By Shreya Pilo
A state government report has found a clear gender imbalance in sports management roles.
It now wants to create a balanced representation in sports leadership roles – currently less than a third of positions in WA are held by women.
“The report is in line with the WA Government’s goal to see more women in leadership roles,” said a spokesperson for the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries (DLGSC).
“Late last year the WA Government let the way in convincing other States to adopt a national target of having 50 percent women in leadership roles at Australia’s sports governing bodies.”
The Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries released the Gender Diversity Case for Change Report around International Women’s Day in March to highlight the greater benefits of having gender balanced sporting boards.
“The report provides advice to clubs and sport bodies to enable them 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,” the communications officer said.
Murdoch University Associate Professor of Exercise Science, Jeremiah Peiffer, thinks it’s a great idea as there is a need for change in the industry.
“Most of the decisions especially within a government policy is being made in boardrooms primarily by men, not taking into account any of the female viewpoints or objectives either in terms of enhancing participation rates or terms of how the sporting organizations are just run,” he said.
But Peiffer also believes it’ll be hard to attain the necessary balance.
“There are more women now in sports, so I think we’re seeing an increase in presence of them in sport but maybe at that senior level, with the increase in sports participation and the greater acknowledgement of female sports you may not have people at the moment actually willing to take those positions… if they’re actually in sports themselves, they may be giving up their sporting career to take on leadership roles.”