Frequently Asked Questions

How can I report a sexist incident?

Reports can come in to Women in Football:

What is sexism?

Sexism is discrimination and prejudice based on a person's sex or gender.

What would a sexist incident be?

Incidents can vary from derogatory or abusive comments to demotion, maternity discrimination, sexual harassment, missing out on career opportunities, and being paid less than male colleagues in the same role.

Common examples might include:

  • A female medic being told that they cannot travel with the men’s team on the away coach, but their male colleague can
  • Sexist chanting from fans
  • Facing scrutiny over sexual orientation, or details of a female employee’s private life
  • Unsolicited messages and advances from a male colleague
  • A female journalist is sent threatening or defamatory messages on Twitter

The types of incidents are varied but if there is discrimination and prejudice based on a person’s sex or gender – please report it.


Sexism and the law

For more detailed information on sexism and the law as it applies to football please see here.


Reporting sexism to Women in Football

Women in Football categorise the incidents they receive into three main areas:

  • Workplace incidents
  • Matchday incidents
  • Social Media incidents


Workplace incidents

The women in Football survey in 2014 found that over 66% of women witnessed sexism and over 89% didn’t report it. Women in Football want this to change.

We want to hear from you if you have witnessed or experienced sexism in your workplace.

What happens if I report an incident to Women in Football?

It is important to reiterate that when you contact Women in Football your complaint will be treated with the upmost sensitivity and confidentiality. You will be asked if you wish to remain anonymous and this decision will be respected throughout the process.

Reporting a workplace incident

The incident received is acknowledged and then reviewed by the Executive Development Manager. Next steps are then discussed with the complainant. It may be appropriate to take the incident up with the organisation the report concerns and Women in Football will discuss this approach in full with the complainant. We are fortunate to be able to offer pro bono legal advice and this maybe the appropriate next step. It all depends on the nature of the incident but all options will be discussed in full with the person logging the complaint.

Reporting a match day incident

All incidents are sent to The FA to investigate. The incident will also be reported on your behalf, to the relevant league and Club. Responses from the investigating body will then be sent to the complainant via Women in Football.

Reporting a social media incident

If the report does not come in directly from the individual the abuse is directed towards the Executive Development Manager will contact the individual concerned to highlight that it has been reported as an incident. They will be asked permission to send the incident to the media platform it came via or to True Vision. The incident will also be sent to the Club or organisation linked with the social media incident.

To find out more about the rules of social media click here.

How long would an investigation take place?

Investigations by the authorities vary in complexity and they are not able to provide a timescale but we will follow up all incidents sent to the authorities and keep you informed of progress all the way.

Where can I get further help or advice?

If you need any advice or support reporting an incident then do not hesitate to contact sarah@womeninfootball.co.uk

You may also find the following organisations useful.

Maternity Action

Citizens Advice Bureau

Equality Act 2010 – Discrimination and your rights

Equality Advisory Support Service discrimination helpline

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