Sport acts as a powerful platform for promoting gender equality and can empower women and girls, but it is also well known that a strong correlation exists between success in sport and business. Recent statistics reveal that nearly three-quarters of executive women say experience in sports can help accelerate a career and 94% of women in a C-suite position having played sport at some time in their lives. However, gender gaps still exist and there is still work to be done to create an equal platform be it in football or the board room.
Footballers are increasingly looking to create opportunities alongside football, to provide a platform for their future once their football career has come to an end. Inspired by our successful partnership with UEFA Women’s Football and the FIFA Women’s World Cup™, we are committed to supporting and enabling female footballers to succeed in the workplace – whether that be during their football career or when they’ve retired and hung up their boots. That’s why at Visa, we are proud to have launched
The Second Half; a career development programme to support female footballers in Europe, as they consider their careers beyond the football pitch. To develop the programme, Visa has collaborated with Karen Carney MBE (Former England international) and Team Visa footballer Kim Little (club Captain, Scotland Vice-Captain) to make sure that The Second Half meets the needs of the footballers, providing actionable support.
As a role model on and off the pitch, Karen’s insight and experience has allowed us to tailor the programme, ensuring that we provide the right assistance for players taking part in the programme. She has seen first-hand the huge growth of the female game driven by the professionalism and is passionate about supporting the next generation of players. But she also knows that it is imperative to ensure that there are pathways in place to allow players to transition smoothly and efficiently to their second career. Through The Second Half, Visa plans to help female footballers recognise that their skills are transferable, showing how they will be able to apply these outside of sport through internal and external training in areas such as financial literacy, social media, CV writing and leadership. We will help players build their personal brand, as well as provide opportunities for them to receive mentoring from Visa employees and other work experience, giving players real business experience to help them in the future. As a result, we believe we’ll see more businesses benefiting from the valuable contributions, diverse thinking and unique skill-sets of female footballers and other elite athletes.
Adrian Farina, SVP Marketing, Europe at Visa said: