A growing number of clubs, governing bodies, media, and other key stakeholders in sport realise the importance of women in sport. But is it enough? Stats around the number of women in sport – on and off the field – would suggest not yet. But with greater participation levels amongst women, increased influence over purchasing decisions and successful leaders making their mark in other industries, the outlook is positive and this day will facilitate continuity in changing the game.
An invitation-only audience of over 300 senior leaders from global organisations celebrating women’s sport and encouraging gender diversity in the industry.
Build a network - personal and professional - across teams, leagues, brands and industry stakeholders who are elevating this important topic.
Meet the individual's who are championing progress and celebrating this high profile area.
This unique day of thought leadership will showcase world class examples of how women are impacting sport - from the board room, on the field, and as fans.
Explore growing audiences and fan bases for women's sports, driving participation, connecting with female consumers and the challenges female executives face.
Keynote sessions and discussion panels from the main players who are actively succeeding at keeping this important topic at the forefront.
Lisa Borders brings more than 25 years of experience in operations, marketing, government relations and public service to her most recent role of President of the WNBA. Lisa, who served most recently as Chair of The Coca-Cola Foundation and Vice President, Global Community Affairs at The Coca-Cola Company, will lead the world’s premier women’s basketball league. Lisa was instrumental in bringing the WNBA to Atlanta in 2008, when she served as Vice Mayor of Atlanta and President of the City Council. As President of WNBA she will be responsible for spearheading the company’s efforts to strengthen the WNBA and accelerate its growth.
Barney Francis is the UK’s highest profile sports broadcast executive and has held the position of Managing Director at Sky Sports since 2009. He is responsible for Sky Sports output across six sports channels including Sky Sports News HD, as well as digital content. Barney has worked in television for seventeen years in the terrestrial, multichannel and independent production sectors. Prior to his role as Sky Sports Managing Director, Barney served as Sky’s Executive Producer for cricket for six years, where he was responsible for their first exclusively live coverage of England’s domestic Tests, before moving on to soccer, in particular, English Premier League and UEFA Champions League production.
Rosie Underwood is currently Style Director at OK! Magazine, Rosie is a London based Style Director and Journalist. As well as styling and producing beauty and fashion editorials, she has been involved in a variety of music projects, including promos and album artwork. In addition, Rosie has worked behind the scenes on red carpet events such as the Cannes Film Festival, the BAFTAs and The Oscars 2013. She also has filming experience, most recently appearing on ITV’s This Morning. Rosie is a confident style consultant and presenter and her extensive knowledge of fashion, beauty and celebrity culture lends itself to commercial, editorial, advertising and PR bookings.
Olympic Gold Medallist
Sam plays as a defender for both England and Great Britain’s hockey teams, wearing squad number 13. She won gold as part of the British team at the 2016 Summer Olympics, who beat the Netherlands on a penalty shoot-out. Quek was also part of the England Hockey team who won a Gold Medal at the European Championships in August 2015 in London. She notably won Man of the Match in the final vs the Netherlands, who were reigning World and Olympic Champions at the time. In 2016 she competed in the Rio Olympic Games, winning her 50th cap for Great Britain in the process, with more than 125 combined for both England and GB. She will be part of the athletes panel talking about her experiences as a female athlete and insight behind how female sport can grow further.
Eniola Aluko is a Professional Footballer who plays for Chelsea Ladies of the FA WSL as a forward. Eniola first started her career at Birmingham City before moving on to Charlton Athletic in 2004 where she went on to win the London FA Women’s Cup twice. She then joined Chelsea Ladies in 2007. Eniola has enjoyed great success for club and country, helping Chelsea win their first piece of silverware in their history. She is one of the most capped English footballers with 90 caps, making her debut at the age of 17. Away from the pitch she is a qualified sports and entertainment lawyer with a first class law degree from Brunel University.
Alison Kervin is the Sports Editor of the Mail on Sunday newspaper, Britain’s biggest-selling Sunday newspaper. She is the first female in the UK to become sports editor of a major national newspaper. She is also an award-winning journalist, biographer and novelist. Kervin has written seven sport-related books including Denise Lewis: Personal Best, Jason Leonard: The Autobiography, Sports Writing, The Unofficial Guide to the Rugby World Cup and Clive Woodward: The Biography, the autobiography of Phil Vickery and Thirty Bullies. She has also ghost-written a number of columns for The Times, including Jonny Wilkinson’s. A real champion of female sports and female athletes with extensive knowledge and experience giving great expertise to the summit adding real value for delegates.
Libby Greenhalgh is a qualified Meteorologist, Libby has sailed all her life racing dinghies at multiple World and European Championships and competing for 4 years on the Olympic circuit. In 2007 she chose to combine her passion for the weather with her sport and joined the British Olympic Sailing team, having formerly been part of their development squad, as the team Meteorologist and supported the team at the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games. In 2014 the opportunity to join Team SCA as their on-board navigator in the Volvo Ocean Race appeared and she jumped at the opportunity to be part of history and put women back in the race. Team SCA had a historic leg win in the race and finished 3rd in the In-Port Series.
Retired International Rugby Player & Commentator
Maggie Alphonsi is the face of international women’s rugby. Since her retirement from rugby in 2014, she is now turning her attentions to being in front of the camera working for a number of different media outlets. Maggie is now turning her attentions to talking about the game as a media professional. She was named as part of ITV’s Rugby World Cup broadcast line-up, before then becoming part of ITV’s broadcast team for the 2016 RBS 6 Nations. Her inclusion in this line-up makes her the first ever former female player to commentate on men’s international rugby. She is also a regular on Sky Sports, BBC and England Rugby TV.
Participation and Development Director
Kelly oversees the National Game including children’s, grassroots and semi-professional football. She is currently leading the development and implementation of The FA National Game Strategy, which will invest £200m into grassroots football over a four-year period. A member of the UEFA Grassroots Panel and the FIFA Women’s Committee, Kelly’s hard work and determination was recognised in 2002 when she received an MBE for her services to football. A figurehead for women’s football, she is responsible for the implementation of The FA’s ‘Game Changer’ which outlines plans for women’s football, including the development of the new semi-professional FA Women’s Super League.
Simon Hetherington has over 20 years’ experience in the car industry. In his current role as Commercial Director for Kia Motors UK Ltd, Simon plays a pivotal role in helping the company – and its 188 strong dealer network – achieve its ambition of reaching 100,000 annual sales by the end of the decade. Simon’s involvement in sponsorship, particularly in the field of cricket, has seen the brand gain traction and awareness amongst cricket fans. The title sponsorship of the Kia Super League represents the first ever standalone title sponsorship for a domestic women’s cricket competition in England and will ensure that the future of Women’s cricket and security of up and coming players is there. Being the key sponsorship of the England Women’s team since 2014 has allowed the team to become fully professional for the first time. Simon joined Kia in the UK in 2007 and worked previously as Business Development Director, responsible for developing the capacity and capability for future growth in its UK dealer network, and before that as Marketing Director covering marketing communications, product planning and marketing programmes.
Debbie Jevans is a British former professional tennis player. Debbie was previously Director of Sport for LOCOG where she was responsible for delivery of all aspects of the sporting events at the 2012 Games, medical and anti-doping programmes, as well maintaining the relationships and support from all the international federations. The first woman in Olympic history to be appointed Director of Sport for an organising committee, Debbie was awarded a CBE in the 2013 New Year’s Honours List for her services to the London 2012 Games. Debbie was voted the most influential woman in British Sport earlier last year by the Guardian. After the Olympic and Paralympic Games Debbie took over the post of Chief Executive for the 2015 Rugby World Cup. In 2014, she joined the Board of the EFL as an independent director.
Head of Consumer Business
Margot Harley is Head of Consumer Business at the Sydney Roosters; a foundation club of Australia’s National Rugby League. She is responsible for commercial outcomes across departments such as Membership, Community Engagement, Match Day Entertainment and Ticketing and Merchandise. Margot is member of the inaugural NRL Women in League Committee which is leading the development and implementation of a female engagement strategy across the NRL. In 2015, Margot developed and implemented a game wide survey as part of her postgraduate Master’s degree to understand how the league could motivate women throughout the game to aim for Executive and Board level positions within their clubs, creating long term increased female representation within the sport.
Jo is the Executive Director of Virgin Money Giving. Jo worked in advertising and media for ten years before joining Virgin Direct where she became the Marketing Director as the company launched the Virgin One account in 1997. In 2008 Jo launched and led Virgin Money Giving , a not-for-profit online fundraising site from Virgin Money whilst also heading up Virgin Money’s sponsorship of the London Marathon, developing and running a number of Social enterprise programmes for Virgin Money and leading the launch of the Virgin Money Foundation where she has also held the position of interim Executive Director since August 2015. Jo is a member of the BERG Advisory Board for BITC , sits on the Mind Corporate Development Board.
A dynamic leader, Kate is Managing Partner at Speed Communications, leading the Sports & Media Division and also MD of the London office. Described as an energetic tour de force who leads creative, strategic communications and brand development campaigns for clients across the agency, Kate is responsible for driving the growth and strategic direction of the Sports & Media Division as the agency enters a new chapter. Kate was previously MD of Speed Communications, before the Bray Leino merger and prior to that, founder of KTB PR which specialized in sports, health and wellbeing. During this time, Kate looked after clients that included Unilever, adidas and The European Tour, specifically the 2010 Ryder Cup and three 2012 Olympic sponsor clients.
Kate was appointed onto the Board of Sport England in October 2013 and has most recently spearheaded the development of their first ever ATL campaign targeting women.
Casey Jean Stoney, MBE is an English footballer who plays for FA WSL club Arsenal Ladies. A versatile defender, she has been capped more than 100 times for the England women’s national football team since making her debut in 2000. Stoney is already thinking about a life away from the pitch; specifically one on the touchline. The Gunners defender began her studies for the UEFA A Licence, the second highest qualification in the game, in January. She’ll be speaking on the participation panel discussion alongside Sport England and the FA. It will be interesting to hear the perspective of a current athlete on this topic, giving something unique to the discussion
Head of Brand & Sponsorship
Katherine has extensive experience in brand, marketing and retail design gained in Retail, Financial Services and Telecoms industries and was shortlisted for CIM’s Women in Marketing 2013. Katherine is currently the Head of Brand & Sponsorship at TSB.
Since joining TSB in 2014 Katherine has helped grow TSB brand awareness to its highest point since it separated from Lloyds. Katherine was also responsible for negotiating TSB’s first sponsorship deal with Pride of Britain and Pride of Sport Awards. 2016 is the first year of an exclusive five year partnership that reflects TSB’s core belief about people’s ability to have a positive impact on others.
Katherine has also had a very successful swimming career. In 2004 Katherine was the fastest British swimmer to complete a solo swim across the English Channel.
Piara is the Executive Director of the Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) network. Piara was selected as the organisation’s executive director back in 2010. The FARE network is an organisation that brings together individuals, groups and organisations driven to combat inequality in football. Piara, whose previous post was as Director of Kick It Out in the UK, came into post at the beginning of July and is now working on formally registering FARE as a European NGO in the Netherlands.
Stuart is responsible for all of the content across BBC Sport’s digital platforms having joined the team in 2011. He’s led the team through the London and Rio Olympics and also oversees the annual Price of Football project. He has previously worked on BBC Breakfast and Look North in Hull.