Women can take sporting roles says female soccer referee
THE opportunities are there for women to take leadership roles in male-dominated sports, one of Rockhampton's leading sporting sisters says.
Jacqueline Leleu says women have to prove themselves.
Things have changed a lot since Jacqueline started refereeing men's soccer games in the Beef Capital 15 years ago, but there's still some way to go.
Jacqueline is one of the exceptions.
She currently works on a FIFA committee for the development of referees, after officiating at national and international levels.
The Morning Bulletin sought Jacqueline's thoughts in light of the texting scandal involving a team business manager which has engulfed Australian rugby.
This week Claire Braund, director of Women on Boards Australia, told the 2014 Asia Pacific World Sport and Women conference more female voices were needed at the top level in sport for women to stop being considered "second-class citizens" in the sporting world.
While Jacqueline said there had been improvements in broadcasting of women's sport, she agreed more publicity and media focus was needed.
She said although it was likely male athletes were always going to be paid more, there were opportunities for women to play at the top level and step into leadership roles.
Jacqueline said female leadership did help break down gender inequality.
"It creates the respect and vision...it shows (women) can do it," Jacqueline said.
"It gives them the opportunity to prove themselves, but you certainly have to earn it."
Women in sport made up about 9% of all sports television news coverage in 2008-09.
Television news reports about women were on average 30 seconds shorter than those featuring men.
Source: Australian Sports Commission