SYDNEY, Nov 13 (Reuters) - The head of a new Australian government body has warned sporting organisations which receive public funding that they must do more to increase the representation of women in senior leadership roles.
Fewer than 13% of the 68 publicly funded national sporting organisations have a female chief executive and 26% have a woman as board chair, Sport Integrity Australia said in a statement on Friday.
“More needs to be done to develop and promote women to leadership roles in sport and ensure they are supported,” Sport Integrity Australia chief executive David Sharpe added.
“At the moment the number of women in these roles in Australian sport is unacceptably low.”
Sport Integrity Australia was established in July this year to oversee issues of doping, corruption and safeguarding in sport across the nation.
Sharpe said the new body had a 50-50 gender balance in its executive team with women in around 46% of its senior leadership positions.
“Those numbers still need to improve and we are committed to that,” he said. “We have a number of development initiatives in place to address this.”
Sport Australia, which is in charge of funding elite sports among other functions, has yet to replace Kate Palmer after she elected not to renew her contract as the body’s first female chief executive in January.
AusCycling, newly-created to run one of Australia’s more successful Olympic sports, announced Marne Fechner as its first chief executive on Friday, having poached her from Netball Australia.
Raelene Castle was the first female chief executive of one of the country’s main football codes until she resigned from Rugby Australia in April after nearly three years at the helm. She has since been appointed Sport New Zealand chief executive. (Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Kim Coghill)