In March 2015 the NRL established the Women in League Sub-Committee, bringing together passionate individuals from across the game – the NRL, Clubs, State Leagues, partners and fans – to increase the representation of women and girls and to drive the Women in League strategy across all levels of the game.
One of the first priorities of the WIL Sub-Committee was to contribute to the development of a comprehensive and integrated Women in League strategy. To ensure such a strategy accurately reflected the needs of the game, the Women in League Sub-Committee was keen to hear directly from the women of the game – what the game was currently doing well and what opportunities existed to achieve better outcomes for females.
In late 2015, females from the NRL, NRL Clubs and State Leagues were contacted and 221 responded to the survey, providing their perspective and views.
The key findings of the Women in League survey are outlined below:
Key Statistics of the females surveyed:
• 1 in 3 are aged 28 or under
• 51 per cent hold a bachelor's degree or higher
• 1 in 3 hold business administration roles in their clubs
What is important to Women in League?
• Good leadership, as demonstrated through recognising and rewarding achievements and behaviours; provide vision and purpose; an ability to create an organisational culture; effective communication; and passion and dedication.
• To achieve senior management positions
• To exceed their current job expectations
• To develop personally and professionally.
There are a number of challenges facing Women in League
• 79 per cent of women believe women in sport are portrayed with bias by the media.
• 45 per cent of respondents perceived gender bias and 20 per cent perceived male dominance as the most significant challenges for them as females involved in the game.
• Despite their desire to progress their careers, only 54 per cent of women had development plans.
The outcomes and findings of the survey will now be used to shape the Women in League strategy which will set ambitious and significant targets for the game to achieve from 2016 through to 2020.