Dr Jane Wilson and Karen Penrose are expected to be appointed to the Rugby Australia board at the sporting body’s annual general meeting later this month.
The two appointments will increase the number of female directors on Rugby Australia’s board from one to three, so that three of the board’s seven voting directors will be women.
The appointment news comes from The Sydney Morning Herald, who obtained a member-wide notice issued before the next annual general meeting, to be held on April 29.
Currently, Pip Marlow, CEO of Salesforce Australia and New Zealand, is the only woman on the Rugby Australia board.
Matthew Hanning is also expected to be appointed to the Rugby Australia board this month, alongside Dr Wilson and Penrose.
Dr Jane Wilson has had a varied career in medicine, finance and banking, and has two decades of experience as an independent director across a range of organisations, including public companies and not-for-profits.
She currently serves as a non-executive director at Transurban Ltd, Costa Group and Sonic Healthcare Ltd, and as a guardian of the Future Fund, Australia’s Sovereign Wealth Fund. Dr Wilson holds a medical degree from The University of Queensland and a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School.
Karen Penrose is an experienced business leader, banker and non-executive director. She has twenty years’ experience across business and finance, including at Commonwealth Bank of Australia and HSBC.
She is also a non-executive director of Vicinity Centres Limited, Ramsay Health Care Limited, Estia Health Limited and the Bank of Queensland.
With the appointment of Dr Wilson and Penrose, Rugby Australia will soon have some of the highest representation of women on its board among Australian sporting bodies.
It comes after a tumultuous period for women at Rugby Australia following the departure of former CEO Raelene Castle. In 2017, Castle became the first woman to lead one of Australia’s four top football codes. She only held the role for two years, before deciding to step down.