Equal gender representation on sporting boards on the horizon

Dominic Giannini 19 November 2019 11
Minister for Sport Yvette Berry and sporting chiefs from the ACT

Yvette Berry (second from right) standing with representatives from ACT sporting boards. Photo: Region Media.

Gender equality on Canberra’s sporting boards is on the horizon with 28 government-funded organisations on track to reach a 40 per cent female representation benchmark by 2020.

The government has offered associations the incentive of a 10 per cent funding bonus, or around $5000, to achieve that benchmark by next year.

Minister for Sport and Recreation, and Minister for Women, Yvette Berry said about half of the 28 ACT sporting bodies that receive government funding were already there.

“We’ve got momentum in this country now with gender equality and making sure that women are rightly represented on sports boards,” she said.

“[Women are] more than 50 per cent of the community and that representation brings diversity and innovation to the work of sports communities, but it also gives women and girls the chance to see women represented on their peak sports bodies as well.

“It’s a really important message to women and girls, particularly young girls in sport about where they could be one day.”

Ms Berry said 40 per cent gave near-equal representation of women on many sporting boards, as many are odd-numbered, with seven or nine board positions.

Capital Football is employing a 4-4-2 formation on and off the pitch with chair and director of the board Fran Sankey telling Region Media that the organisation is committed to having 40 per cent male representation on the board, 40 per cent female representation, with 20 per cent remaining unallocated to any particular gender.

Both the Capital Football and Tennis ACT boards have a three, four board split favouring men, with a female CEO or Chair.

“I think tennis was the first sport that there was equality pay for participants at an elite level, so these are symbolic things in some ways because we’re talking community sport here but it really makes a difference,” says Tennis ACT board director Robyn Hendry. “So I’m proud to be associated with tennis, particularly as a female director.”

CEO of Volleyball ACT Adam Castle has commended the sport for having the most equal representation of men and women by participation rates, which is reflected in the board’s makeup, consisting of three men and women.

Ms Berry says help is available for organisations that may be struggling to reach equal representation by 2020, including accessing the ACT Government’s diversity register which can help organisations fill vacant positions.

“We’re going to work with those sports groups,” she said. “Some of it’s just about when they’re having their board elections and timeframes, and maybe the make-up of the statutes of their organisations.”


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11 Responses to Equal gender representation on sporting boards on the horizon
Peter Mackay Peter Mackay 7:08 am 20 Nov 19

If they are “inching” towards gender equality, it probably means there are some tangible benefits to being on these things.

If it’s jobs for the boys, it likely means they are full of ALP members getting a perk.

Garry Booth Garry Booth 9:12 pm 19 Nov 19

So...we're no longer appointing people based on skill and merit......wow...who knows how many genders there are? Last count was 36+....

Ryan Fisher Ryan Fisher 8:04 pm 19 Nov 19

Must be a pretty hollow feeling getting a job because of a quota rather than earning it...

Kieran Livingstone Kieran Livingstone 11:06 pm 18 Nov 19

I assume ‘equal gender representation’ in the fields of nursing and midwifery should be next then?

    Daniel Duncan Daniel Duncan 11:54 pm 18 Nov 19

    & Teaching, Plumbers, waste management...

Christopher Goyne Christopher Goyne 7:37 pm 18 Nov 19

Maybe barr could work on an important issue for tatepayers ie lower rate increases.

Angela Thomas Angela Thomas 6:08 pm 18 Nov 19

So which of them are actually the best people for the jobs and which are there to meet some "equality" target?

Jane Kennedy Jane Kennedy 4:26 pm 18 Nov 19

How do they tackle transgender persons or non binary

Gone are the days of identifying male and female particularly in ‘quotas’

Ante Mrkonjic Ante Mrkonjic 2:29 pm 18 Nov 19

How is the ACT government going to address gender fluidity and equality for other genders? If they can teach it to kids through the education system, surely it would be easier for them to address the issue within their own policies.

Daniel Duncan Daniel Duncan 2:05 pm 18 Nov 19

Did they get there on merit or to meet a quota? If women are the majority why do you need to help them as a minority?

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