Football fringe tackles challenges faced by women in the sport

Football fringe tackles challenges faced by women in the sport

Deputy general secretary Sue Ferns reports back from an engaging national conference fringe on the role of professional women in football


Prospect was pleased to welcome Women in Football to national conference. WiF is a network of professional women working in and around the football industry who support and champion their peers.

Having connected with the TUC women’s committee, WiF is working to raise awareness of the role unions can play in providing expertise, advice and support at work.

Nautilus International rep Dawn Franklyn talked about her experience of working in a male-dominated industry and the help she has received from her union.

Although not from a union background, Dawn called on Nautilus for help during an incident of harassment. That made her realise just how much more the union had to offer to her, which is why she travelled for five hours to share her experiences with Prospect reps.  

Kelly Somers, AFC Bournemouth’s broadcast and media executive, chaired a fascinating discussion about the day-to-day experiences of working in football.

Amanda Newbery, newly-appointed chief executive of Salisbury FC, debated the relative merits of providing safe, women-only spaces for confidence building.

Emma Saunders, BBC London and Watford FC reporter, outlined a recent experience of discriminatory treatment, including how calling it out and complaining through official channels had helped to address unwarranted behaviours. 

Emma Tonkin, physiotherapist for Dorchester FC, talked about the importance of drawing boundaries to be respected by all. She also mentioned the support provided by her union – the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.

Prospect and WiF have agreed that it would be good to continue to work together.