Celebrating its 12th anniversary in 2019, Women in Football was co-founded by Shelley Alexander and Anna Kessel MBE, along with four women who also worked in different areas of the industry, and over a decade later has grown to boast more than 3,000 members including many sports journalists.
Disappointed and frustrated at the negative attitude faced by many women working in the industry, WiF set out to champion, support and celebrate female talent in a bid to bring about a change.
The historic first WiF event was held at West Ham United’s Upton Park ground, and the organisation has gone from strength to strength.
WiF focuses on improving women’s representation at all levels of the game by challenging discrimination and lobbying for positive change such as widening the talent pool of diverse women across the game and achieving gender balance on boards and committees.
Of equal importance, is instilling confidence in reporting discriminatory behaviour and abuse, and the official website (www.womeninfootball.co.uk) has an easy to use form to report such incidents.
WiF regularly host seminars and workshops for its members and encourage women from all areas of the football industry to meet at networking events held throughout the UK.
In 2018, WiF launched its ground-breaking #WhatIf campaign, which is now in its second year of working to alter the landscape for women working in football forever. Key supporters of the campaign include UEFA, The FA, TALKSport, Sky Sports, BT Sports, Kick It Out and The Telegraph.
The 10-strong WiF Board is headed by interim Chair, Ebru Koksal (Senior Advisor, J Stern & Co) and WiF’s first ever CEO, Jane Purdon, previously with UK Sport and the Premier League.
Joining Ebru and Jane on the board are founder Anna Kessel MBE (The Telegraph); Hala Ousta (Accessibility & Diversity Manager, FIFA); Lungi Macebo (COO, Birmingham City FC); Jo Tongue (Executive Producer & Talent Manager, Tongue Tied Media); Jean Bevan (Head of Corporate and Commercial Law, Bevan Kidwell LLP); Liz Ellen (Head of Sports Law practice, Mishcon de Reya); Dr Sue Bridgewater (Director of the Centre for Sports Business, University of Liverpool); and Ben Carter (Managing Director, Menulog Group).