The 2023 Women in Football Leadership Programme (WFLP) has kicked off with talented women from various football associations across the globe converging in Switzerland. The week-long annual course is jointly run by FIFA, UEFA, and IMD Business School, and is designed to enhance the leadership skills of female decision-makers and potential senior executives in football.
This latest edition of the WFLP brings together an impressive cohort of 36 female leaders who hold senior management positions in football, such as general secretaries, executive board members, or directors. These women have been nominated by their respective member associations and represent all six confederations.
What is the Women in Football Leadership Programme?
The WFLP is a programme designed to elevate more women into senior positions in world football. It provides participants with a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing football and equips the participants with the skills necessary to drive change and progress in the sport.
By empowering women with the tools to succeed in leadership positions, the WFLP also aims to foster gender diversity and inclusion in football. The programme has already had a significant impact, with several alumni going on to take up leadership positions in their respective football associations and confederations.
How do participants and the wider game benefit from the Women’s Football Leadership Programme?
Nadine Kessler, Managing Director of Women’s Football, UEFA, said, “Developing a new generation of female leaders in football is crucial to promote greater gender balance in representative roles across football and its decision-making bodies.”
“By identifying talents and providing them with a platform that can unleash potential, elevate their capabilities and, most importantly, empower them to step up and take on leadership opportunities, the WFLP encourages both personal and professional growth.”
Fatma Samoura, Secretary General, FIFA, said, “We have launched the Women in Football Leadership Programme with the aim of identifying, supporting and developing women leaders and role models in football. This year marks the fourth edition of the initiative, following the kick-off of the first edition by UEFA and FIFA in 2018, which has seen a significant number of female football administrators come together to progress their careers. Once again, we hope that the 2023 edition of the WFLP will upskill, empower and create a stronger network among the 36 female leaders from all six confederations of our beloved game.”
Ginka Toegel, Professor of Leadership, IMD, said, “We are honoured to partner with UEFA and FIFA in delivering the Women in Football Leadership Programme. The future of football can only benefit from greater diversity across its leadership. IMD looks forward to empowering participants with the right tools, knowledge and support to reach their full potential in decision-making roles in football.”
Women’s Football Leadership Programme: the class of 2023
Amy Duggan (Australia), Mahfuza Akther (Bangladesh), Zimbiri Zimbiri (Bhutan), Tsholofelo Candy Setlhoko (Botswana), Ana Lorena Marche (Brazil), Martina Kyoseva (Bulgaria), Hairia Ali Mohamed (Comoros), Froso Ppekri (Cyprus), Michelle Gregersen (Denmark), Eva Nõmme (Estonia), Iris Au (Hong Kong), Christina Wolff (Germany), Cazirah Ruth Thomas (Grenada), Andrea Ornelia Johnson (Guyana), Eniko Vastagh (Hungary), Chhatrapati Madhurimaraje (India), Homeira Asadi Kavan (Iran), Anica Trajkova (Macedonia), Cheri-Lee Randall Atkinson (New Zealand), Ayishat Falode (Nigeria), Cecilie Olsen (Norway), Mona Dabdoob (Palestine), Marie Schossow Rodriguez (Panama), Claudia Poças Felix (Portugal), Mariia Suchkova (Russia), Aalia Abdulaziz Alrasheed (Saudi Arabia), Julie Tudhope (Scotland), Urška Končar (Slovenia), Christine Stidsberg (Sweden), Zeynep Sener (Turkey), Michaela Clique (Austria), Taibu Azah (Uganda), Zarah Amina Samuel (United Kingdom), Mary Ianthe Mumford (United Kingdom), Samantha Miyanda (Zambia).
More about the UEFA Academy
Building on the professional excellence UEFA has established throughout its history and the learning initiatives developed over the last decade, the UEFA Academy inspires the education of individuals and organisations to continuously elevate the game.
Since its foundation, the Academy has trained more than 3,000 graduates from 145 nations around the world, offering 62 learning initiatives each year.