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Empowering Change: Gender Equality in Sports Media

In a groundbreaking initiative, the Office for Women in Sport and Recreation, in collaboration with Isentia, has unveiled "The Conversation of Sport: Representation of Women in Sports News Coverage 2022-23." This pivotal research highlights a stark reality: only 15% of sports news coverage in Victoria focused on women's sports in 2022-23. While "The Conversation of Sport" report focuses specifically on Victoria, it's reasonable to consider its findings reflective of broader trends in Australian sports media. The underrepresentation and surface-level coverage of women's sports highlighted in Victoria are likely indicative of a nationwide challenge. Such underrepresentation not only perpetuates gender stereotypes but also significantly hampers the professionalisation and visibility of women's sports.

The report's findings revealed a concerning issue in sports media: for every piece of news covering women's sports, there are 5.4 pieces covering men's sports. This disproportionate coverage creates an environment that celebrates male athletes as leaders and heroes while inadvertently sidelining female athletes. This imbalance perpetuates stereotypes and undermines the significance of women in sports at both community and elite levels.

Addressing this gap is not just about correcting the numbers but also about changing the narrative around women in sports. It requires creating a more inclusive, fair sporting culture that celebrates achievements regardless of gender. The report offers recommendations to drive systemic change across the media and sports sectors, urging stakeholders to foster gender equality actively.

The road to gender-balanced sports coverage is long, and projections suggest that it may not be achieved until 2048 at the current pace. This is a call to action, a plea for immediate, impactful changes. We must move beyond talk to tangible action, helping media and sporting organisations to increase coverage of women's sports.

In essence, we have the power to reshape the sports media landscape. By advocating for and implementing the recommendations outlined in the report, we can collectively accelerate the journey towards gender equality in sports media. Let's not wait until 2048. The time for change is now. Let's work together to ensure that women's achievements in sports are celebrated and honoured, reflecting the diverse talent within our sporting communities. Join us in championing a future where gender equality in sports media is not an aspiration but a reality.


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