11 March 2020

Rugby Australia slammed after latest board nominations fail to include any women

Rugby Australia has been criticised by leading business and sports figures after their latest round of board nominations failed to include any women.

This means that Salesforce ANZ chief executive Pip Marlow is the only female on CEO Raelene Castle's board, a slash in representation from two years ago when former Australian Sex Discrimination Commissioner Liz Broderick and Carnival Australia chair Ann Sherry were also members.

The latest nominees are Supercars chairman Peter Wiggs, former Wallaby Daniel Herbert and ex-Virgin Australia boss Brett Godfrey, who are set to join the board at the end of March.

Sherry dubbed Monday's nominations a 'tragedy and a missed opportunity' and added: "I read about the nominations coming off the back of spending Sunday night at the MCG watching the women's cricket.

"No one would have imagined [it] was possible and even Cricket Australia probably didn't believe [it] was possible, but they've completely shifted their position on the women's game and made history."

Cricket was one of the first to launch a professional full-time women's programme, including a groundbreaking pregnancy policy and pay parity in professional entry-level contracts for men and women.

"You can’t have women in the game rendered voiceless, and it feels like we’re going back into the past, not into the future," said Sherry.

Her sentiments were echoed by Australian Diamonds legend Liz Ellis who said: "If you’re serious about running your women’s program well you have to have women in key decision-making positions up to and including the board."

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