FA Women's Leadership Graduates Announced

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The Football Association has announced the ten successful graduates from its first Women’s Leadership Programme, which includes Manchester FA's Chair of the Board, Deb Owen.

Scunthorpe United’s Leanne Mayo, Manchester FA’s Deb Owen, the Isthmian League’s Kellie Discipline, Cambridge United Community Trust’s Jenny Horsfield, Tottenham Hotspur’s Nikki Kelly, the PFA’s Hope Powell, Norwich City’s Jackie Thornton, Portsmouth FC’s Anna Mitchell, Prepared PR’s Lisa Smith and Doncaster Belle’s Faye Lygo were initially chosen after sponsoring organisations were sought who would identify women who were either already at board level or were seen to have board potential.

The programme, which was launched by The FA and supported by all of the football authorities, was run alongside the Institute of Directors with the aim of giving participants the necessary skills to sit on football boards by providing tailored programmes depending upon their sponsoring organisation.

The programmes involved one-day workshops and individual one-to-one coaching sessions which focused on key areas such as; leadership, self-awareness, the role of the board, governance, finance, strategy, networking, coaching, influencing and commercial. 

A new cohort of women will join the programme for its second year in 2017.

Martin Glenn, FA Chief Executive, said: "We are committed to ensuring that football at every level becomes more diverse. The Women’s Leadership Programme not only recognises and celebrates talented women working in the game but will hopefully provide the graduates with the necessary tools and opportunities to flourish at the very highest level."

Deb Owen, Manchester FA's Chair of the Board, said: "It was a privilege to be selected as one of the inaugural members of The FA’s Women's Leadership Programme. The fact that The FA decided to provide this opportunity is a significant step forward and will hopefully ensure that women will be offered opportunities in leadership positions within football at all levels.

"The professionals from the Institute of Directors who provided the workshops and coaching sessions were key to the success of the programme. I would recommend the programme to other women who aspire to hold a leadership position within football."