AIS and Sport Australia look to increase leadership depth and diversity in sport


The Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) is calling on talented leaders to apply for the latest intake of the AIS Talent Programs to address the underrepresentation of women in decision-making roles in Australian sport.

Applications are now open for the 2020 programs that support women in identifying opportunities and removing barriers for personal and professional development and to increase the number of women in these roles in Australian sport.

Two programs will be offered again in 2020, one for high-performance coaching talent and one for sport executives, and will be delivered concurrently at the AIS throughout the year.

Advising that the nation-wide program was a direct investment in elevating more women into visible leadership positions, Sport Australia Chief Executive, Kate Palmer stated “advances continue to be made for elite female athletes in Australia and across many areas of gender diversity. This must be matched by opportunities for women in other areas of sport, particularly in executive and high performance coaching positions where representation is still too low.

”The talent is absolutely there. Australia has a pipeline of passionate, talented women who are inspired to lead and drive change in this sector. But doors and minds must be opened to help them reach their potential.

“These programs helps build depth and diversity by equipping women with the skills to progress to executive and senior coaching jobs and challenge the status quo.”

AIS CEO Peter Conde said a diverse range of women embracing the program in its first year was encouraging, adding “17 coaches and 16 executives were selected from more than 250 applicants to participate in the inaugural program in 2019.

“We supported a talented group of women in 2019 including former Matilda Tal Karp, Australian Football coach Michelle Cowan, Melbourne Rebels Super W Head Coach Alana Thomas and journalist Sam Lane.

“The lack of women in high performance coaching roles is still an issue across all sports and the AIS is leading the way to support systemic changes.

 “Not only does diversity increase the talent pool, innovation and retention, but it’s critical for young women to see role models holding these positions so they see coaching as an option.”

The AIS Talent Program is supported by the Women Leaders in Sport grant provided to Sport Australia by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet’s Women’s Leadership and Development Program. The grant also supports the Women Leaders in Sport (WLIS) program, established in 2002 to provide grants and workshops to female administrators, coaches and officials in sport.

Candidates can apply for the program via ais.gov.au/coach-and-executive-development/talent-programs, with positions available for 16 executive and 16 high performance coaches.

Applications close at 5pm on 23rd December 2019.

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