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Where does Australia sit on the women coaches league table?

Looking on the bright side, last season the number of women W-League coaches doubled since the previous season. From one to two. That is, in 2020/21 season 22% of head coaches in Australia’s top women’s league were women. The recent appointment of Catherine Cannulli as head coach of Western Sydney Wanderers is a good sign for next season.

But Australia is still off the pace of the leading nation for first-tier league women coaches. We ranked equal fourth out of twelve leagues surveyed.

England is on top of this league table with 50% of their top flight managers/coaches being women in the season just completed. And actually this is somewhat of a drop over the course of the season. Early in the season 67% of FAWSL head coaches (managers) were women.

In casual conversation many people are surprised to hear of the poor rate of women coaches in traditional women's football strongholds in Europe, such as Germany which has finished last in this "league".

The English WSL - which is a pretty decent league - has set the benchmark. But clearly more thought needs to go into why there is a differential between leagues. What are the success factors for women coaches? Are the barriers to their appointment technical, cultural, political or economic? Women Onside will continue to research and analyse the situation for women coaches and advocate for them at all levels.


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