This interview with Jill Lindsay was done in 2002. TRAILBLAZER and AFL ground operations manager Jill Lindsay died of cancer in 2011.
AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou described the loss of Lindsay, the longest-serving employee in VFL-AFL history, as heartbreaking.
Information provided at her interview with CLW
Born - Ryde, NSW
Family - 4 children - 2 brothers and a sister (one of the brothers is my twin)
Mother raised 4 children as my father passed away in 1955
Educated - Marsden High School, Ermington, NSW , Leaving Certificate
I was very fortunate in finding a niche in life with employment at the VFL/AFL, which was a love affair with Australian Football, which I still work in and follow passionately as ever.
I am the AFL’s most senior female executive.
Recently I was awarded the AFL’s highest honour in being granted Life Membership in December 2001. I also had the double honour of being the first woman to be made an AFL Life Member.
Interview with Jill Lindsay
Do you think that there is an invisible barrier preventing women from reaching the highest level in your profession regardless of their accomplishments and merits?
No I do not believe there is an invisible barrier, however I have had the luxury of living a single independent life with good health.
If I had family responsibilities at home, my career may have been vastly different because I would have encountered a different set of problems, which may have stopped me working the long hours I have during the peak periods of my career.
If yes, why do you think this exists in your profession?
Not relevant because I answered no to Question 1.
Is this barrier in your profession penetrable? How can the barrier be dismantled in your profession?
All barriers in my profession are penetrable. Although some female journalists have told me that in the past they have been refused entry to dressing rooms, however that has now changed.
Do you consider yourself to have broken through the Glass ceiling in your profession? If yes, how have you done this?
I was never aware or ever felt it existed throughout my career. I have just applied myself to the tasks at hand with a commitment to succeed. I see obstacles as challenges and not limitations because I am passionate about seeing the game of Australian Rules Football progress. Most importantly for me, I absolutely love my job and never begrudged the extra hours I worked to get ahead.
In general, what do you see as the underlying cause that must be addressed to shatter the glass ceiling in corporate and public Australia?
In general, I see these issues as being underlying causes that must be addressed in Australia before the ‘glass ceiling’ in corporate and public Australia is broken.
a) Research proves that men who make it to the top have very strong networks at home. Normally, life outside the work force is organised by the spouse, children's needs are managed by the spouse and the man returns home to a well functional household. This is not the norm with women and I believe that unfortunately it still seems to be somewhat a novelty in Australian life for women to be the predominant financial provider.
A more flexible attitude is required by many employers towards job-share, working from home one day a week, caring for sick children and so on.