More opportunities for Women In Football

Friday 07 Mar 2014
Women In Football survey reveals progress

A survey of over 600 women working across football has revealed more opportunities than ever before exist for females in the game.

The survey, carried out by networking group Women in Football, hopes to provide a ground-breaking study into the experiences of women working in the football industry, identify why women are not achieving their full potential in the football industry and explore the prevalence of gender based discrimination within the football industry.

Heather Rabbatts, Chair of The FA's Inclusion and Advisory Board, said: "Whilst we know there has been significant progress in women's participation in football and great strides made with the Women’s Super League, we know there is more to do.

Heather Rabbatts

Rabbatts praises WiF survey


"Women remain still significantly under-represented in executive and board positions in the sport industry.

"Surveys such as this help to focus all our attention and The FA, alongside all of the football bodies, are committed to tackling discrimination at all levels."

Darren Bailey, The FA's Director of Football Governance and Regulation added: "Women have a vital role to play in all aspects of the game.
"We are determined to eliminate negative attitudes towards women.
"We want those who see or are subject to harassment or discriminatory behaviour  in football, to report it to us directly, or via the Kick It Out app, which offers discreet reporting."
And Sue Ravenlaw, Head of Equality and Child Protection, also welcomed the survey.
She said: "The Women in Football Survey highlights that there is more to do in key areas such as widening the talent pool of diverse women in all roles across the game, raising awareness and changing attitudes towards women and instilling confidence in reporting discriminatory behaviour and abuse when it is experienced or witnessed.


“Women have a vital role to play in all aspects of the game. ”

Darren Bailey The FA's Director of Football Governance & Regulation



"These are all key goals within English Football’s Inclusion and Anti-Discrimination plan and we welcome the survey to help shape further specific actions such as shadowing, mentoring and leadership programmes.

"Four out of ten of The FA’s Inclusion Advisory Board (IAB) members are female and the IAB is already focused on this agenda."

Full results
On sexism in the workplace: 66.4% of respondents said they had encountered sexism in the workplace.

Of those who answered 'yes': 10.3% have witnessed sexual harassment, 59.5% have witnessed sexist banter, 31.6% have witnessed women being told they are unable to do their job because of their gender, 10.5% have witnessed women being barred from certain areas in the workplace, 7.85% have witnessed discrimination against working mothers in football and 1.41% have experienced physical abuse in the workplace.

On equality in the workplace: 34.9% of respondents felt they were not paid equally to men in their workplace performing a similar role, 27.6% of respondents said that their organisation unfairly treats its female employees compared to its male employees and 26.4% felt they had been overlooked for a promotion or opportunity because of their gender.

Women being judged on their appearance: 54.3% felt there is an overemphasis on the way women look in the football workplace, 53.9% worried that their appearance was judged ahead of their ability to do their job and 24.91% felt they were expected to look glamorous at work.

On career progression: 67% are not being mentored at work, 94.7% are not on a leadership programme. and 77.8% wanted a Women in Football mentoring scheme.

On football and working mothers: 63.7% felt that football is less accommodating than other industries for working mothers.


Respondents: 661 women coaches, match officials, administrators representing clubs in all four professional divisions in England; Scottish and Welsh clubs too; players; doctors, physios; football media, football PR and sponsorship, members of The FA, County FAs; Premier League, Football League, non-League and not for profit organisations. We also collected data and comments from some of the most senior women working internationally in football, please contact us for more information.

60% of those who received the survey responded.

The survey was carried out via Survey Monkey 18-27 February 2014.

By FA Staff