As reported in the 2006 Senate Report About Time! Women in sport and recreation in Australia(Page 90) "Women continue to be under-represented in coaching, officiating and administrative roles."
The Australian Sports Commission's statistics of coaching accreditation levels show a consistent drop by both men and women as high levels of coaching accreditation are achieved. For example at May 2006 there was 41,557 male level 1 coaches to 23,302 female coaches; 4187 level 2 male coaches to 1630 female coaches and 999 level 3 male coaches to 170 female coaches. These figures show a significant difference of numbers between male and female coaches, which becomes more pronounced as the level of accreditation increases.
The gender imbalance in respect to registered officials is slightly more encouraging than the coaching domain, particularly at level 3. For example at May 2006 there were 1863 accredited level 1 male officials to 1440 females, 834 accredited level 2 male officials to 335 females, 264 level 3 male officials to 166 females and at high performance level there were 63 males to 9 females.
The Senate Report did not examine figure relative to administration in sport but evidence was presented demonstrating the imbalance of males to females in this area.
A number of specific barriers were noted and raised in evidence, similar to those noted limiting the advancement of women in leadership and governance positions.
Some of the barriers included the male dominated sports culture, the perceptions and expectations of women, lack of career opportunities, lack of role models, issues of work-life balance and limited training opportunities.
The following additional strategies were suggested for governments and sporting and recreation organisations, to increase the numbers of women in leadership roles:
- Examining recruitment procedures to ensure that they provide equal opportunities for women, are accessible and are non- discriminatory
- Promoting structures, career pathways and opportunities in administration, coaching and officiating for women
- Acknowledging individual achievements and the contribution of women
- Providing an inclusive, safe and flexible work environment
- Providing a mentoring and/or apprenticeship program for women administrators, coaches and officials
- Encouraging and actively targeting women to take on decision making roles on administration, coaching and officiating committees
- Encouraging sporting organisations to target or talent ID potential women coaches and officials
- Ensuring that organisations strategically plan and provide financial and human resources to develop female coaches and officials
- Exploring the potential or sub-elite athletes who do not make it to the top of their sport to pursue other avenues such as coaching or administration