Australia’s 50 most influential women in sport will be named in a cross-platform content series by Nine’s Wide World of Sports, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.
Set against the backdrop of International Women’s Day on Wednesday, Nine’s publishing and digital brands have combined to determine not only the women who inspire but also those with the most powerful voices, who shape the conversation, flow of money and strategic direction of sport in Australia.
A diverse range of women – including Anna Meares (#22), Jesinta Franklin (#42), Meg Lanning (#45) and Emma McKeon (#25) – are being published as a countdown over five days, concluding with the top 10 on International Women’s Day, Wednesday March 8.
The judging panel of 10 female journalists includes Wide World of Sports’ Roz Kelly, The Age sports editor Chloe Saltau, the Herald’s chief rugby reporter Georgina Robinson and Today’s news and entertainment presenter Brooke Boney.
From athletes to sports administrators, journalists to sports agents and sponsors, the top 50 will provide a snapshot of who is responsible for creating the environment in which the next generation of Australian athletes will thrive.
“The biggest players in Australian sport right now are not necessarily running out onto the field every weekend, setting world records or collecting gold medals,” said Wide World of Sports presenter Roz Kelly.
“The fact it was such a challenge to compile the list shows we are moving in the right direction when it comes to female representation at board level and positions of power in Australian sport. But we still have a long way to go. We hope the list sparks healthy debate and encourages not just sporting organisations, but all businesses to break up the ‘boys clubs’ and work harder toward achieving equality.”
The Age’s sports editor Chloe Saltau, added: “Some of the women on our list are household names, but the point of this list is that many of them operate in the background, making decisions about where the money goes, which sports appear on TV, toughing out negotiations, or even making sure your footy team gets on the field in the middle of a pandemic.”
WWOS.com.au editor Ben Glover said: “It’s vital that we acknowledge the significant contribution women are making to change the landscape in what has been a male dominated industry. This project does that, and demonstrates the enormous amount of talent driving sport in Australia.”
The Sydney Morning Herald head of sport Ian Fuge said: “We want to mark International Women’s Day with a significant project that recognises the importance of women to sport in this country, not only as participants but as administrators, decision-makers, policy-setters and influencers.”
“It was no small task to narrow down an impressive field to a meaningful top 50 and we decided the best way to do this was to draw on the expertise across the Nine ecosystem in a collaboration between Wide World Of Sports, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.”
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