Female leaders in football: creating a network and being a role model

  • 32 women participated in the Women in Football Leadership Programme (WFLP)

  • More and more women aspire to leadership positions in football

  • "This course will help me to be more confident and to increase my self-belief" - Diana Bulgaru (Moldova)

“This is a new chapter for me in my professional career. I am ready to elevate myself on my journey as a strong leader not only in women's football but anywhere in the world." These are the words of Sainey Sissohore Mboge from Gambia used to describe what the Women in Football Leadership Programme (WFLP) means to her. Mboge is one of 32 women working in member associations from all six confederations who took part in the latest edition of the Women in Football Leadership Programme, through which FIFA, UEFA and the IMD Business School promote women in leadership positions worldwide.

This marks the third edition of the the programme in cooperation with UEFA, following the editions in 2018 and 2019 respectively.

The programme also serves to create a strong network of women who can advance their own careers, influence the improvement of the sport and be a role model for other women.

“I met amazing people during the program and learnt many new experiences. I am ready to empower more women and girls. I want to give the best of my ability to create many women leaders in my county and around the world," continued Mboge, who works as a women's football coordinator at the Gambia Football Federation (GFF). "I will take this opportunity to thank the GFF for the nomination, FIFA and UEFA for creating the platform to excel in my career."

NYON, SWITZERLAND - MARCH 28: during the UEFA Women in Football Leadership Programme (WFLP) at the UEFA headquarters, The House of European Football, on March 28, 2022, in Nyon, Switzerland. (Photo by Kristian Skeie - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)

During the week-long programme, participants received leadership training and one-to-one coaching where they went through role plays and developed a sense of self-awareness as well as a strong global network of like-minded contacts. In addition to self-awareness, sharing experiences of personal leadership styles and the hurdles women face on their way up in male-dominated industries were also important topics.

To be able to unite so many women who are role models in our game, from all corners of the globe, is truly special and it was a real privilege to watch them work together to empower each other.

Arijana Demirovic, Head of Development FIFA Women's Football Division

"It's a real opportunity to understand the football network, but also develop and understand myself as a leader, understanding where I am now and what I will need to develop women's and girls' football in Northern Ireland and beyond," said Angela Platt, who was appointed the first Director of Women's Football at the Irish Football Association.

"Meeting this diverse group from across the world and hearing their stories creates a network we are able to build on and learn from each other. Inspiring other women in the future and supporting them on their leadership journey. That’s really important, not just in football, but in society as well."