Regional Sport Victoria leading the way in Gender Equity
In 2020, through support from Change our Game, Regional Sport Victoria coordinated a holistic gender equity leadership program, facilitated by expert gender equity practitioners Cassie Lindsay and Chyloe Kurdas. 47 staff from the 9 Regional Sports Assemblies took part, each one recognising the important role that they play in supporting gender equity outcomes across regional sporting clubs right across the state.
Following the delivery of this program, an independent report was commissioned, and Regional Sport Victoria has committed to implementing all recommendations. Crucially, this has included the development of an industry wide Gender Equity Action Plan and associated Outcomes Monitoring Framework.
“To truly empower women to step into leadership roles, we need to have a multi-faceted approach” said Cassandra Hadson, General Manager at Regional Sport Victoria. “Not only has Regional Sport Victoria committed to ongoing professional development for all female staff across the network, but importantly, we have committed to critically analysing the environments in which we work, to address the barriers and disincentives that often prevent women from undertaking leadership positions”.
A Gender Equity Action Plan is currently being developed by Regional Sport Victoria, in collaboration with the 9 Regional Sports Assemblies, and led by Michelle Harris at GippSport Community Solutions. This plan will identify the key measures involved in gender equity outcomes within Regional Sport Assemblies, with a view to being an industry leading framework for other sporting organisations to consult and potentially adopt.
“A key starting point in this project has been the initial research and then implementation of a gender audit which included two distinct surveys. Firstly, all the staff were asked to complete an individual survey and each Executive Officer completed an organisational audit for their Regional Sports Assembly. The results to date have been very pleasing across a range of measures” reported Michelle Harris. “There are good policies and practices in place and staff feel that there is a genuine commitment to inclusive workplaces. There is sound representation by women on the RSA boards and gender equity understanding and promotion both internally and externally is being done well”.
The next step in the process is further consultation with staff across the network to develop Gender Equity Actions that will cover, boards, workplaces, training & development, advocacy and program design. It is hoped that the Plan will be ready for Early 2022.
Regional Sport Victoria look forward to sharing the Gender Equity Action Plan with the wider industry, promoting sustained, enduring, and measurable action across the sector.