Driving the agenda forward together

This is the key conviction behind Women in Football’s new brand image. Incidentally, as Raj Thambirajah, Strategy Director at Iris writes, it also reflects the organisation’s collaborative journey to get there.

Raj Thambirajah, Iris

Strategy Director


Through years of experience, it has become clear that the progress of women throughout the football industry is best achieved through efforts made by the many, not just the few. No one has come to learn this better than Women in Football, who themselves have evolved to become champions of creating change through collaboration. Now moving forward, Women in Football’s message is clearer than ever. That to make change, we must work collaboratively with the industry, activating a 4,000 strong membership base at every level. With a freshly minted new-look and articulated brand ambition, Women in Football will be the key driver for this combined effort, boldly leading the change from the front.

This collaborative spirit was not lost when working closely with their key partner, Barclays, and creative agency Iris, to unearth and evoke a fresh stance in the football community and wider culture. By examining the current climate and key aspects surrounding the organisation, Women in Football were able to galvanise their values, in order to re-invigorate the brand for the modern era.

Long since the start, but far from finished.

of women have experienced gender discrimination in the footballing workplace
of incidents are reported
of women said they have faced obstacles in their football career

Surfacing the real challenges 

Women having a place in the football industry is now a living reality. Not only on the pitch but far beyond where women are taking on more and varied roles across the footballing industry. However, if the need for more work to be done in this area was ever in doubt, recent research with WIF’s 4,000 strong membership of women and men, commissioned by Women in Football in collaboration with Sports Marketing Survey, makes for sober reading.

Key findings show that whilst two thirds (66%) of women have experienced gender discrimination in the footballing workplace, only 12% of incidents were reported. Furthermore, when problems were reported, the survey indicates they were “brushed under the carpet”, with the mis-used term “banter” the most common form of discrimination. Some 52% of respondents have experienced or witnessed this and a further 82% said they have faced obstacles in their football career.

Beyond the pre-conceived challenge of simply creating access for women, lay the on-going issues of work-place disrespect and career-stifling bias. Whilst progress had been made, there remained a long way to go.

More playmaker than drum beater.

Homing in on a clear point of difference 

Most action in the area of gender equality is positive and many organisations and well-known brands are championing the need for greater diversity & equity. Shining a light on the issue and driving awareness is fundamental. Women in Football’s strength however, lay in providing pragmatic and sustained practical support and thought leadership.

By leveraging expertise from across the full gambit of the footballing world and beyond, Women in Football are able to effect change at different levels across the industry in varying ways. Women In Football support professional development by running bespoke Leadership Courses, offering coaching and mentoring that help upskill and support their members on their career pathway, corporate consultancy and workshops with industry leaders on how to create more inclusive organisations as well as offering support to women who themselves are experiencing discrimination in the workplace. Women in Football take a ‘boots on the ground’ approach to making a real difference.

With solid foundations of integrity and thought-leadership, Women in Football found themselves well poised to take a noticeably differentiated and meaningful stance, in what is an increasingly, and rightfully, noisy arena.

All together now.

The value of women in the football industry isn’t a revolutionary idea from the fringes, but an industry standard that we all have a role in moving forward.

Raj Thambirajah

The power of collaboration

Understanding the multi-faceted and ongoing challenges for women within the football industry, coupled with Women in Football’s unique ability to provide pragmatic and sustained support, pointed to the most mission-critical factor for driving change at scale: collaboration. 

‘Driving the agenda forward together’ is the rallying conviction from which a clear and consistent brand voice communicates Women in Football’s passion, integrity, thought leadership and most importantly how they drive change by working with members and the industry as a powerful collective. A challenge and invitation to all areas of the football industry, and beyond, to fully have their skin the game.

This sentiment is captured by the bold nature of the new brand platform and the likes of the progressive and continuously building nature of the new wordmark. A confident assertion that the value of women in the football industry isn’t a revolutionary idea from the fringes, but an industry standard that we all have a role in moving forward.

Guest Author

Raj Thambirajah, Iris

Strategy Director,


Seasoned with experience at different agencies and across the world, Raj began his ad career at DDB London on Philips before moving to the far east with BBDO, working with the likes of KFC, Pepsico and Smirnoff. Since being back in London, he has led the strategy across Nestlé at Publicis and now finds himself happily at Iris, leading the strategy across Starbucks, Pizza Hut and Barclays.

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