A new campaign has been launched that aims to garner commitments from businesses and individuals to take positive action to change the landscape for women in football.

On the day it was launched #WhatIf was being tweeted widely – what step could a brand, club or even an individual take to make the world a more inclusive place for women in sport?

The #WhatIf initiative is a brainchild of Women in Football, and places responsibility on those making commitments to take action themselves. So, beyond just a hashtag and a social media buzz, actual firm pledges are being made by leading lights and influential figures in and around the game. It has gathered real momentum, with some increasingly impressive pledges being made.

Pledges already confirmed include:

  • Synergy –  #WhatIf Synergy pledged to create one pro-bono campaign per year for the next three years to promote women’s football.
  • Betfair – #WhatIf Betfair ring-fenced 50% of its Cash4Clubs grassroots grants for women’s teams to help support their growth and sustainability
  • Sky Sports – #WhatIf Sky Sports committed to including female talent as studio pundits on Gillette Soccer Specials from the 2018/19 season onwards
  • Kelly Cates – the leading football broadcaster has pledged to let a budding female journalist or broadcaster shadow her for them to put on their CV
  • Twitter – #WhatIf Women in Football had its own emojil on Twitter to raise the visibility of women working in the industry, and celebrate their achievements
  • Forza Football – #WhatIf Forza Football made live score updates and results for women’s football games easily accessible across the world
  • Football Manager – #WhatIf there were more female staff members in Football Manager 2019?
  • The Football Business Academy – #WhatIF The FBA offered 50% scholarships to help build the future female leaders of the industry?
  • Spencer Stuart – #WhatIf Spencer Stuart ensure that 30% of candidates on all searches undertaken in football were women?

Co-founder and chair of Women in Football Anna Kessel said:

On the anniversary of Women in Football’s tenth season I am extremely proud to see us launch the #WhatIf campaign, standing alongside industry leaders, corporations and individuals, working together to create real and meaningful change Ten years ago gender equality was barely even a conversation in football. Now it is firmly on the agenda. Bring on the next 10 years, and an exciting new era for women in our sector. ANNA KESSEL, CHAIR OF WOMEN IN FOOTBALL

The response so far has been incredible, and the pledges already made will make a clear, tangible difference. Everyone has a personal responsibility to do whatever they can to make a difference, to open doors and ultimately to help make women’s football a more inclusive environment.

If you think you can make a difference, no matter how small, then make a pledge and get it on social media using the hashtag #WhatIf.


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