The FISU Gender Equality Awards honour projects or individuals who have made significant efforts to advance and achieve gender equality within university sport in their country, continent or internationally.
First delivered in 2019, the Women’s Leadership Programme identified a gap in the women’s talent development pathway, which was a barrier to their aims for increasing female workforce representation within The Football Association (FA). The project played a major role in increasing the quantity and quality of female talent in the leadership pipeline to support the FA in assuring a fit for future representative workforce. Now entering its third year, graduates from the programme have gone onto secure jobs at Chelsea FC, Manchester FA and MK Dons.
Vince Mayne, BUCS CEO is full of praise for the programme and it’s leaders: “It’s clear to see that the Women’s Leadership Programme has transformed the lives, not just careers, of the inspirational women taking part. At BUCS, we are constantly pushing forward women’s sport and placing a focus on gender equality, so are incredibly proud that this programme has been recognised on the global stage.
Whilst we are talking now about female leaders, at some point we will only be talking about great leaders. Female leaders must not be the exception, or an ‘add on’, they must be very much the norm.
The team behind the Women’s Leadership Programme, from both BUCS and The FA, deserve huge credit for constantly challenging the status quo, developing the female leaders of tomorrow, and striving to make the world of football a better and fairer place for the generations to come.”
We must also congratulate the University of Nottingham’s ‘Girls Night In’ programme which made the shortlist – an incredible achievement in itself – and our very own Beth Jenkinson-Garner, who was shortlisted for the Gender Equality Champion Award.
Beth comments: "It has been a tremendous privilege to deliver the FA WLP as a partnership between BUCS and The Football Association. The programme was a long time in the creation and it is an honour to play a role in realising the dreams of those initial visionaries.
We have incredible talent in the Higher Education sector and, although we provide the structure, it is the leaders that make this happen for themselves. It is their passion, their work ethic and their desire to learn which drives the acceleration of their development during their time on the programme and beyond, and we are immensely proud of every single one of them.
Possibly more than ever, this world needs confident, values driven leaders and we are so excited to watch them be the change they want to see – it’s time to change the game."