On Nov 23, Soccer Without Borders Co-Founder and Executive Director Mary McVeigh Connor moderated a roundtable discussion on gender equality and diversity in sport at the World Football Summit, presented in collaboration with SWB partner, Common Goal. Connor and the panelists spoke about where gender equity in soccer stands now, where it has room to grow, and how it can evolve from within to attain that growth.
“Sport has the potential to shape the world, or it can simply serve as a mirror. From the NWSL, to CONMEBOL, to Women in Football, these women are using their platforms within the football industry to shape a more equitable future,” said Connor.
“I think we should be equally talking about how women are driving success in sports,” said Lisa Baird, Commissioner of the National Women’s Soccer League. “That’s happening now. We don’t have to say, ‘Hey put us there because we’re women.’ No, put us there because we’re successful.”
As gender equality in soccer continues to progress, it’s important to acknowledge the places where growth and development is most needed. The panelists also addressed this by talking about the need to create safe spaces for girls and women to play, work, and progress. Soccer Without Borders continues to advance gender equity through its work with the Global Goal 5 Accelerator and prioritizes female role models in its coaching staff.
In addition to Connor and Baird, the panel included Ebru Koksal of Women in Football and Maria Sol Muñoz of CONMEBOL. As women hold more positions of power within the international soccer community, it’s vital that they come together for conversations like this, to advance gender equality further for participants at every level and in every corner of the sport.
Soccer Without Borders is a partner of Common Goal, which mobilizes the games wealthiest participants - players, coaches, managers - to give back 1% of their salaries into a collective fund that supports community development programs like SWB.