The initiative follows FIFPRO’s decision last week to triple the number of women on its global board as part of an extra push for more diverse and inclusive governance in the player union network and the football industry.
FIFPRO and many of its 64 affiliated player unions have dramatically increased collective representation of women footballers over the last decade, helping thousands receive better conditions. However, professional football remains slow in integrating diversity at the level of decision-making.
National player unions will help identify 12 women for the programme in a rigorous selection process, with priority given to existing union members and staff.
The programme will consist of a leadership course, group coaching and mentoring and will be taught by WIF Chair Ebru Köksal and WIF Directors Monique Choudhuri, Lungi Macebo, Prof. Sue Bridgewater and CEO Jane Purdon who, between them, have held senior positions at FIFA, UEFA, Galatasaray, the Premier League, League Managers Association, Brentford FC and Birmingham City. WIF has given leadership courses to more than 250 women since 2016.
Participants in the “Ready to Board” programme will become equipped with the knowledge necessary to take on roles such as members of the FIFPRO global board, which from November will have at least three women from Europe and one each from Africa, Asia and the Americas. There will be further leadership opportunities within FIFPRO’s regional divisions, as well as ongoing mentoring and personal development.
The deadline for applications for the programme is March 15.