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SBD Global/April 5, 2013/Olympics

Australian Olympic Committee Hires Three Women To Board In Quest For Gender Equity

The campaign for gender equity on Australian sports boards "gained momentum" Thursday when the Australian Olympic Committee announced "three women Olympians were to join its board," according to Nicole Jeffery of THE AUSTRALIAN. The AOC exec board "will approach gender parity" when Nicole Livingstone, Kitty Chiller and Danielle Woodward are elected unopposed next month, reaching the 40% target federal Sports Minister Kate Lundy "has set for sport." Their inclusion "will lift female representation on the AOC board to five of 12 elected positions." Long-serving board member Helen Brownlee "will also be elevated" to VP following the retirement of Ron Harvey. Livingstone said that the AOC "needed to move towards gender equity." Livingstone: "Sometimes women do have a different approach and thought process and that can help on all sporting boards." AOC President John Coates has pushed for greater gender balance on his board and said the three newcomers "have so much to offer" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 4/5).

GENDER SHIFT: BLOOMBERG's Dan Baynes reported the shift "echoes similar moves in cricket, rugby union and rugby league to have more women among the decision makers in Australian sports." Catherine Harris, the chair of Australia’s largest independent fresh produce retailer, "was appointed to the inaugural Australian Rugby League Commission last year." The Australian Rugby Union named cruise ship operator Carnival Australia CEO Ann Sherry as its first female director in July, while former Ericsson Australia Managing Dir Jacquie Hey "broke the 107-year male domination of Cricket Australia’s board in October when she became its first female independent director" (BLOOMBERG, 4/3). In Sydney, Samantha Lane reported the Australia Sports Commission, in the ''Winning Edge'' strategy it unveiled last year to address the plummeting performance in Australian sport, said that "sporting boards should be at least 40 per cent women, arguing that diversity makes them better and stronger" (THE AGE 4/5).
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Olympics, Australia

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