Women in Football Administration
In early November last year, the French Ligue 1 general assembly elected Nathalie Boy de la Tour as the newest president of the league. Coming in ahead of former French Men’s National Team coach Raymond Domenech, Ms. Boy de la Tour, a prior member of the league’s administrative council, became the first female president of the league.
A positive step forward toward greater inclusion and diversity within a male-dominated arena, does Ms. Boy de la Tour’s election indicate that females in high power roles are becoming more accepted?
Women in high level positions in sport are present, as exemplified by Ms. Boy de la Tour or FIFA’s newest Secretary General, Fatma Samba Diouf Samoura. Though the phenomenon is certainly not common, changes are slowly being enacted. Many organizations see the value in greater inclusion and diversity in the workplace. In an effort to promote diversity, underrepresented groups may be given precedence in hiring decisions.
The possibility that organizations who wish to foster inclusion and diversity will make special efforts to hire women and minority groups is becoming more of a reality. For some organizations, this positive discrimination may endeavor to foster more holistic hiring methods in the future. For other organizations, though, the value of diversification may merely be in the increase of positive public perception.
Despite the reason behind the inclusion efforts, the fact is that more women are entering the world of football administration. The insecurities that come with being a minority have the potential to deter the progress that is being made. Until inclusion and equality become the norm, the risk of being called a “token” woman in an industry full of men is a risk that must be run.
Though men still outnumber women in the sport administration workforce, the number of female sports professionals is increasing. In part, this is due to postgraduate sport management programs becoming a more common option for people wishing to enter the world of sport. Rather than facing an uncrackable “old boys” network, these programs offer people from many different backgrounds and situations a way to enter the world of football and sport administration.
Over the next few months, we will look to examine and share the stories of those whose journeys have taken them to different realms of the football world.