Sexism still a barrier for women working in football
Professional women working in roles across the UK's lucrative football industry are still finding sexism a barrier to success, according to research by the University of Liverpool's Professor Sue Bridgewater.
Professor Bridgewater was commissioned to produce a report based on a wide-ranging survey carried out on behalf of the organisation, Women in Football.
The report reveals that the proportion of respondents claiming to be victim to sexual harassment has doubled in the last two years, from 7% to 15%, while the number of working women who claim to have been barred from certain areas on the basis of their gender almost tripled, from 7% in 2014 to 19% today.
Professor Bridgewater, who teaches on the Football Industries MBA run by the University's Management School and runs the LMA diploma course for football managers, said: "It is worrying that almost half of those surveyed – 46%- have personally experienced sexism, 24% have encountered bullying, 19% have been barred from certain areas of a football ground based on their gender and 15% have been sexually harassed.
"Many of those affected did not report the incidents for fear of it impacting on their jobs."
The report did find that 60% of those surveyed felt opportunities for women in the football industry are increasing, but 70% believe that they have to be better at their jobs than men in order to progress in the football industry.
The research followed up a survey carried out by Women in Football in 2014. And while some measures showed worrying trends, the number claiming to have personally experienced sexism, while still high, dropped from 57% to 46%.
Professor Bridgewater said: "Two years on from the initial survey of women working in football, it is positive that there has been progress made in some areas.
"Women are generally positive about the progress being made and the opportunities for women within football – 47% agreed that their workplace celebrates female talent and 47% feel that it is inclusive.
"There is still progress to be made, but we hope that offering this snapshot of what is happening in football will form the basis of real advances to make this a safe, welcoming and progressive industry for women to work in."