The Labor Albanese Government has held their inaugural Women in Sport Workforce Roundtable, with more than 50 stakeholders developing pathways for increasing the number of women in the sport industry.
Minister for Sport, Anika Wells, convened the Women in Sport Workforce Roundtable in the lead up to the Prime Minister’s Jobs and Skills Summit.
The event was facilitated by Ms Kate Jenkins, Australia’s Sex Discrimination Commissioner, and a member of the Australian Human Rights Commission.
Among those who attended were legendary Opals basketballer Lauren Jackson, AO, CEO of Paralympics Australia Catherine Clark, former Olympian Linley Frame OAM, Football Australia Head of Women's Performance Sarah Walsh, and Australian tennis champion Casey Dellacqua.
The topics discussed at the Summit focused on providing women equal opportunities and equal pay within the sport workforce so they receive greater support and recognition.
Outcomes from the sport roundtable will contribute to the Employment White Paper which will follow the Jobs and Skills Summit.
Minister Wells said the national debate on employment and the workforce provided an important opportunity to correct sport’s gender imbalance.
“Women bring a diversity of skills and experience but continue to be underrepresented in decision-making in the sport workforce in Australia,” Minister Wells said.
“Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that men are earning an average of $263.90 more than women a week.
“While recognition of women’s sports has risen considerably in recent years, this hasn’t translated into more women in power in the sport industry.
“Correcting this will ensure our sport sector, which is so important to our national psyche and culture, properly reflects our nation.”
Opals, WNBL and WNBA star Lauren Jackson said the Women in Sport Workforce Roundtable was a great initiative to help close the gender pay gap.
“While women are increasingly being recognised for their on-field excellence, we need to improve access and recognition for women in off-field roles,” Ms Jackson said.
“It is pretty simple, boosting women’s workforce participation in sport can help build the workforce required and close the gender pay gap.”
The roundtable considered practical and sustainable short and longer terms options, including connecting and upscaling existing initiatives, to:
- reduce barriers to employment for women
- provide training and strategic pathways for women athletes to transition to the sport workforce
- create a more engaged, diverse, safe and inclusive sport workforce, and
- raise productivity to provide better job security and wages.