“Stay in touch with your passion”: Baroness Sue Campbell’s message to female leaders
The Director of Women’s Football, FA spoke at the Summit on Female Leadership in Sport, leaving a message of encouragement for female leaders in sports.
The SIGA (Sport Integrity Global Alliance) is holding a summit on female leadership in sport, which you can follow live here.
Sue Campbell's expert advice to female leaders
Baroness Sue Campbell, who is the Director of Women’s Football for the Football Association as well as a role model for all aspiring female leaders, has a message for members of SIGA and Mentees of the SIGA Women 2022 Global Mentorship Program.
This International Women’s Day, the theme is Breaking the Bias, and when asked how to allow women to have the confidence to participate in being leaders, Campbell said it’s about opportunities. When women are given the opportunity to play with other women initially, they are more likely to gain the confidence to go and compete and eventually become leaders. It's important to encourage women from the start and allow them space to grow.
In 2021, the FA appointed its first female Chair, Debbie Hewitt. Though Campbell admits there is still a long way to go to fully equal opportunities, she says that it’s a great start and emphasizes that women must take advantage of these currently limited opportunities. She also points out that opportunities like this will allow other women to see what’s possible and to encourage them to go for it, too.
“We’ve still got a long way to go to challenge traditional male…a sort of natural inheritance from man-to-man, and break that and say, bringing in women, bringing in diverse thinking into the boardroom, bringing in diversity of people into the boardroom is actually a really good thing, and most successful companies now have diverse boardrooms, and sport has lagged a little bit behind, and it’s time for sport to catch up.”
As far as advice for SIGA Global Mentorship Mentees, Campbell says the most important thing they can do is to never lose the passion they have for why they’re here in the first place. “Keep learning, be authentic, and stay passionate.”