More women for top sport jobs: govt body

Sport Integrity Australia boss David Sharpe says organisations must have more women in senior roles.
Sport Integrity Australia boss David Sharpe says organisations must have more women in senior roles.

Sporting organisations that receive public funding must do more to increase the representation of women in senior leadership roles, the head of a new Australian government body has warned.

Fewer than 13 per cent of the 68 publicly funded national sporting organisations have a female chief executive and just 26 per cent 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 said.

"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 per cent of its senior leadership positions.

"Those numbers still need to improve and we are committed to that," he said.

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, a body newly created to run one of Australia's more successful Olympic sports, announced on Friday that Marne Fechner will be its first chief executive, having poached her from Netball Australia.

Raelene Castle, who resigned from Rugby Australia in April after nearly three years at the helm, was the first female chief executive of one of the country's main football codes. She has since been appointed to a similar role with Sport New Zealand.

Australian Associated Press