Outgoing Racing Queensland CEO Brendan Parnell insists many race clubs are “a long way behind social expectations” and “out of step with the commercial world” with a lack of females in leadership positions.
In his last hours in the job, Parnell hit out at what he claimed was a heavy male influence in the governance of many race clubs.
“If you go and look at the major race clubs, there are hardly any females on some of those boards,” Parnell said.
“It is so out of step with where the commercial world is.
“I think one of the key challenges is the lack of females in governance roles in racing.
“I think it’s time for racing to really look at a focus to diversify its governance committees.
“It is staggering when you think about it and where governance experts say we need to be in the corporate world.
“This is racing’s great big improvement opportunity, to create diverse boards which will lead to stronger race clubs.
“Currently, we are a long way behind social expectations.”
Parnell feels female jockeys, trainers and other industry participants have made giant strides in racing in recent years.
But he says a growing female representation in the industry is not reflected in many areas of racing administration.
“They say 51 percent of the population is female … but there are less than 10 percent (of females) on some of the major clubs,” Parnell said.
“The number of (female) participants and trainers and jockeys is not reflected in governance and I think that’s a great opportunity for racing to bring more females in.
“In Queensland we have got two female leaders who run race clubs, Toowoomba and Townsville, and they have a really refreshing approach to how they run those two clubs.
“It’s not all about having one set of all the same style of people (on race club boards).
“Having more females in governance roles is something that I think would improve the (racing) industry.”
Originally published as Outgoing Racing Queensland CEO calls for more women in racing governance
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