Victorian Sport On Board With Gender Equality

Peak sports bodies have delivered a huge step forward for equality, changing the gender composition of their boards to meet Andrews Labor Government minimum requirements.

A little over two years ago, just 44 per cent of Victorian sports had 40 per cent female representation on their board.

Today, that figure has increased to 93 per cent as sports have backed a quota that has sought to redress a long-standing imbalance between genders at board level.

The minimum 40 per cent female requirement applies to Government-funded state sports associations and peak bodies and comes into formal effect on 1 July. Bodies that have not met the target have agreed to a plan of action to do so.

Victoria is leading the way nationally and around the world by implementing the 40 per cent women on boards quota and creating off-field leadership roles for women and girls in sport and recreation.

The quota was a key recommendation from the Government’s 2015 Inquiry into Women and Girls in Sport and Active Recreation.

Chaired by recent Order of Australia recipient and Richmond Football Club president Peggy O’Neal AO, the inquiry advised on practical actions that the sport and active recreation sector could take to enhance participation by women and girls on and off-field.

Driven by the Office for Women in Sport and Recreation and supported by VicHealth and Vicsport, the 40 per cent quota is a key element of the suite of Change Our Game initiatives that the Government is implementing to address all nine recommendations of the inquiry.

Peak organisations are now breaking down barriers that had existed for women in taking on leadership roles, making the lead bodies more accessible, flexible and inclusive.

Progressive boards make better decisions, reach into a deeper pool of talent for leaders and perpetuate these advances by permanently changing outlooks and perceptions.

Quotes attributable to Acting Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Marlene Kairouz

“This is about making real and meaningful change so that sports and their governing bodies can better serve their community, which is a worthwhile goal in any code.”

“Just like when playing on the field, women and girls deserve a fair go off the field as well, to show just how brilliant they can be, and we’re proud to be leading the way.”

Quote attributable to Office for Women in Sport and Recreation Director Dr Bridie O’Donnell

“This is a watershed moment in our sporting history. Board quotas will ensure women are provided with necessary opportunities to take on leadership roles and contribute in a way which will enhance and strengthen the Victorian sport and recreation sector.”