International Women’s Day is levelling the playing field

International Women’s Day is helping to level the playing field and transform the experiences of people across the football industry, according to Women in Football CEO, Yvonne Harrison.

Women in Football is a network of women, men and non-binary people working in and around the football industry who are dedicated to driving women in football forward. 

With #EmbraceEquity the theme of this year’s IWD, the organisation is celebrating the ongoing contribution of inspirational women nominated by the organisation’s members and online community. 

This campaign will be in full focus during next week’s Women in Football Be Inspired conference, and Harrison hopes it can be beneficial for all stakeholders. 

“We think it’s great that International Women’s Day is a thing, and it really does shine a spotlight,” said Harrison. 

“But we see amazing women in our industry every single day and we recognise the struggle that lots of our members face daily. It’s about every woman, every day and not just making this a one-day thing.  

“There are lots of benefits to raising awareness all-year round, firstly to the individuals.

“They should feel valued in the workplace as that breeds confidence and opportunities within the work environment.  

“From an employer point of view, why would you not want to showcase women and allow them to develop and feel supported within your organisation?  

“Every day is important because it shows authenticity and if I was an employer, I would be thinking that people would want to work for us because we care, value and we demonstrate that.” 

The upcoming two-day conference will see 650 delegates descend on Wembley Stadium, with a host of speakers including UEFA Women’s Euros winner and Queen of the Jungle, Jill Scott MBE. 

“We will be showcasing an amazing group of people in football, and we have a diverse group of female speakers,” said Harrison. 

“We’ve also got a lot of male allies who will be attending the conference which is super important because we can’t create change every day and continue to make progress if we don’t have allyship from colleagues within the industry.  

“We’ve also asked members of our community to share stories about fantastic women and the amazing work that they are doing and that will be brought to life at Wembley next week.” 

The hard work extends far beyond the conference at the home of football. The not-for-profit’ organisation offers several events and courses throughout the year, catering for those at all levels within the industry. 

“We have a mix of in-person events and webinars as well as our longstanding and successful Leadership Course delivered in partnership with Barclays” she added.  

“We currently have two flagship programmes, our leadership course and mentoring programme, which are for people in the industry to invest in their development with an incredible group of tutors and they form really strong bonds within that network and from those conversations.  

“We also work with a range of different organisations and our corporate members to support them and their staff with training and development opportunities to showcase what it feels like to be a woman working in the football industry and how people can support each individual’s growth.” 

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