FLDP providing an inspiring example in Finland
• Minttu Korsberg continuing the FLDP legacy • Independent course taking place in Finland on 17-18 June • The course aims to empower women to believe in themselves and take on more leadership roles
Two groups of participants have completed the FIFA Female Leadership Development Programme (FLDP) so far. Among the attendees is Minttu Korsberg, who works as a project leader for club development at the Finnish Football Association (Suomen Palloliitto – SPL).
"The FIFA Female Leadership Development Programme was a life-changing experience for me, and I would love to pass it on to other women,” the Finn told FIFA.com. "We have already organised two Women in Football leadership seminars in Finland, and now I am planning the third national edition and have modified the course content to try and make it similar to that of the FLDP."
Korsberg successfully completed the nine-month programme aimed at generating significant results for women’s football together with fellow participants from other associations. By launching a course in her homeland, she is now making a valuable contribution to the development of the female half of the sport in Finland and continuing the legacy of the FLDP.
"I want to spread the message that we need different kinds of people to develop football,” explained Korsberg. “We need people with different backgrounds. When it comes to leaders, it’s more valuable to know something about strategic management and leadership than having the fantastic skill required to score from a free-kick. By this I mean that it’s also possible to become a leader in football without a background as a player. The passion and will of the individual is what matters."
Coaching pathway The Finn set her sights on a career in football management after it became clear that she would not be able to play the game professionally. After studying sport management at the University of Jyväskylä in Finland and Northumbria University in England, she gained the UEFA Certificate in Football Management before taking the next step in her journey by participating in FIFA’s Female Leadership Development Programme.
"I have learned that being a better leader is not so much about changing yourself as it is about getting to know your authentic self,” she said. “While it might not be desirable to change who you essentially are, it’s possible to develop your ways of working and thus enable yourself to communicate more effectively with others. To do this, you need to be brave and take honest feedback on board, as that’s how you understand how others see you and how they feel about working with you," she continued, summarising one of the most important aspects of the programme.
The Finn is now keen to share these lessons with other future female leaders at her course when it begins on Saturday. Twenty attendees will complete modules including Understanding how Finnish football is organised and led and Leadership skills. She also wants to "empower women to believe in themselves and take on more leadership roles. Some of the participants are already working in strong leadership roles in football, whether as a club board member or president, while others are future leaders." If there is one thing they all have in common, it is that they are in excellent hands with Korsberg.