The report takes its name from the theme for International Women’s Day 2018, Press for Progress, which calls for each of us to think, act and be gender inclusive.
The report, which was developed following the release of the Australian Cricket Strategy in 2017, clearly outlines how Australian Cricket is performing in five key areas:
- Gender diversity in the Australian cricket workforce
- Development of a sustainable participation base
- The elite talent pathway
- Growth of women’s elite cricket
- Women and girls as fans
Commenting on the release of the Press for Progress Report, WACA CEO Christina Matthews said:
“The WACA has been at the forefront of driving gender equity within the organisation, with women accounting for 30% of directors, 50% of executive management and over 40% of the total workforce.
“I strongly believe a diverse workforce equates to improved performance across all areas of the business, including the programs we run and services we provide to our Members and the wider community.
“By encouraging women into cricket, both in the office and on the local cricket pitch, we’re opening ourselves up to new opportunities and ideas, while also increasing our ability to meet the needs of the diverse background of people which cricket brings together.
“The future of cricket lies in achieving strong and sustainable female participation, which can only be done by making sure cricket clubs are welcoming and enjoyable places to be.
“We currently have 40 cricket clubs across the state which have girls teams, nine associations with all-girls competition, over 100 all-girls community teams, approximately 30,000 girls registered in school programs in 2017-18 and 231 women playing club cricket.
“These are incredible results, but ones which we are looking forward to challenging and continuing to improve on so we can work towards making cricket a sport for all.”
Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland said:
“The Press for Progress Report reinforces our commitment for cricket to become a gender equal sport, and the importance we continue to place upon women and girls as we look towards the future. The report is about more than just talking about what we as a sport need to do to achieve our ambition to become the leading sport for women and girls. It provides transparency about the progress we are making.
“Our intention is to release an update of this report annually to demonstrate where we are, and aren’t, making progress to close the gap between where we are, and where we want to be. Our public commitment today ensures we will remain open and accountable to ourselves and to the wider community.
“Australian Cricket recognises that equality is the future of cricket, and while women have always been a part of the sport, we know that more still needs to be done to truly make cricket a sport for all.
“We’re proud that we can point to several successes over the past few years as an indication that we are making meaningful steps to achieving our goal.
“The number of all-girls community cricket teams has increased by 357% in the past two years, the growing popularity of the BBL and WBBL has seen record numbers of girls and women enjoying elite cricket, many for the first time, and the introduction of the WBBL also creating a host of new sporting heroes for young girls and boys around the country.
“The new equity pay model implemented as part of the MOU last year cemented cricket’s leadership in the remuneration of its athletes, and means all elite cricketers earn the same base rate, regardless of gender.
“At the same time, we are under no illusion that we still have significant ground to cover if we are to be successful in our ambitions, and a key element of the Press For Progress Report is to call out those areas. For example, this inaugural report shows that more needs be done to increase the representation of women working across Australian cricket, from the board level down, with women currently making up just 34% of our workforce.
“Our data also shows that while there have been gains in the number of associations offering all-girls competitions, the majority of female participation is still via school-based sampling programs, rather than a sustainable playing base.
“We also have significant ground to cover in growing the women’s elite game to where we want it, with our stated target for the ICC Women’s World T20 2020 to be the largest women’s sports event seen in Australia.
“Last but not least, with women and girls representing half of all Australians, there is also clearly room for improvement in ensuring our elite matches are entertaining to all.
“I hope that all those involved with cricket in this country can take this report as an opportunity to reflect honestly on where we need to redouble our efforts, celebrate where we are making progress, and recognise the significant opportunity we have to make cricket a sport for all.”
A copy of the Press for Progress Report can be downloaded here.