The Football Association of Ireland has launched its new Women in Football – Emerging Leaders Programme.
Set up in partnership with FIFA & UEFA, the Programme aims to provide female administrators with the tools, techniques and skills necessary for them to undertake senior positions efficiently and with greater confidence within Clubs, Leagues, Regional and National Committee level.
The Programme will cover various topics, such as Managing Change, Decision Making, Influencing, Conflict and Communication. There will be special guest speakers, webinars, and detailed workshops.
It is a major gap within sport in a wider context that Women have not traditionally been involved in the path to the leadership table. It remains a mostly voluntary activity and is demanding of a huge amount of time.
Whether it is because women were traditionally felt to have other things to spend their time on, or whether they saw the amount of time as being a step too far for themselves and allied to seeing an almost exclusively male room in which they would have had to walk, chose not to do so is for smarter sociologists than I to judge.
The thing is though that when they have had the courage and determination to get involved, and where they have been allowed to do so, they have generally brought a different way of solving issues, one that has been for the better.
That may not be a man vs woman issue just a fresh perspective coming into an environment where traditional ways of doing things have generally stood the test of time.
Asking women to do it on their own, without support requires even more of a commitment so the smart thing to do is build that support and let people across the sport know that creating a fresh pool of talent on the administrative side is just as important as it is on the field of play.
This new FAI Programme supports the FAI’s Governance Review Recommendations to improve gender balance.
It aims to attract women currently involved in football administration with at least one year’s experience in football.
Run over a nine-month period, the Programme will bring participants together for three face-to-face seminars – the first of which will take place on the weekend of November 30th, 2019.
“Female participation in football is rapidly growing the world over, with more women now involved in the game at all levels,” said the FAI’s Head of Women’s Football Sue Ronan.
“In Ireland, we have seen a huge growth in participation numbers as a direct result of our grassroots programmes and also from the 20×20 campaign.”
“We have also further educated female coaches through a UEFA B Licence Course which was specifically aimed at women – a second such course will begin in the coming months.”
“Having female football administrators is just as important, with research showing that gender balance at committee level has huge benefits to every organisation.”
“This is a big step forward in embracing the governance recommendations that were adopted at the AGM,” added FAI General manager Noel Mooney.
“That will have a positive impact on the game as a whole with more women getting involved in decision-making at the highest levels.”
“We are building the conditions to produce far more female leaders in Irish football in the coming years.”
“Combined with the FAI’s Youth Council, which we will soon launch, this Women in Football – Emerging Leaders Programme will contribute to the evolving governance of Irish football providing new voices and perspectives to enable football to flourish.”
Those interested in applying for the Programme, should do so online here.
The deadline for applications is Friday, October 25th.
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