The gender gap is a hot talking point these days, whether it’s the pay gap, the opportunity gap or low female representation in senior roles. It’s a very public argument being played out in Hollywood, politics and in boardrooms around Australia. But few would expect the gender gap to be debated on suburban cricket pitches far from the limelight.
One organisation determined to make a difference in gender representation is Stage and Screen client, Cricket Australia. Earlier this year the ten bodies of Australian Cricket released its first Press for Progress Report, which brings transparency and accountability to cricket’s ambition to be Australia’s leading sport for women and girls.
The report revealed some surprising statistics, including the fact that the number of all-girls community cricket teams has increased by 357% in the past two years. This impressive jump in participation coincides with the popularity of the BBL (KFC Big Bash League) – and more importantly, the WBBL (rebel Women’s Big Bash League). With more women now taking to the pitch at an elite level – and their games being seen live on TV – a whole new generation of female sporting heroes are inspiring girls and boys to take up the game.
Now girls can grow up knowing that it is possible to strive for a career in cricket and, most importantly, to be able to support themselves as the pay gap continues to narrow. Cricket Australia has been working hard to bring about meaningful change, as evidenced by the new equity pay model implemented as part of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) finalised in 2017. This made cricket a clear leader in the remuneration of its athletes, with all elite cricketers now earning the same base rate regardless of their gender.
Fast forward to March 2020 and Cricket Australia is set to host the ICC Women's World T20, which will be the largest women's sports event seen in Australia. Cricket Australia is excited to admit it has a lot invested in this day, as they recognise that the future of cricket lies in promoting equality.