girls, educate them about their rights and bodies. Give them opportunities to practice the basic skills that they need to be empowered in their sexual and reproductive lives. Watch girls change. Watch communities change.
- International Guide to Designing Sport Programmes for Girls, (accessed 28 January 2021). A collaboratively-authored tool designed to help organisations develop and improve effective and sustainable programmes.
- Leadership and Economic Empowerment Guide (LEEP), (accessed 28 January 2021). An innovative framework that uses sport to support and accelerate leadership development among adolescent girls, guiding them through structured pathways toward targeted educational, entrepreneurial or career oriented goals. Through LEEP, organisations can create sustainable sport programmes that develop female role models, provide jobs to girls who have completed the programme, and create pathways that prepare graduates to continue their education, start their own business, or become employed. LEEP can also aid organisations in reaching more girls for less cost.
- Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity (CAAWS). A national non-profit organisation dedicated to creating an equitable sport and physical activity system in which girls and women are actively engaged as participants and leaders.
- E-Alliance: research hub for gender+ equality in sport. Launched in 2020, E-Alliance pushes gender+ equity forward for girls and women and fights against gendered discrimination in sport through cutting edge research from leading sport researchers in Canada.
- International Women's Day: Highligting key issues related to gender+ equality in sport, (March 2021). Members of the organization’s research community have collected some of their most recent and relevant findings to help introduce E-Alliance’s priorities. These findings have been translated into infographics that are now available online and will also be shared on social media.
- Fast and Female. Not-for-profit organisation founded in 2005 with the aim of supporting initiatives that keep girls active and involved in sports and physical activity into their teens.
- #MomsGotGame (#VasYMaman), SIRC, (March 2021). Canada’s Sport Information Resource Centre (SIRC), supported by the Government of Canada, is leading a pilot media campaign this fall. Mom’s Got Game (Vas-y, Maman!) is a bilingual initiative encouraging, celebrating and supporting moms of school-aged kids to play sport and be active. Through partner engagement and digital, radio, and television advertisements, #MomsGotGame (#VasYMaman) aims to:
- Celebrate moms who are making efforts to play sports and be physically active;
- Provide resources for moms to get involved in sport for the first time, or to participate more often; and
- Change the perceptions and attitudes of friends and family (e.g., partners, children) to support mom’s physical activity and sport participation.
- The #MomsGotGame Campaign: What the Research Says About Mom’s Participation in Physical Activity and Sport, Veronica Allan, SIRC, (9 September 2020). The purpose of this document is to provide a summary of the evidence that underpinned the development of the #MomsGotGame campaign. To this end, a literature review focused on mother’s participation in physical activity in sport was conducted. The benefits of physical activity and sport participation cannot be understated. And while moms recognize the importance of physical activity for their health and wellbeing, they often prioritize the needs of their children, household, or employer above their own. Despite the fact that many moms want to participate in physical activity and sport, additional parenting duties and limited access to fitness facilities and organized activities (e.g., exercise classes, sports leagues) are creating additional challenges to being active. As such, resources and support provided through #MomsGotGame will consider the unique challenges and circumstances for mothers during the COVID-19 pandemic. To address or overcome these barriers, messages and programs should focus on increasing positive attitudes about mom’s participation in physical activity and sport (e.g., self-compassion, encouragement from others) and reframing beliefs about mom’s social roles (e.g., shared household and childcare duties). The delivery of programs and messages using digital technologies (e.g., mobile apps) represents another promising avenue for promotion.
- Women in Sport. The mission is to transform sport for the benefit of every woman and girl in the United Kingdom by improving and promoting opportunities for women and girls in sport at every level.
- #TimeTogether (accessed 1 February 2021). In partnership with Global, is about allowing mum and daughter to set aside time to develop their relationship with each other, and with exercise. Teenage girls cherish alone time with their mum and view their relationship as a ‘safe space’ without any fear of judgement. This provides an opportunity for both to be active together, and discover the joy, fun and well-being benefits of exercise. We want daughters and mums to discover a new way of spending time together, by being active. Hula-hoop together, walk together, climb together, swim together. Whatever you want to explore – now is your #TimeTogether.
- Toolkit: Reframing Sport for Teenage Girls, (2019, last updated January 2021). Our toolkit inspired by Reframing Sport for Teenage Girls brings you resources and key findings from the research which is funded by Sport England. It also brings together important insight about girls from various other sectors and will be updated regularly as new insight becomes available.
- GB cyclists front #OneInAMillion campaign to boost women's cycling by 1 million by 2020, British Cycling, (2019). Our latest research shows that two thirds of frequent cyclist in Britain are men (69%), compared to countries like Denmark where male cyclists account for 47% and female cyclists 53%
- Champion Women. This United States based, non-profit, organisation was established in October 2014. The organisation’s mission is to provide advocacy for girls and women in sports through targeted efforts toward equality, accountability, and transparency among institutions providing (or not providing) sporting opportunities for girls and women. The Chief Executive Officer and founder of Champion Women is Nancy Hogshead-Makar, a civil rights attorney, legal scholar, and 1984 Olympic swimming champion.
- The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES). TIDES is part of the DeVos Sport Business Management Graduate Program, College of Business Administration, at the University of Central Florida. The Institute serves as a comprehensive resource for issues related to gender and race in amateur, collegiate and professional sports. The Institute researches and publishes a variety of studies, including annual student-athlete graduation rates, racial attitudes in sports, and the internationally recognised series Racial and Gender Report Card.
- SHARP Center: Institute for research on women and gender. The Sport, Health and Activity Research and Policy (SHARP) Center for Women and Girls was established in 2010. SHARP represents a partnership between the Women’s Sports Foundation, the University of Michigan’s School of Kinesiology, and the Institute for Research on Women and Gender. SHARP's mission is to lead research that enhances the scope, experience, and sustainability of participation in sport, play, and movement for women and girls; and to leverage this research to better inform public opinion, advocacy, and policy implementation to enable more women and girls to be active, healthy, and successful.
- Women’s Sports Foundation (WSF). Founded in 1974 by tennis professional Billie Jean King, the Women's Sports Foundation is dedicated to advancing the lives of girls and women through sports and physical activity. The WSF works to educate, advocate, and organise programs across the USA; it also provides scholarships and supports research.
- AFL National Female Community Football Guidelines, Australian Football League, (2019). The Guidelines provide direction to community football leagues and clubs on establishing best-practice frameworks for female football, including the management and development of new female teams, female-friendly facilities, club sustainability, competition balance and umpiring.
- Prep-to-Play, Australian Football League, (2019). The Prep-to-Play video resources have been created to further support coaches of female footballers at all levels with tutorials on how to design a dynamic warm-up, and educate players to improve their skills in tackling, groundball gets and aerial contests.
Women's Coaching Pathway Scholarship, AFL Coaches Association, (February 2021). The AFL Coaches Association created the Women’s Coaching Crusade and AFLW Coaching Pathway Scholarship in 2019, out of the need to support ambitions of the AFLW players to help them realise their potential and fast-track their development to coach at the highest level. Women coaching in State Football Leagues (women’s and men’s) and players from the Women’s State Football Leagues and AFLW are invited to apply NOW for the 2021 AFL Coaches Association Coaching Pathway Scholarship. Applications close 2 April 2021.
Diversity and Inclusion Commission, International Canoe Federation (ICF), (accessed 28 January 2021). The ICF, along with the IOC, is firmly convinced of the need for women to play a greater part in decision-making, as well as encouraging sports practice among women. However, despite some significant steps forward, there is still much work to be done. Changes to the ICF Statures address equality, all Standing Committees have at least one woman member and women are selected on all Competition Committees for World championships. Since 2010, Gender Equality Workshops have been conducted in conjunction with the ICF Congress.
The Next Innings: Accelerating Female Participation strategy, Cricket Australia, (September 2020). Outlines the unique challenges of expanding participation among women and girls over the next four years as well as the work being done to support the clubs who are nurturing the current and future generations of players, coaches, officials and administrators.
Press for Progress Report 2019/20: to be the leading sport for women and girls, Cricket Australia, (2020). The Press for Progress Report documents Australian Cricket’s progress towards its aspiration to become Australia’s leading sport for women and girls. With the commitment to be openly accountable for this progress, key highlights from the 2019-20 report include: Representation of women on Australian Cricket Boards reaching 32%. This is the first time the crucial 30% barrier has been reached; More than 1,600 all-girls cricket teams now created in the past three years, with women and girls representing 32% of cricket participation for the first time; and more.
- Press for Progress Report 2018/19: to be the leading sport for women and girls, Cricket Australia, (2019). Second annual report relating to the aspiration 'to be the leading sport for women and girls', set out in the Australian Cricket Strategy 2017-2022. In the past 12 months, important gains continue to be made: most notably, the sustained growth of girls participation and all-girls teams, the ongoing transition to a standalone Women's Big Bash League, and improved gender diversity within the governance of Australian Cricket.
Choose to Challenge: Creating mentors, paving the way, Laura Jolly, cricket.com.au, (3 March 2021). Continuing our series highlighting the strides made in the women's game when people chose to challenge the status quo, and shining a light on the areas where work remains to be done.
Girls Love Ultimate (GLU) Program, Australian Flying Disc Association (AFDA), (accessed 28 January 2021). An initiative of AFDA and VicHealth, GLU is a fun Ultimate Frisbee program, provided to girls aged 12-17 years. GLU consists of a 90 minute indoor Ultimate Frisbee session held once per week for eight weeks. At GLU, girls will learn life skills such as leadership, conflict resolution, self-belief, mutual respect, nonviolence, integrity, fun and friendship that will benefit them both on and off the field for years to come.
- Change Makers Project, Football Victoria, (October 2020). Football Victoria (FV) is proud to be part of The Change Makers Project, an innovative collaboration between FV, Victoria University and Clubs. The project will assist Clubs to make tangible improvements and opportunities for women and girls, with the aim of achieving 50/50 representation. The project is supported by Victoria State Government: Office for Women in Sport and Recreation, Change our Game Research Grant until May 2021.
- Australian women’s football to be transformed by FFA’s Women’s Football Council 10-year Business Case, Ros Moriarty, LinkedIn, (15 June 2020). An unprecedented level of collaboration has seen the who’s who of women’s football help shape the plan, with 80 respondents from all corners of women’s football and a number of other women’s sports contributing to its development. The Business Case outlines three major pillars and 17 change actions to transform women’s football in Australia over the next decade and drive significant investment in the women’s game.
- Gender Equality Action Plan 2019: Closing the gap and transforming men’s football and women’s football into football, Football Federation Australia , (October 2018). The ten-year plan focuses on five key areas including leadership, participation and facilities, the gender pay gap, the Westfield Matildas, and future Westfield Matildas (youth development pathways).
- Popular VicHealth Soccer Mums program to continue as Go Soccer Mums, Football Victoria, (15 July 2020). Soccer Mums provides a social alternative for women to learn the basics of football, break the barriers to participation and enjoy a fun, judgement-free way to be involved with other likeminded women. It allows for participation without any experience, removing the constraints of competition and rules. The program has grown to over 70 locations in Victoria, with over 1300 participants being afforded the opportunity to engage in our beautiful game.
- Women's Football Development Guide: A guide for community football clubs to develop women’s football and increase the number of females participating in the game at all levels, Football Federation Australia , (2017). This resource will provide community football clubs with practical strategies and ‘how to guides’ on the recruitment and continued involvement of female players, coaches, administrators and referees. We have also included a club checklist to encourage reflection and discussion of current club practices specifically aimed at females. We encourage you to identify key issues that relate to your club and identify strategies that might overcome participation barriers experienced by females.
- FIFA launches first-ever global strategy for women's football, FIFA media release, (9 October 2018).
- Women's Football Strategy, FIFA, (October 2018).
- FIFA and UN Women sign first-ever memorandum of understanding, FIFA media, (7 June 2019). The three key joint areas of work in the MoU are sports policy development, the promotion and support of sustainable projects that will help create a lasting legacy, cultural change and empowerment of women and girls around the world, and communications to raise awareness around gender equality through sport, for example through the support of the FIFA Legends and UN Women Goodwill Ambassadors, as well as major tournaments.
Other international reports
- 2020 Raising Our Game Report, FIFPRO, (2020). Provides an overview of the global women’s football industry, placing the rights and conditions of players at the centre. The report builds on the 2017 FIFPRO Women’s Global Employment Report and takes account of the most recent industry developments affecting the working environment of professional footballers worldwide. This report gives the players' perspective along with key stakeholders on the most recent growth patterns and trends, best practices, policies and regulations relevant to the sustainability of the professional football industry.
- Inspiring positive change: The FA strategy for women's and girls' football: 2020-2024, The FA, (2020). Our strategy is based on understanding an individual's motivation to play - for learning, for recreation, for competition and for excellence. We want to ensure there is access and opportunity for every girl and woman to play, coach, spectate, officiate, manage or administer if they so wish and the game to be truly representative of our society across all protected characteristics¹ and social backgrounds.
- Culture and leadership: more women on boards and in senior positions; opening up clubhouses and courses and making them more welcoming – equal access, equal rights.
- Grassroots: introductions to golf that are friendlier and more social; more emphasis on fun and family; better transition to courses and clubs; hubs and networks for women and girls.
- High performance and coaching: More heroes to inspire the next generation; more female coaches to nurture and develop them; more chances for the elite to compete and hone their skills.
- Marketing and positioning: Changing the way the sport is perceived; more women and girls proud to say ‘I play golf’; promoting the fun, healthy, social game – a second sport and a sport for life.
Girls on Track, Motorsport Australia, (accessed 28 January 2021). FIA Girls on Track is a global, not-for-profit initiative - initially launched by former Formula 1 development driver Susie Wolff as 'Dare To Be Different'. In Australia the program is backed by Motorsport Australia. We offer school girls aged 8-18 a unique opportunity to participate in our free Girls on Track events. The goal of the program is to grow interest in STEM subjects and industries amongst school girls with the aim of increasing female participation in these sectors, using motorsport as a tool to expose them to the incredible opportunities and career paths.
Accelerating the global development of women in rugby 2017-25, World Rugby, (2017). By 2025, rugby will be a global leader in sport, where women involved in rugby have equity on and off the field, are reflected in all strategy, plans and structures, making highly valued contributions to participation, performance, leadership and investment in the global game of rugby.
SheSails resources, Australian Sailing, (August 2020). Australian Sailing has developed resources to help clubs build a thriving community that includes women and girls across all areas of our sport. This starts with encouraging them to be involved via 'She Sails' programs and events.
Girls Only Spinneroos Program, Table Tennis Australia, (September 2020). Young girls around the country are set to receive a huge boost to their sporting careers, with a new table tennis program specifically targeted at girls age 4-12. With alarming statistics highlighting that that one in two girls drop of out of sport before the age of 15, and that less than half of all table tennis players in Australia are female, TTA wants to inspire young girls to take their talents as far as they possibly can. The girls' edition of the program has been developed with leading table tennis coaches around Australia to ensure kids have a lasting first impression of table tennis. With 100% female participation and female coaches leading the sessions, it is perfect for those looking to try table tennis for the first time.
Advantage All: Women in Tennis book, International Tennis Federation (ITF), (15 July 2020). Features contributions from women working in different areas across the game, on subjects such as coaching, officiating and competitive play. Available to download from the ITF ebooks app on both the App Store and Google Play.
Nicole Pratt to lead Females in Tennis Initiative, Tennis Australia, (29 October 2020). Former Australian No. 1 Nicole Pratt is set to inspire the current and next generation of female tennis coaches. Pratt takes on the new role of Tennis Australia’s Females in Tennis – Coach Lead. This role will focus on attracting, developing and retaining female coaches at all levels to grow the number of female coaches by 10 per cent over the next three years.