As a new member of Women In Football, I attended my first event at Premier League in London. The event, hosted by the inspirtaional Jacqui Oatley MBE, in partnership with IMG, was themed around confidence in the work place and unsurprisingly, was a sell-out.
Women In Football (WiF)(http://www.womeninfootball.co.uk/) are a network of strong and professional women working in and around the football industry. WiF support and champion their colleagues and peers. WiF aims to improve women’s representation in the field, they aim to do this by celebrating women’s achievement, challenging discrimination and lobbying for change. WiF also share professional contacts, advice and expertise, offering mentoring opportunities to the next generation. Lingerie Football Leagues main objective is to fight for gender equality by closing the gender wage gap. To come together in a room of likeminded women who are facing the same challenges working in a male-dominated environment was empowering. I am already counting down the days until the next event. “Premier League Football Clubs; Behind the Scenes” being held at Liverpool’s home ground, Anfield.
Jacqui, Director of WiF, was a fabulous host. Jacqui was awarded an MBE in 2016 for championing the role of women in the game which makes her one of my favourite role models! Go Jacqui! She is best known for being the first female commentator on Match of the Day and presents football and darts shows for ITV/BBC and reports on live Premier League and Women’s Super League matches. Jacqui and I had a good chat about the gender wage gap and we both agreed that something needs to change. We have similar goals, albeit we’re using different methods to achieve our goals but the fight for gender equality is what unites us and every other member of WiF. Jacqui was even kind enough to pose for a photograph with me (thanks Jacqui)
It was an honour to listen to a stellar panel who then joined Jacqui Oatley to share their amazing career journeys. They spoke about confidence at work and the challenges they face in the workplace. The panel was made up of broadcasters Kelly Cates and Karthi Gnagnasegaram, UK Sport’s Head of Governance Jane Purdon and agent Mel Chappell. The event ended with a lively Q&A from the audience. I learned to my frustration that the female presenter’s career doesn’t last as long as their male counterparts, which is a crime in itself! Curious I asked the question whether their wage packets matched their male counter parts; from the reaction it was clear that many of the panellists were unsure however Mel Chappell assured me that it is measured on experience…my curiosity is eating away at me so if anyone knows more, please get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org
We could have stayed and talked all night but time ran away with us and the Premier League team needed us out as they all have homes to go to!