Matildas’ FIFA World Cup Triumph: A Catalyst for Change and Equality
In the wake of the Matildas’ awe-inspiring journey to the semi-finals of the FIFA Women’s World Cup and finishing within the top 4 nations, we are reminded of the immense power of sport to unite nations and catalyse societal transformation. This remarkable achievement by our Australian women’s football team has not only won the hearts of a nation but also brought to light the pressing issues of gender equality and social progress.
From a mere 300 spectators to the massive viewership of over 4.17 million, her narrative parallels the iconic moments of Cathy Freeman’s historic 400m final at the Sydney Olympics in 2000. However, beyond the on-field heroics, the FIFA Women’s World Cup has shone a glaring spotlight on the persistent disparities in gender pay and social recognition. While both the Matildas and the Socceroos share minimum prize percentages, a stark gender pay gap of 67% prevails, with the men’s prize pool at $676.1 million compared to the women’s $229.6 million. This stark contrast calls for a long-overdue conversation on gender equality in sports.
Cortnee Vine’s candidness in addressing imposter syndrome within the realm of women’s sports further highlights the biases and challenges that female athletes encounter. Her willingness to openly discuss feelings of unworthiness and undeservingness underscores the importance of fostering dialogues that empower women to overcome imposter syndrome and recognise their true potential.
Another shining example is Sam Kerr, who emphasises the significance of embracing one’s authentic self and the ongoing journey towards empowerment. Her unwavering authenticity serves as an inspiring example, encouraging women to boldly embrace their individuality with courage and determination.
These triumphs on and off the field remind us of the progress made but also the considerable distance we still need to cover in the journey towards gender equality and social change.It highlights the importance of allyship and how powerful it can be in driving change and the need to be active supporters to those who need it in our networks.
Finally and importantly, look at your own organisation. How many ‘Matilda’s’ are there who are being overlooked, talked over, their ideas appropriated, who are feeling unsafe and unsupported? The Matilda’s were the same until they demanded equality, supported by the men, the Socceroos. Lift up your own Matilda’s, the women and girls in your organisation and life and put them in front. They’re your ‘Mackenzie Arnold’s.”
Craig Foster AM
Socceroo & Human Rights Activist
The Matildas’ remarkable journey is far from ephemeral; it has ignited a movement that reverberates through society. At The Hatchery, we are dedicated to connecting people with knowledge to inspire change, and we are thrilled to witness and support the empowerment of women through this milestone event.
Hear from Craig Foster AM and many other important Allyship leaders at our latest Public Sector Allyship & Inclusive Leadership Summit on 17-18 October 2023. See more information here.