There is a significant gap in the funding, recognition and support given to women’s sport in Australia in comparison to what’s provided to men’s sport. Despite the success of our female athletes on the world stage, their ability to attract corporate sponsorship is in no way equal to their male peers and this translates into much lower remuneration levels on and off the sports field.
One of the ways this can change is by corporates committing to include women’s sport as part of their hospitality and events calendar, in the same way they so often do for men’s. I’ve been invited to quite literally dozens of sporting events over the course of my career, but I’ve not once received an invitation to a women’s sport event, unless you count the tennis, which at least is a mixed event rather than solely male focused.
As a healthcare company with an 82% female workforce, we’ve made a decision to actively get involved in supporting women’s sport at a corporate level and the Queensland Firebirds have provided a great opportunity to do just that. Even better, our introduction to the Firebirds corporate supporter program came via Business Chicks, illustrating yet again the value of networking programs for women in business and their ability to not only connect like minded women, but see that translate into deals and partnerships.
We put the message out to our Brisbane-based teams and were overwhelmed with the level of interest expressed in attending the games, so much so that we had to go back to the Firebirds with a request to increase our support to accommodate the demand!
At the season opener last Sunday we not only had a brilliant time watching the match but also loved how thrilled people were about the fact that the company they worked for was now officially supporting women’s sport.
The Firebirds might not have left the court as the winners that day, but we certainly felt like we had delivered a win for our business (and just to show we’re not sore losers, we contacted the West Coast Fever this week to see how our WA teams could get involved with supporting them this season).