Affairs put focus on AFL and inequality

Ben McKay

AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan may take his duties to drive gender equality seriously but the AFL still faces issues on the road to gender equality.

CULTURAL PROBLEMS

McLachlan accepted the resignation of two senior executives, including his No.2 Simon Lethlean, for "inappropriate relationships" with junior staffers.

The affairs have reportedly shattered morale inside AFL headquarters. The high-profile transgressions have embarrassed the sport.

Unfortunately, the league most impacted by Lethlean's departure could be AFLW, currently under review in time for the second season in 2018.

INEQUALITIES IN AFLW

A women's competition launched in 2017 to much fanfare and support from head office but with poor pay and conditions for female players compared with male counterparts.

A minimum wage of just $5000 was upped to $8500 - with boots or insurance eventually included - after fan protests and negotiation by the Players Association.

THE MEDIA

Fairfax Media reporter Caroline Wilson has won the most prestigious journalism awards in the country but has had issues with some in the industry.

The Footy Show presenter Sam Newman infamously taunted Wilson for years, once putting a photo of her face on a scantily-clad mannequin.

Collingwood president Eddie McGuire and former St Kilda captain Danny Frawley joked about paying to drown Wilson.

McLachlan said the comments were an "indictment on our sport".

UNDER REPRESENTATION

The AFL Commission has two female members, Simone Wilkie and Gabrielle Trainor, on nine seats.

Of the 18 clubs, there is one leader at board level, Richmond's Peggy O'Neal.

Hawthorn's Tracey Gaudry is the only one at executive level.

There are trailblazers like Western Bulldogs vice president Sue Alberti, St Kilda assistant coach Peta Searle and umpire Eleni Glouftsis but they are vastly outnumbered in the game.