Australian Sports Technologies Network (ASTN) and Women in Sports Tech (WiST) have launched a new report, ‘Paving the Way for Sports Innovation in Australia,’ honouring more than 100 women driving sports innovation.
The list focuses on Australian women working at the intersection of data, digital, and technology in sports performance, business, and digitisation.
Like the broader community, despite strong participation, research indicates that women lead less than 5% of sports startups in Australia.
ASTN General Manager, Cam Vale, said that the ASTN-WiST Power 100+ list recognises women at the heart of Australia’s billion-dollar sportstech industry.
“We are building one of the world’s most advanced and integrated sports innovations ecosystems, and women in sports innovation must be a top strategic priority over the next decade as we move towards the Brisbane 2032 Summer Olympic Games,” Vale said.
The full report can be downloaded from here.
The list breaks down its high achievers into several categories, including emerging leaders – government and policy, sports organisations, high performance sport and universities The government and C-level executive category includes Olympic gold medalist Natalie Cook, the first Australian woman to compete at five Olympic Games, now a Brisbane 2032 Organising Committee director.
Also on the list is her fellow Brisbane Organising Committee board member Dr. Sarah Kelly, who’s also a director at Sports Diplomacy Alliance and Brisbane Lions AFL club.
Female startup founders are well represented in the entrepreneurs and fast growth companies category, including Fempro Armour CEO, Stephanie Bofinger; Cipher Sports Technology cofounder, Katie Prowd; DMC Sport CEO, Louise Gale; and STATS Perform’s Cricket Data Executive, Madeleine Chick.
The industry sports executives category includes Tech Council of Australia board member, Kate Jones, an NRL commissioner and Australian Paralympics director.
From the listing of the founder of Women in Sports WA, Karen Hennessy, and the Chief Technology Officer of Football Australia, Jen Simpson
The selection of ‘mentions Deakin University’s senior sports lecturer, Dr. Lyndell Bruce; professor of biomechanics at the University of Wollongong, Julie Steele; and Sports Director at the Queensland University of Technology, Olympian Emily Rosemond, among others.
The list acknowledges, among others, the Australian Institute of Sport’s (AIS) National Lead in Performance Analysis, Alison Alcock.
According to research, inclusivity is crucial for innovation, and teams with gender diversity have a 25% higher chance of generating above-average revenue and profits.
WiST CEO and an experienced leader in the sportstech industry for over 12 years, Marilou McFarlane, says that today, nearly all job seekers consider DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) focus as a requirement, not just a preference.
“Leadership sets the tone, and we are delighted to support ASTN’s efforts with specific programs that have proven to provide tangible results over the last six years with over 30 corporate partners, including Nike, the NBA, Comcast NBC Sports, IBM Sports, Titleist, the USOPC and more,” she said.
Vale said they are proud to partner with WiST to shift the culture of sportstech in Australia.
“Women are still highly unrepresented across the local sportstech sector, and the industry must work together to do more to inspire our next generation of female entrepreneurs and remove barriers,” she said.
“We have a long way to go, but by working closely with WiST, we hope to help change the ratio and drive real industry change.”
ASTN and WiST are working together to build specialised programs and activities for 2023 – including the launch of ‘Fireside Chats’ with the first webinar, ‘Culture Matters,’ held on 22nd March 2023.
You can register here to join the conversation.