Women in Sport

Women in Sport

Prepared by : Christine May, Senior Research Consultant, Clearinghouse for Sport
Evaluation by : Professor Clare Hanlon, Susan Alberti Women in Sport, Victoria University (August 2019)
Last updated : 02 December 2019
Content disclaimer : See Clearinghouse for Sport disclaimer
Women's Sport


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

Key messages


    In general women are more likely than men to be insufficiently active [59% compared to 50%, when including workplace PA] and less likely to play sport. AusPlay data shows that 58% of Australian women and 73% of girls regularly participate in sport related activities.


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


    Access barriers (time, facilities, transport, cost), cultural barriers (gender roles/expectations, competitive/male oriented sport), self-consciousness, family/caring responsibilities, and a lack of role models can result in girls and women struggling to engage in sport and PA


    Health, fun and socialising are key motivators for girls and women. Inclusive and less competitive environments can increase their engagement with sport and PA. The provision of entry level and pathway opportunities to learn skills and grow confidence is important (physical, coaching, officiating, administration).

Clearinghouse members

Please login to unlock this topic

Please contact us if you are experiencing any difficulty accessing the Clearinghouse information resources that you require.
If you are not a member of the Clearinghouse for Sport please join now

Related Topics


We gratefully acknowledge the support and assistance provided by the Women Sport Australia in preparing and maintaining this information resource.

women's sport logo


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.