From 3% to 30%, how we’re increasing female engagement at Street League
Football is the most popular sport in the UK, with the FA reporting 14.1 million people playing. While 3.4 million are women, men still dominate the figures and keep up the perception of football being a ‘male sport’*.
Inequality isn’t only found on the pitch and as a sports and employability charity, we want to play a role in challenging inequality in both sport and in the workplace.
This year's theme for International Women's Day is #ChooseToChallenge calling for us to be alert, collectively challenge gender bias and inequality and celebrate female achievements.
It hasn’t always been easy for us to reach girls in the communities where we work. Until 2014 our participants were 97% male with only 3% female. Since then, we’ve taken steps to make our programmes more inclusive.
Making changes requires research. We started by speaking to hundreds of girls in our communities and worked alongside local organisations who already were working with woman and girls.
We knew this change couldn’t be done alone and it was thanks to local collaborations and funding from Sport England, Barclays, Robertson Trust and Standard Chartered Bank that we were able to turn our research into a reality.
Our first step was to introduce a wider range of sports and fitness activities and build relationships with employers and organisations who championed gender equality as a priority. We then identified that it was vital that all our academies were places girls felt comfortable. This led us to re-evaluate our venue choices, redesign our sports kits and make period products available at all academies.