Fear and a desire to protect the status quo can get in the way of progression in women's sport, according to New Year's honours recipient and five-time Olympian Barbara Kendall.
Kendall, one of New Zealand's most successful sportswomen, has been made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit.
Kendall won a gold medal in boardsailing, also known as wind surfing, at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, a silver medal at the 1996 Atlanta Games and completed the set at Sydney in 2000 with a bronze medal.
Her gold medal at Barcelona was the first for a New Zealand woman since Yvette Williams won gold in the long jump at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics.
She retired from boardsailing in 2010, after 24 years at the top of her sport.
For 12 years she has been representing New Zealand on the International Olympic Committee's Athletes Commission, Woman in Sport and Sport and Environment Commissions. She has also served on the World Anti-Doping Agency's Athletes Commission.
She was a member of the New Zealand Athletes Commission for 26 years and chaired the Oceania Athletes Commission for 12 years.
Currently she chairs the Association of National Olympic Committee's Athletes Commission and is the Vice President on the International Surfing Association.
Bright future for women's sport?
Kendall has always been campaigning for gender equality in sport.
She believes there's a bright future for women in sport and said the playing field had been levelled somewhat with the International Olympic Committee and others creating an equal number of men's and women's events at major Games, such as the 2018 Winter Olympics and 2018 Commonwealth Games
However Kendall is adamant there's still plenty of ground to break in sports coaching and administration and that will take time.
"With the 14 years that I've spent in and around the Olympic movement, it took me a really long time to realise that it takes a really long time to introduce change ...people fear change and what they don't understand and can become protective of the status quo, so it takes a long to push through that."
"Women's sport is one of those things and it's much better now in terms of participation and coverage equity, but not at the top leadership level. But for the future, I believe young women or my two girls, if they want to step up into those leadership roles that will be a possibility and we are making progress, slowly."
She said her daughters, who are both involved in sport, were on their own journeys.
"That's the thing that I have been really careful with both my girls is that they actually chose their own path and their own journey and they actually drive the machine because there's nothing worse when a parent drives it and it's not sustainable.
"So this is all coming from them, everything that they do is actually coming from them and we just in the background sort of picking up the pieces, paying the bills and supporting as much as possible.
"It's worth it because what they get and what they learn from whatever they chose to do as long as they are happy and confident doing things that they love then you know you're on a winning path."
Will wind surfing return to the Olympics?
Kendall concedes when windsurfing was dropped from the Olympics it hurt her personally, and makes her New Year's honour somewhat ironic.
However she believes there is a future for the sport and she's focusing on helping athletes from all sailing genres.
"Since I retired over 10 years ago, I've just pulled back and tried to benefit people from right across a whole bunch of different sports, not just so much windsurfing.
"Everything goes in cycles and I think that we might see a resurgence in the next two or three years in the windsurfing, just like the way equestrian took off again during the Mark Todd, Blythe Tait era," Kendall said.