Albion come together to support International Women's Day

The club recently held a Careers Fair with a difference at the American Express Stadium

By Bruce Talbot • 08 March 2024

By Paul Hazlewood
Students from all over Sussex came to the event as part of Albion's support for International Women's Day.

Once again, Albion players, coaches and staff have come together on International Women’s Day to show their support for this year’s theme to ‘Inspire Inclusion’.

International Women’s Day is a global celebration of the cultural, social, economic and political achievements of women and this year focuses on inspiring others to understand and value women’s inclusion to help make the world a better place, and to recognises that when women are inspired to be included there is a collective sense of belonging, relevance and empowerment.

To recognise the importance of coming together the club held its first Careers Fair at the American Express Stadium – with a difference.

‘Finding Your Feet In Football’ celebrated both the amazing women working at the club and aimed to inspire the next generation of female and non-binary students to want to work in the football space.

After they were welcomed by Rose Read, the club’s head of people & culture, more than 100 students from local schools chose different breakout rooms, listening to women working at the club. They could choose from panels discussing getting your dream job in football; what it is like being a woman working in football; and choosing a career in grounds, security, player care and operations.

By Paul Hazlewood
Albion held a Careers Fair to inspire the next generation of female and non-binary students to want to work in football.

In the afternoon, Michelle Walder, chair of the women’s board, and more than 70 students from local universities headed to breakout rooms to discuss topics from coaching and player care to marketing, media and administration.

More than 50 women working at the club and in our Community Foundation, together with representatives from Sussex FA, Women in Football, Focus Group, American Express, Sodexo Live! and Her Game Too, were in attendance.

Rose Reed said, “We were delighted to host this event and have the opportunity to showcase the diverse range of career opportunities that exist in football. hopefully we have played our part in inspiring the next generation in their life and career choices.”

This year, Kick It Out are collaborating with Her Game Too to promote inclusivity and equality in football. Their theme is ‘Inspire Inclusivity’ and therefore a great opportunity for football to collectively share their support to ‘Kick Sexism out of Football’ and encourage reporting incidents of discrimination.

Last season, Kick It Out saw a 400% rise in sexism reports and continue to see a significant rise in reports every season. Therefore, now more than ever it is important to share the message around reporting and allyship.

By Paul Hazlewood
Our new Her Game Too ambassador Alice Botting, left, with Faye Thackwell.

The club has appointed Alice Botting as its first Her Game Too ambassador. Alice, who has attended Albion games with her mum, Sharon, since our Withdean days explained that her role is to make games more inclusive. “We’re already well ahead of the curve here at Brighton & Hove Albion in terms of inclusivity, but we are always looking at what can be improved and what can be done better,” she said.

You can read more about Anna’s role in the match programme for Sunday’s game against Nottingham Forest, which also showcases the work of several women in various roles at the club.

Chief executive Paul Barber said, “We’re proud of the number of women we employ at Brighton & Hove Albion, each having a key role to play in our operations, and we celebrate that during International Women’s Day.

“We were delighted to host such a successful Careers Fair last week and we are working with Kick It Out and Her Game Too to help make football more inclusive and to encourage reporting of incidents of discrimination, which will help make the Amex and other stadiums a safe environment for everyone.

“In addition to our club’s commitment to providing opportunities for women working in football, my role as a non-executive director of Women in Football means I’m personally invested to helping women achieve their full potential at our club and across the game as a whole throughout their career, whilst also ensuring we continue to focus on diversification at all levels.”