The department will be closed from Wednesday 27 December 2023 to Monday 1 January 2024. We will respond to queries in the New Year. Best wishes for a safe and happy festive season.
Focusing on diversity and inclusion means Australians from all walks of life can participate in, and benefit from, an active lifestyle and connection to their communities.
All kinds of diversity make our communities rich and vibrant places, including diversity of background, culture, language, age, ability, and gender.
The department is focusing on increasing the gender balance in leadership roles in the sport and recreation sector due to:
The recently completed DLGSC Gender Diversity Project identified that a significant barrier to increased gender balance is the fact many people are unaware of, or don’t fully understand, the benefits and opportunities that increased gender balance
can bring to their organisations.
Therefore DLGSC has developed the Gender Diversity ‘Case for Change’.
The purpose of the Gender Diversity Case for Change is 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 Case for Change is a key enabler of the cultural change required to improve gender balance within the sport and recreation sector.
For change to occur, sport and recreation organisations and other key stakeholders must “understand the effects of diversity and inclusion in the workplace, as well as the underlying reasons for these dynamics. This understanding will allow for
effective teams and workplaces, inclusive of all persons”. 1
Inclusive organisations are better able to attract top talent, and provide an environment where everyone is set up to succeed.
Research has shown that both men and women are more likely to remain with an organisation with a proactive ‘diversity’ climate as they perceive a concrete payoff to themselves by staying in an organisation they view as fair.
Turnover costs between 90 200% of the annual salary of the employee. 8 Gender balance decreases turnover from both male and female employees, making it an effective retention strategy. 8 Gender balance is not
a zero sum game, it lifts employee retention.
There is a demonstrated link between increased gender diversity on boards and improved organisational and financial performance, enhanced governance and benefits to culture and morale.
Companies within the top quartile for gender balance are 15% more likely to have higher financial returns than their national industry median. 10
Companies with a more even gender split have 14% higher revenue than others. 11
“Diverse workforces tend to produce a more holistic analysis of the issues an organisation faces and spurs greater effort and motivation, leading to improved decision making”. 12
A lack of diversity within a boardroom results in a “manila mindset to solving corporate problems” 13 that can lead to group think issues. 14
Gender diversity can be beneficial in situations involving complex tasks, which require creative decision making. 15
Gender balanced teams are associated with higher levels of innovation, 16 and are more agile and better able to adapt to change. 2
More gender balanced teams are better in promoting an environment where innovation can flourish compared to teams of one particular gender. 17
Overall, gender diverse boards have increased levels of meeting attendance, boardroom involvement and corporate oversight. 18
Improved gender balance is positively related to board effectiveness and strategic control. 19
Diversity of thought in organisational leadership provides a foundation for growth in membership, sponsorship and participation particularly if lessons from other sports and sectors are leveraged.
The leadership of sport and recreation bodies reflects the organisation and their players, coaches, umpires, families and communities, and meets community expectations around gender balance.
A significant number of girls and women play sport worldwide; nevertheless, they are represented minimally if at all at the highest level of the sports' governance. This means that their voice is excluded from the shaping
of core organisational values and the creation of a strategic vision for the sport. 24
Gender equal representation at board level benefits sporting organisations as the interest of all stakeholders, men and women, can be better considered and enhanced. 24
To enable ‘good governance’, the Board of an organisation should reflect the diversity of the community that they wish to serve. As VicSport commented, “to be committed to including more women and girls;
and represent the diversity of our community as a whole, the individuals charged with that responsibility also need to reflect the broader community.” 21
Sporting organisations play a significant role in helping to shape community values, attitudes and behaviour. 25 Through achieving gender balance on Boards and in leadership, sporting organisations will not only
benefit from improved performance but contribute to broader social outcomes by breaking down cultural norms and challenging traditional gender stereotypes in sport. 26
There is a proven link between gender equality and building respectful relationships between men and women. 25 Creating a gender balanced, inclusive culture within the sport and recreation organisation will likely
reduce harassment and social stereotyping, 25 which is likely to result in increased female participation rates.
Boards that closely match the makeup of the general population provide improved corporate social performance. 29
Women's board representation is positively associated with corporate social responsibility and there is a clear correlation between increased levels of female directors and a company's involvement in corporate social responsibility
The Workplace Gender Equality Agency provides that irrespective of sector or size of organisation, a diverse and inclusive workforce generates tangible benefits, such as increased efficiency, productivity, innovation and employee engagement. These can
be broken down into four key areas. 2
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