Lauren Jackson to head up Women and Girls Strategy for Basketball Australia

27/09/2021

Women on Boards has welcomed the news that Australian basketball legend Lauren Jackson AO OLY is set to take on a new strategic role with Basketball Australia, with gender equality in the sport her main focus.

 

Reporting to the CEO Lauren will have direct responsibility for delivering the Women and Girls Strategy, Government relations and broader strategic partnerships.

WOB Executive Chair, and past Chair of Basketball Australia’s Nominations Committee, Ruth Medd, praised BA in choosing the four-time Olympian for the role.

“WOB has a very keen interest in women in sport and particularly women in sports leadership. It is pleasing that Basketball Australia is putting appropriate resources into further developing women’s basketball. Choosing Lauren Jackson to lead the effort is commendable."

“An added impetus for Basketball Australia is their hosting of the world’s best female basketballers representing 12 countries, for the 2022 FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup which will take place in Sydney next year.”

Lauren has been leading the WNBL, Australia’s premier women’s basketball league for the past two years focusing on greater professionalism and sustainability of the League.

Under her leadership, the WNBL has posted record broadcast numbers, signed off on an inaugural Collective Bargaining Agreement and introduced the first ever Total Player Payment System.

Lauren has a passion for promoting and elevating women in sport whether that be through them playing, coaching, refereeing, or administering the game. In addition to her stellar playing career, Lauren has pursued academic qualifications in gender and diversity to further enhance her ability to enact change.

Basketball Australia CEO, Matt Scriven, said the Women and Girls Strategy is of the highest priority for the organisation. “We are committed to increasing visibility, enhancing environments, and improving pathways and access. I’m excited to announce that Lauren, an emerging executive leader, will bring this strategy to life with her passion and genuine care for women and will drive meaningful outcomes that significantly impact our sport.”

This month, Lauren was also officially enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, the only Australian player to hold the honour.

“I’m incredibly honoured to become a Hall of Famer, I’m speechless to be honest, I started my playing journey wanting to be the best player I could be, now my focus is to ensure success for the next generation of girls,” said Lauren.

“There is no doubt we have a lot to do to close the gender gap and provide more opportunities for women and girls, as a sport we aren’t alone. Having spent time working with all levels of governments I’m very heartened by their commitment to putting numbers to success and funding programs that make a difference. In my new role the goal is simple: provide more opportunities for more girls through funding, advocacy, resourcing and mentoring.”

Cadbury gets in on the game

In other news Cadbury has teamed up with Australia's peak national advocacy body for Women in Sport to celebrate female athletes.

For the first time in Australian history, Cadbury is featuring four female athletes on its Dairy Milk block to increase the visibility of women in sport.

The ambassador's featured on  the pack include Richmond Football Club and AFLW role model Akec Makur Chuot, Matildas star defender Alanna Kennedy, Sydney Roosters player and 2019 Dally M Women’s Player of the Year Jessica Sergis and Australian Young Cricketer of the Year Tayla Vlaeminck.

With one in two girls dropping out of sports by the age of 15, Cadbury wants to increase the visibility of female athletes and put these inspirational role models front and centre in households across Australia.

“We believe that sport should be enjoyed by all, which is why we’re committed to increasing the visibility of women’s sport and supporting the next generation to realise what’s possible. For the first time in our history, we’re also proud to be using our most iconic chocolate block to profile four trailblazing female athletes and their achievements – for all Australians to see!” said Jessica Finger, marketing manager – equity and sponsorships at Mondel─ôz International.

Further reading

Read WOB's Gender Balance in Global Sports reports here
Read The Champions of Change Sport Group’s Pathway to Gender Equality in Sport: Progress Report 2019-2020 here.

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