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Wed, June 19, 2024

Women In Football Survey: 89% of women in football industry experience discrimination

Women In Football Survey: 89% of women in football industry experience discrimination

A survey conducted by the group Women in Football (WIF) found that 89% of women working in the game have experienced discrimination in the workplace, up from 82% in 2023 and 66% four years ago.

Despite this continued increase, 85% of the women who responded to the survey were optimistic about the future of the industry and said they believe opportunities for women in the game will improve.

However, of those who reported an incident of discrimination at work, over 60% say no action was taken, while 16% of those people felt they were not even listened to when they made their complaint.

88% of female respondents believe women have to work harder than men to achieve the same recognition and benefits, with 74% of the males agreeing.

The survey also asked respondents to identify the biggest challenges for women in football. Last year conscious and unconscious bias came out on top, identified by more than 75% of those who answered – but in 2024 conscious bias has dropped to 37%. The largest hurdle in 2024 is male dominance of the industry (identified by 71%), followed by unconscious bias (66%).

Online hate is perceived to be on the rise by survey participants, with 44% saying they have witnessed an increase in discriminatory social media posts and 18% being directly subjected to more such abuse.

The survey -conducted in May- received responses from 1,118 people in total, of whom 89% were women, 10% were men and 1% non-binary and 54% work in football, 32% volunteer in football. WIF is a professional network of more than 9,000 members of all genders who work or volunteer in the football industry and support gender equality in the game. The survey was analysed by a research agency based in Germany, Iris Sport.

WIF CEO Yvonne Harrison said:

"Everyone knows that gender discrimination happens in football, but the problem isn't just that it happens – there's an even bigger problem around how football deals with it. When gender discrimination happens, many women don't feel they can report it, and when they do report it, too often no action is taken. Women deserve better. 

"We know there is willingness in the football industry to work for gender equality and we appreciate the contribution of our male allies in achieving it. For real progress to be achieved at this point, the message of our survey is clear: listen to women, and act on what they tell you."

The full WIF statement can be found here

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