Club and Community | 08 March 2023
Swimming Australia joins worldwide call to #EmbraceEquity
Swimming Australia is proud to join the millions worldwide in celebrating International Women’s Day (IWD).
The 2023 theme, #EmbraceEquity, asks us to imagine a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. A world that’s diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated.
One of the many IWD missions to help forge a gender equal world is to celebrate women’s achievement and those forging change, and Australian swimming is fortunate to have countless examples of incredible female success, both in and out of the water.
This past year alone has provided a number of highlights, showcasing Swimming Australia’s commitment to global best practice.
In the administration, 80% of the Swimming Australia Executive Leadership Team, and two thirds of the Board of Directors features inspiring female leaders, including the President, Chief Executive Officer and High Performance Director.
From a broader employment perspective, women account for 52% of Swimming Australia staff, 57.5% of the national Technical Officials workforce and 38% of the staff across all National teams in 2022.
In the water the numbers are just as impressive.
Female medals comprised 39% of overall team performance at the 2022 World Para Swimming Championships in Portugal, 57% at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games and an incredible 65% at the World Aquatics Championships in Budapest last June.
The pathway for female coaches also continues to grow, inspired by those Women selected to senior National teams this past year including Mel Tantrum, Janelle Pallister, Amanda Isaac, Deb Jones and newly appointed Paralympic Program Head Coach Kate Sparkes, with 42% female coaches across the entire Swimming Australia accredited system.
Of most significance might be the overwhelming popularity of the sport among females more broadly, with 60% female representation across Swimming Australia’s membership reflective of swimming’s position as the most popular sport for females aged 15+ according to the AusPlay National Sport and Physical Activity Participation Report.
Swimming Australia CEO, Eugénie Buckley, believes female achievement is playing a central role in the continued rise of swimming in the Australian sporting landscape.
“Society has moved forward from women having to succeed in a man’s world and, in many respects, the achievements of women in our sport, both past and present and in and out of the water, have cemented our position as Australia’s most popular Olympic and Paralympic sport,” Buckley said.
“Our female champions like Emma McKeon, Ariarne Titmus, Lucky Patterson, Katja Dedekind, Mollie O’Callaghan and Kaylee McKeown are amongst the most admired and respected personalities in Australian sport – further driving the conversation around equity and parity across the community.”
“Our work will never be complete, there will always be more to be done to eliminate gender bias and grow more progressive mindsets and inclusive behaviours, but we are very proud of the achievements of women across our sport and will never shy away from championing those whose success inspires meaningful change.”