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AFL and sponsors discuss the importance of diversity and inclusion


WORK180Mar 19, 2020

With the 2020 Toyota AFL Premiership Season about to kick off and the NAB AFLW competition starting finals this week, we spoke to members of the AFL community about the importance of diversity and inclusion in Australian workplaces – from the boardroom to the sporting field.

The role of women in both sports and business is changing. Sporting clubs and bodies are becoming more and more focused on increasing diversity in players, employees and supporters. While corporate Australia is also working towards building fairer and more gender diverse and inclusive workplaces, and creating equal opportunities and removing barriers for women.

We asked the AFL, clubs and partners to share the business impact of building gender diverse teams, the significance of supporting the AFL, and how becoming a WORK180 Endorsed Employer is an important step in their commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive workplace.

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AFL – General Manager of People, Sarah Fair

“I’m incredibly proud of the progress we’ve made towards gender equality in recent years at the AFL.

“Our approach to creating an inclusive and equal AFL workforce has been about engaging both men and women in honest and real conversations about what we stand for, what we value and most importantly what we need to change.

“While we have had some challenges along the way, these moments have created opportunities for conversation, for learnings and for change.

Becoming a WORK180 Endorsed Employer is another positive step in our commitment to becoming a globally recognised employer that’s progressive, inclusive and diverse.

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Carlton & United Breweries (CUB) – National Partnerships Manager, Kim Sharpe (Sharpey)

“I'm a real believer that bringing together a diverse group of people results in stronger outcomes. I see this every day in my current role.”

“I think it is so important that we continue to attract all types of people and promote the best talent in our company. The benefits are endless for us all.”

The team I work in now is the most diverse I have ever experienced, and I have to say it is by far the most creative. The ideas that are coming out of this team are wild... Everyone is challenged with new perspectives and the end result is simply magnificent.

Who will win the AFL flag in 2020? Carlton! Wait, did you say win?

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Toyota Australia

“Diversity of thinking is imperative to the success of our business.

“By creating an inclusive environment, we can get the best out of diverse thinking, and enable diverse solutions to better equip us to achieve our 2025 vision of ‘creating innovative mobility solutions for all Australians’.

Toyota Australia is incredibly proud to extend our support to the AFLW, which will contribute to the continued development of women’s sport and inspire future generations.

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NAB – Talent Acquisition Manager, Diversity and Inclusion Program and TA Delivery, Luke Bishop

The spirit of diversity and inclusion is more than just an idea or a goal. It's a huge part of who we are. You'll see it in the executive teams, right through to the local branches and the relationships our staff are building with our equally diverse customers in the communities where we operate.

“The need for gender equality stretches beyond the walls of our organisation. And we’re just as driven to bring about change on a social level.

“We don’t just want to sponsor the AFL, we want to see it grow and become a more diverse, enjoyable game for more people. And giving every child in Australia the opportunity to play AFL is a great way to start.

“Through our support of the NAB AFL Auskick program and the NAB AFL Women’s Competition, we’re now giving every boy and every girl across the country a chance to nurture their love of the game, creating role models along the way.

“We’re proud to give more women the chance to participate in one of our country’s favourite sports, providing a pathway for women, from the grassroots to the elite level, through our support of the NAB AFL Women’s Rising Star Program.”

Who will win the AFL flag in 2020? I think North Melbourne has a strong chance of winning the flag.

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GWS GIANTS – GM People & Culture, Jody Masina

“At the GIANTS, diversity of thought and experience underpins our Club Purpose in ‘creating a club like no other’.

“The GIANTS are committed to building a workforce that is representative of the communities in which we live, learn, work and play.

We believe our inclusive and collaborative culture drives our success on and off the field.

To find out if your company is ready to become a WORK180 Endorsed Employer, complete the Endorsement check now. It takes less than 5 minutes!


About the author

WORK180

WORK180 is an international jobs network that connects smart businesses with talented women. We pre-screen every employer on our jobs board to see where they stand on pay equity, flexible working, paid parental leave, equal opportunities and a range of other criteria. We also take into account diversity initiatives focusing on age, ability, ethnicity and sexual orientation.

The information we uncover is made public on our website, so that everyone knows what to expect from each employer before applying for a job. We continually review and evolve our pre-screening criteria to ensure workplaces are fair and equal for everyone.


WORK180 is a jobs board with a difference! We pre-screen employers on paid-parent leave, pay equity, flexible working arrangements and more. Find your dream job here.


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