Female Leader Conversations Ebook feature, Advancing Women in Business & Sport Founder, Michelle Redfern said,
“It often takes an outside in perspective to help identify where the opportunity to initiate or accelerate a business improvement opportunity is. Sport is no different.”
- Michelle’s social enterprise, Women Who Get It has over 3000 women who hang-out together, online and in person
- AFR 100 Women of Influence
- Ambassador, Honour a Woman program, seeking to increase gender equality in Australian Honours awards
- Corporate executive background in global procurement
- Co-founder, Culturally Diverse Women (CDW), a social enterprise working to increase numbers of CDW in executive leadership in Australia
- Board Director, Williamstown Football Club and Good Shepherd Microfinance
Michelle Redfern is comfortable in her own skin, with an intellectual executive presence honed in corporate board rooms. She is also 100% authentically herself. Michelle manages to be simultaneously inspiring, informative, strategic, humorous and inclusive. She radiates positive life force and it is easy to see why people gravitate to join her networking group Women Who Get It (WWGI). WWGI is an ecosystem for women from all walks of life who connect, learn and advance together in person and online.
WOMEN IN SPORT
Are they progressing?
I was staggered to see that the statistics related to gender equality in the Australian Sporting Sector were much worse than I had anticipated. For example, women represent a mere 3.9% of CEOs in the sporting sector as compared to roughly 13% female CEOs in the ASX200 (which is also a deplorable figure for a ‘developed’ country!).
I’m shocked at the gaps in sheer numbers and of the lack of parity, especially when it comes to pay. However, when I dove deeper into the data from my research into the sporting sector, I became acutely aware of the endemic issues, barriers and systematic discrimination women working there are facing. For example, 70% of women believe their gender has caused them to miss out on a salary increase, promotion or chance to get ahead.
NEVERTHELESS, THEY PERSIST
Why do women continue to pursue careers in the sporting sector?
The top 3 reasons are:
- They’re committed to doing challenging, inspiring work;
- They want to make a difference in the world and they understand how sport can achieve that;
- They’re committed to helping their sporting organisation excel and grow.
The conclusion is that leaders in the sporting sector generally have good intent and a desire to make a change for the better regarding women, inclusion and diversity. However, the maturity of the sporting sector is low when it comes to initiating and driving enduring strategies and positive change.
How can sporting organisations start to engage more women?
The next time your organisation is assessing its membership numbers, corporate sponsorship profile and revenue performance against target, stop and consider if you have effectively tapped into the female economy. Ask yourself these 3 questions:
- Do we know our own brutal truths of reality when it comes to women?
- Do we understand the lived experience of our female employees, supporters, fans, sponsors or suppliers?
- Does our organisation have a winning strategy when it comes to women?
How are you a beacon for change in the sporting sector?
I advise predominantly male Boards, CEOs and Execs in the sporting sector about how to attract, engage and develop commercially viable and sustainable relationships with women. I am ensuring sport will be more enduring and sustainable. Whether it’s athletes, employees, volunteers, corporate partners, suppliers, clients, members or supporters, the industry needs to disrupt its prevailing pattern of thinking and begin to diagnose, design and deliver environments, products and services that tap into the female economy.
I facilitate design thinking sessions and leadership programs to identify the unmet needs of the target market. The target markets could be female talent at all leadership levels, fans, supporters, sponsors, community or suppliers. By diagnosing your Club’s problem, a bespoke solution is developed that provides a competitive edge. To win, on and off the field.