Vision: No more 'grass ceiling' in football in Australia

We are an open, member-based association for women and men to coalesce and collaborate to advance and advocate for women in football. 


  • To address the lack of gender diversity in senior positions within the professional and semi-professional football industry.

  • To work with our members and the football industry to ensure that suitably qualified women are fairly and equitably considered for work within the football industry.

  • To examine and address the barriers faced by women wanting to work within the football industry.

  • To address the lack of professional development, mentoring and/or networking within the industry.

  • To take action to ensure that the new policies in place regarding enhanced gender representation in football result in genuine progress and outcomes for all girls and women, and not just a few.


The Challenge

Data from the Australian Human Rights Commission shows that:

  • Women and girls make up over half (50.7%) of the Australian population.

  • Although women comprise about 47% of all employees in Australia, they take home on average $251.20 less than men each week (in full-time adult ordinary earnings).

  • The national gender pay gap is 15.3% and has been stuck between 15% and 19% for the past 20 years.

  • Although female graduates outnumber males at record levels, on average, Australian women have to work an extra 56 days a year to earn the same pay as men for doing the same work.

  • Australian women are over-represented in part-time work in low-paid industries and in insecure work.

  • On average, women spend 64 per cent of their working week performing unpaid care work and they spend almost twice as many hours performing such work each week compared with men.

  • 1 in 2 women have experienced sexual harassment in their lifetime.

  • Australian women continue to be under-represented in leadership roles in the private and public sectors. Only 5% of CEOs in the ASX200 are women and 24% of directors in the ASX200 are women.

  • In 2017, Australia was ranked 35th on a global index measuring gender equality, dropping from a high point of 15th in 2006.

There has been recent (July 2020) improvement in the representation of women on Boards at the highest levels of football administration in Australia, but there is a long road to travel to ensure the 40:40:20 composition is achieved throughout the football ecosystem:

  • Five state member federations (MF) meet the relevant requirements of the FFA Constitution.

  • The worst performing MF has only 12.5% representation from women on its Board.

  • FFA currently has 50%.

  • The A-League clubs are worse with with only four clubs having one woman Board member. In two instances, they are on the Board as Company Secretary.

  • The ‘best’ performing A-League clubs reach 33% female representation but only because these clubs have only three Board members.

  • Six of the A-League clubs have no women Board members at all. 

  • There is not one woman Chairman of an A-League club, nor a woman CEO.

  • Two of the smaller MFs appointed a woman Chairman for the first time in 2019.

  • In the ranks of senior management of the FFA, state MFs and A-League clubs - to the extent that it is possible to tell - it is also dire in terms of gender and cultural diversity. 

  • Although there is now a FFA Women's Council, its members are drawn from the same pool of people 'approved' by men in power and already in positions or a partnership with MFs, clubs or other Congress members - with one exception. 

"The fact that there are so few women in key decision-making positions in the game has an impact throughout the game, and particularly grassroots.

It is grassroots where real change must happen. No professional sport can survive and prosper without strong grassroots. Of itself, this brings inclusivity, it grows interest in the sport, it is the source of future players, coaches and officials, and it helps enhance credibility and reputation."

Bonita Mersiades (in a speech at the Danish Institute of Sport Studies, 2013)

Women in Football Australia Inc.

PO Box 174


ABN:  45 805 287 901


©2020 Women in Football