Weeks of internet backlash on the appointment of Rebecca Maddern as the first female host of Nine’s AFL Footy Show have again raised questions about the way women are treated in Australian sport – on and off the field.
Cricket Australia’s announcement of a significant pay rise for female cricketers has been seen as a significant step toward bridging the gender pay gap in sport.
UOWTV Multimedia spoke to ABC Grandstand sports journalist Brittany Carter about her experiences in a role that is typically dominated by males.
Carter noted while she had received the odd “what would you know?” comment, the industry had been mostly positive and supportive to her in her first year out of university.
“Most people who engage with me online are supportive and like what I’m saying about the sport, or even that I’m covering it,” Carter said.
“It comes down to being taken seriously. Women are popping up in presenter and producer roles, and those roles are only going to evolve as generations phase out with new journalists and new producers.”
Meanwhile, Maddern reacted positively to most of the social media attention she has received, but said she has been dismissed by some who questioned her professionalism and her love of the Geelong Cats.
“[T]he majority of people have been like, ‘you know what, she’s a woman but she’s the best person to be the next co-host of the Footy Show’, regardless of my gender,” Maddern told the ABC.
The Cricket Australia announcement will see Australia’s top female cricketers now paid from a $4.3 million payment pool, up from $2.4 million.
“We are determined to make cricket the sport of choice for women in Australia,” Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland said.