2. Understand the business case for gender diversity
Video taken on Oct 30, 2019, 11:41 AM

Case for change video 2


Unlocking the benefits of gender diversity

Gender diversity is not just the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do.

Increasing gender diversity in sport and recreation organisations requires a change in policies, practices and behaviour.

Without change, the number of women in leadership roles, directorships and female participation rates are unlikely to increase significantly.

The gender diversity case for change

Gender diversity generates benefits in four key areas for all organisations, which will provide your organisation with a strategic advantage:

  1. Attract and retain top talent
  2. Enhance organisational performance
  3. Platform for growth
  4. Meet community expectations

Increased gender diversity on Boards is linked to improved organisational and financial performance, enhanced governance and stronger culture and morale.

When driving change, it is important to get all stakeholders aligned and sharing the same vision. One way of doing this is by developing your own gender diversity case for change.

  • Attract and retain top talent
  • Enhance organisational performance
  • Platform for growth
  • Meet community expectations

Creating a case for change

Case for Change templates are available on the department’s website for both small and large organisations to use as a guide for developing your organisation’s own unique case for change.

It also provides you with helpful areas to consider when developing your case for change.

  • The case for change should be used to create the desire to change, and ‘make it real’ for your people.
  • It translates the need for change into practical terms that are meaningful and relevant to your organisation and its stakeholders.
  • Sport and recreation organisations need to invest in building the case for change with Board members and leaders within the organisation.
  • Developing a unique case for change will provide the organisation with a reference point for the change, which helps to:
    • Align stakeholders around a vision and the reasons for change
    • Aid decision-making and prioritisation
    • Provide key messages to communicate about the importance of increased gender diversity.

Creating your organisation’s own case for change

Choose the case for change template relevant to the size of your organisation to develop your own organisation’s unique case for change.

Put the case for change template on the agenda for your next board or committee meeting to build alignment and understanding amongst your leaders and your stakeholders.

Involving your stakeholders in discussions about why it is important to increase gender diversity and what that looks like is far more likely to build awareness and understanding than one-way communications. Your stakeholders will know what key messages appeal to them.

Refer to the example completed gender diversity case for change on the following page to assist.

Gender Diversity Case for Change example

Background/current state

  • Our member base closely resembles a 50/50 gender balance but this is not reflected in leadership roles.
  • The majority of board members are male and most board members have been on the board for over 5 years continuously.
  • Participation rates have plateaued and organisational performance has not improved for several years.
  • Our concerns regarding a lack of gender diversity relate to being non-inclusive of everyone passionate about the sport and interested in making a difference in our sporting organisation.

Future State vision and objectives

  • Our goal is to achieve gender diversity on our board so that it reflects the community in which we operate and enables diversity of thought on the board by introducing with new perspectives.
  • We imagine that increasing gender diversity could lead to a wider community participation in the sport, attracting and retaining more members and generating more revenue.

Changes and change impacts


  • 50/50 gender diverse board
  • Increased participation by 20%

Change impact

  • The change is required across all levels of the organisation. The board will need to understand the gender diversity case for change and role model inclusive behaviours to drive the change.
  • This change requires calling out bad behaviour, communication messages that are conscious of gender specific language and terminology used and reviewing existing current systems and processes in place to ensure that this can enable, rather than create barriers to the changes required.



  • 50/50 gender diverse board
  • Increased participation by 20%


  • Increased employee engagement

Risks, issues and implications


  • Existing board members may resist potential changes in the Board member term limits or nominations process which could be a barrier to a change that needs to be addressed by the Board and leadership more broadly.
  • This risk may be mitigated by agreeing gender diversity on the Board as a clear strategic objective within the organisation’s Strategic Plan and clearly communicating this with members of the organisation and the broader public would create accountability to ensure that this is achieved.

Level of risk

Moderate risk

Making the case for change real for your organisation

The case for change should be used to create the desire to change, and ‘make it real’ for your people. You can ensure this is communicated by:

  • Distilling the key messages throughout the organisation.
  • Implementing the agreed upon actions.
  • Regularly communicating the case for change by engaging your organisation and member base.

What you should do

  • Assign responsibilities to someone to develop the organisation’s unique case for change
  • Complete the case for change template, available on the department’s website
  • Encourage all board members, committee members or equivalent to visibly advocate and champion the business case for gender diversity
  • Where further support is required, consider potential workshops or training for all board members and access further support information on the department’s website.


Page reviewed 16 October 2020