Sunday 27 March 2022, 07:00

Third edition of Women in Football Leadership Programme launches

  • The Women in Football Leadership Programme is a joint initiative by FIFA and UEFA, delivered by the IMD Business School

  • 35 participants from around the globe will participate in the third edition of the program

  • "Women play vital roles in making organisations successful" - Sarai Bareman

35 participants from around the world have been selected for the latest edition of the Women in Football Leadership Programme, which will take place in Lausanne, Switzerland, from Monday 28 March to Thursday 1 April. The programme is a joint initiative of FIFA and UEFA, run by the IMD Business School, and aims to promote women in leadership positions in the world of football. The participants, representing all six confederations and nominated by their respective member associations, hold senior management positions in football such as General Secretaries, Executive Board Members or Directors. The whole of football benefits from greater representation of women at senior level because it can draw on many more valuable perspectives, experiences and backgrounds, and be as inclusive and diverse as possible worldwide.

This course has allowed me to feel much more empowered as a person and I strongly believe it can really change the course of my life. It is a very complete programme, very well prepared and absolutely unique.
Ana Sofia Moura, Commercial Director of the Portuguese Football Association

The one-week intensive workshop provides a learning platform for women working in football structures and aims to educate, empower and create a stronger network for women in football. It creates a unique learning environment that promotes the personal development of talented women from all over the world.

The training, which starts on Monday, is the third edition of the Women in Football Leadership programme, which was launched by UEFA and FIFA in 2018 and first offered in the same year. Numerous female football leaders had come together to advance their careers.

"I was very happy to be invited because not many people get such an opportunity," said Aline Pellegrino (Coordinator of Women's Football Teams and Competition) from the Brazilian Football Federation, who attended the 2019 edition. "A programme like this is a vital step in taking us out of our comfort zones. I felt very uncomfortable but in a good way. These women have all achieved a lot and we feel very strong now, but we must not think that we have made it and that we don't need to keep learning", she adds. “I really believe in building together. That’s the way I’ve been my whole life as an athlete and I think that what I’m doing off the pitch as an administrator is the same thing: trying to bring people together and get everyone believing."

Besides the exchange of experiences, self-perception, personal leadership style and the hurdles for women on their way up in male-dominated industries will also be a topic. “Women play vital roles in making organisations successful. They create a balance that allows us to share ideas and skills to constantly improve together and strive forward,” said Sarai Bareman, FIFA’s Chief Women's Football Officer.

“The programme is a unique platform for female executives in football to grow and assume more decision-making roles within their organisations.”

Participants in alphabetical order:

Anargul Abdyshova (Kyrgyz Republic), Zumrud Aghayeva (Azerbaijan), Lujaina Al Zaabi (Oman), Shaneez Aminath (Maldives), Diana Bulgaru (Moldova), Wanxin Chen (Singapore), Kelly Davies (Wales), Amanda Dlamini (South Africa), Olive Michele Dol Somse (Central African Republic), Maria Teresa Figueras Pons (Andorra), Heather Garriock (Australia), Martha Gens (Portugal), Aikaterini Gkonta (Cyprus), Patrizia Hell (Germany), Outi Järvelä (Finland), Andrea Johnson (Guyana), Tamara Jokić Rozman (Slovenia), Dalila Johana Lopez Sanchez (Nicaragua), Diana Matheson (Canada), Laura McGinn (Gibraltar), Laura Menzies (New Zealand), Viktorija Mihaļčuka (Latvia), Farkhunda Muhtaj (Afghanistan), Heather Angela Platt (Northern Ireland), Sapna Rani (India), Anna Nyakuet Taker Riak (South Sudan), Anya Schillumeit (Switzerland), Sainey Sissohore Mboge (Gambia), Sabrina Suarez (Venezuela), Amalia Thomaidou (Greece), Pénélope Tomasi (France), Inge van Bogerijen (Netherlands), Enikő Erzsébet Vastagh (Hungary) Jarsmine Vidal (Dominica) and Milou Werth (Sweden).