FIFA's top woman calls for quotas on boards

    Quotas are needed to increase the number of women in the boardroom in the sporting world, according to one of the highest placed women in football.

    FIFA executive committee member Moya Dodd believes she only gained her position at football's world governing top table because of the introduction of a quota for female representatives.

    “In an ideal world there would be no need for quotas because you'd have well-functioning, merit-based systems providing equal opportunities,” she said.

    “But I think quotas are useful if you think that those systems are not working or not working quickly enough to ensure outcomes.”

    Dodd, the first female board member of the Asian Football Confederation and Football Federation Australia, said more effort was needed to encourage women to take up senior positions in sports governance.

    The former Australia footballer turned lawyer added: “I am sure I am only a member of the Asian Football executive and the Fifa executive committee because those positions were created for female members.

    “I think it would be a long time before women started turning up at executive committee level if it were not for those seats.”

    Dodd also suggested a historical lack of women participating in sport could be behind fewer female candidates putting themselves forward for roles.

    "When it comes to a shortlist of potential board candidates, women don't show up in the same numbers, because they have not had those opportunities all the way through the system, she said.

    “That’s a slow-changing beast, it doesn't change overnight. As more and more girls play and go onto become involved in administration or governance after they’ve hung up their boots, you could be looking at a 20 or 30 year time-frame before that occurs.

    “I would love to get to the day when we can stop discussing someone’s gender and it ceases to become an issue,” added Dodd.

    Image courtesy of Flickr user ThomasCouto

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