Brighton & Hove Albion women’s first-team manager Hope Powell believes that International Women’s Day is an ‘advocate of change’, as the achievements of females all across the world are recognised.
Powell admits that a lot still needs to be done in helping to achieve equality among both genders, but feels that campaigns such as International Women’s Day can only be beneficial in bringing about positive change.
She said, “It’s really good that there is a platform to showcase some of the really good stuff that women are doing which otherwise would probably be forgotten or not valued.
“It really brings these achievements to the forefront of people’s minds and gives women the kudos or recognition they probably wouldn’t normally get.
“Women are still not yet on a level playing field and if this day nudges people’s consciousness, then it’s all worth doing.
“It raises awareness, which then becomes a debate, and debate then turns into a serious conversation. That’s generally how change is made. If you don’t raise awareness, nothing changes because everyone assumes that everything is okay.
“What has happened with the BBC is a case in point in terms of wage discrimination; it challenges the norm where women are severely underpaid. It’s an advocate of change.”
Bringing matters back to the Albion, Powell recognises that the club is doing everything possible to achieve equality between the men’s and women’s programmes.
“There’s still work to do here, but ambition is to shift it from a place where it is now to a place where it becomes even better.
“If we are to look at Brighton as a club, you don’t mention the men without the women. They’re looking at building office spaces that are very similar in high spec to the men.
“We will also be having a full-time programme, but we understand the differences in the men’s and women’s games in terms of revenue.
“But as a club, we’re constantly trying to be more inclusive with the community and the women, and that sets a shining example to what others should be striving for.”
Powell also stressed the importance of having successful female role models in all areas of society, and is eager to see even more women employed in top roles within football.
“It’s about having people in positions where they can make a difference. We have to recognise that there are some very talented females out there in women’s football and wouldn’t it be great if more and more women were at the forefront of the women’s game?
“One of the really good straplines from a young girl’s perspective is: ‘If I see it, I can be it’. The more that we promote females being successful and doing great things, the more they’re seen and others will believe that they can replicate those achievements.”