2012 has been a massive year for sport in the UK, and specifically for women in sport. Between organizations like WSFF and Stylist's Fair Game petition, female athletes and female sports are slowly but surely gaining more exposure. And, even better, sports organizations are finally not only recognizing that women in sport don't always get the coverage they deserve, but they're rectifying it.
Last year the BBC had zero sportswomen on its Sports Personality Of The Year shortlist, despite athletes such as Rebecca Addlington winning gold and silver at the 2011 World Championships.
At the time the BBC defended its nomination system, with the BBC Director of Sport Barbra Slater even calling the all-male list an "anomaly". The BBC said:
"The current system was introduced in 2006 and at least two women have always previously been shortlisted for the main award.
"Having considered a wide range of alternative mechanisms, we remain convinced that the current system is fair, independent and robust."
However, they did review their nomination process, and Slater decided to "evolve" the process by introducing an expert panel to create the shortlist. Members of this year's expert panel included Baroness Sue Campbell, the Chair of UK Sport, as well as Sir Steve Redgrave, Baroness Tanni Grey Thompson and Denise Lewis OBE. The BBC also added two more sports to the shortlist, bringing the number up to 12.
The result? A diverse, balanced list featuring male and female athletes as well as both Paralympians and Olympians. Imagine that.
The official SPOTY shortlist for 2012 has a record five women on the list, including Jessica Ennis, Ellie Simmonds, Sarah Storey, Katherine Grainger and Nicola Adams.
Bradley Wiggins is already being hailed as the favourite to win by bookies - despite his charming social graces. Either way, no matter who wins, this is a big win for diversity and equal representation in sport.