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THE MEMBERS HELPING TO BROADEN AND DEEPEN WOMEN IN FOOTBALL'S REACH

14 June 2024

THE MEMBERS HELPING TO BROADEN AND DEEPEN WOMEN IN FOOTBALL'S REACH

With the membership of Women in Football fast approaching 10,000, a small group of members are set to boost the organisation's reach still further.

WIF's new Membership Committee is about to start its work, helping WIF to reach and represent women in football more broadly and more deeply, bringing about meaningful engagement with a greater cross-section of the community.

The committee's members were chosen from a total of almost 80 applications after WIF appealed in March for members to come forward and join. Read on to meet the team!

Sabah Ahmad is the founder and captain of inclusive football team Lez Be United. Earlier this year she also created Marta: The Women's Football Collective, an inclusive platform for fans of the game. A senior social worker, Sabah describes herself as having "a strong passion for social justice and impact".

Mel Benson volunteers with grassroots club Braunton FC as a coach, manager and player. She brings a background in ability football and is especially involved in walking football.

Nicola Beswick is Strategy Director at sports marketing and management agency Wasserman, and part of The Collective, the firm's women’s practice, representing and leading efforts out of the Middle East. She's also a trustee on the board of a UK charity, responsible for community sports centres.

Rachel Cossey is the Head of Football Development at Norfolk FA, and also plays and coaches football outside of work.

Gemma Frith works in the video team at Wolverhampton Wanderers FC as a Presenter/Producer, where she co-founded the female employee network Women at Wolves.

Toyin Higgs is Head of People, Culture and Inclusion and Senior Safeguarding Lead with Sported, a non-profit supporting community sports groups, and Chair of the Inclusion Advisory Board at Warwickshire CCC. She also has a background in football coaching and latterly football administration at English county FA level.

Edleen John is Board Safeguarding Champion with the Amateur FA and an ex-director of the FA. She brings extensive experience from the corporate, charitable and public sectors in both an executive and non-executive capacity.

Harry Quirk works in the commercial team at Brighton & Hove Albion FC, supporting the operations of the 1901 Club hospitality suite.

Gina Stein is based in Germany and currently working in Frankfurt as part of the ticketing team for the men's UEFA EURO 2024 tournament. Her background is in sustainability.

Cassie Whittell is Senior Operations Manager with Brighton & Hove Albion FC, where she also founded and co-chairs the women's staff network.

Maria Xing is based between Miami and London, working as Head of Investments & Corporate Development with multi-club investment organisation Brera Holdings.

The committee's 'first XI' will be joined by Women in Football's Client Services Manager Sarah Collins and director Lungi Macebo, as well as WIF member and sports marketing specialist Lauren Estwick, They will meet for the first time in June.

In detail, the Membership Committee's remit is to:

  • engage, know and grow WIF’s membership
  • bring to the table ideas and perspectives that will help support WIF in implementation and execution of a strategy, which supports board, ambassadors, committee members, internal workforce and external stakeholders (members, partners, sponsors, etc)
  • ensure that membership is inclusive and fosters and creates a sense of belonging
  • attract more diversity to our membership, which, in turn will feed ideas to shaping our EDI strategy
  • ensure, that as a subcommittee, we are aligned with WIF’s overall strategy to bring about collaborative progress and impact in the industry
  • support WIF with the development of separate networks to gain feedback on and greater understanding of the different roles within the industry and their needs
  • ensure WIF membership is valuable, relevant and evolves to reflect the needs of our members

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