Morris: Women should be proud and bold

  • FIFA HR Chief discusses her role in Zurich and shares advice ahead of International Women’s Day

  • Morris one of four women sitting on FIFA management board

  • Diversity of FIFA workforce a huge strength

“It’s important to work for the same goal and achieve the same vision to bring football to the world.”

FIFA Chief HR & Services Officer Kimberly Morris, who believes diversity of staff is a huge strength for FIFA, spoke to about the role of women at FIFA and the values they add to the organisation.

Born in Canada, Morris studied law and after graduating and working with several international law firms, she started her own firm. She then moved to London before finally settling in Zurich, where she joined FIFA TMS GmbH in 2012.

Since then, Morris played a big role in several initiatives to grow and develop women at FIFA, including co-founding the FIFA Women’s Network and sponsoring FIFA’s Family Network.

“When I first joined FIFA, I didn’t know anyone in Zurich,” Morris explained, “and I got advice from a friend to start a women’s network at FIFA TMS where I was working to develop my female network.

"We were all part of FIFA and we started to meet together to support each other before the women’s this network became more formalised at FIFA in 2016-2017. Our goal was to learn from each other, to discuss topics of interest to the group and to engage in informal mentoring with our staff."

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND - MARCH 05: FIFA Chief HR & Services Officer Kimberly Morris poses for a portrait at the FIFA, the House of Football on March 5, 2021 in Zurich, Switzerland. (Photo by Harold Cunningham/FIFA)

Morris also revealed that there are several initiatives in place to help women grow and develop in the organisation.

“I think these initiatives are important. The ‘family’ network is a staff lead initiative to help support employees who may have challenges integrating into life in a new country. As we see things progress, we should see more initiatives,” said Morris, who was the president of Canadian NPO organisation METRAC (Metropolitan Action Committee on Violence against Women and Children) for six years.

Sharing the same goals

Morris, who has been inspired by several famous females such as Cleopatra, Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Oprah Winfrey, talked about the support and inspiration that she got by working for FIFA.

“Courage, determination, finding and having your vision – these are just some of the inspiring qualities and values that many great female leaders have. As we’ve seen during the pandemic, many international women leaders have done very well.”

“We, as women, should support each other, grow together and engage our male colleagues in what we believe as well,” she said.

“There is also a lot of support from our male colleagues in FIFA, who continue to champion women and their leadership.”

“I get a lot of inspiration from FIFA staff and the people that I worked with. I’m inspired every day by the people in my team, our FIFA president and the Secretary General, both of whom have enormous experience and an incredible passion and vision.”

"At FIFA we have great people with international and multi-cultural backgrounds and diverse experience. Amongst our FIFA team there are 63 nationalities. We are 42% women and 58% men, but football is our common language."

November 10, 2020, USA: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the University of Chicago on Sept. 9, 2019. USA - ZUMAm67_ 20201110_zaf_m67_001 Copyright: xArmandoxL.xSanchezx

’Identify your goals and talk about them to others’

Morris believes that female footballers and women in general around the world should be proud of what they do and try, at the same time, to identify their goals and achieve them.

“I believe women need to identify what they want and what they wish to achieve,” she said. “Be proud of yourself and achievements, and articulate your achievements and what you hope to achieve in the future in a clear way to other people.

“Women should take ownership of their goals. We should be bold and proud. Keep trying, be persistent and determined, and never give up," said Morris when asked about her message for women on this year’s International Women's Day.

This article is part of our series focused on women’s football, and women in football, to celebrate International Women’s Day 2021. To find out more about FIFA’s Women’s Football Strategy and Development Programmes, and to read more articles like this, click here.