Female influencers inspire sports next wave of leaders

La Trobe University and the AFL Players’ Association inspired the next generation of corporate and community leaders in sport at our latest symposium, ‘Sport Wants You’, in front of a sold-out room at the La Trobe University City Campus on Wednesday 14 November.

The intimate panel event gave the platform to some of sports most influential women to shed light on the ongoing effort to improve gender equality and diversity in the industry.

‘Be prepared to make mistakes and be ordinary,’ said panelist Doctor Bridie O’Donnell, Head of the Office for Women in Sport and Recreation, reflecting on what she sees as a key attribute to success when women start in and make the transition into sport.

O’Donnell was joined by Head of AFLW and Olympian, Nicole Livingstone, and Fox Sports AFL Journalist and Digital Producer Sarah Olle, in a panel moderated by Australian Financial Review Top 100 women of influence, and founder of Advancing Women, Michelle Redfern.

The trio shared personal tips discovered from navigating their diverse careers.  Key takeouts for the audience included learning to accept honest criticism, finding a mentor, and balancing theory and practical experience.

Post-event, Redfern and the panel continued to network and offer advice to attendees.  Guests included CEO of our industry partner The Melbourne Rebels, Baden Stephenson, and CEO of Vicsport Lisa Hasker, who also made themselves available to provide insights to women considering their move into sport.

La Trobe University is committed to creating equal opportunities for women to play, work, study, and research sport.  In 2018, the University launched a suite of scholarships aimed at bridging the gender gap in under-represented sport-related degrees.

‘Sport Wants You’ is the third and final installment of La Trobe University and The AFL Players’ Association’s 2018 symposium series. This year’s series also focused on the prevalence of injuries in women’s sport and the commercialisation of the industry.

Photo: Alex Johnston

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