Editor’s comment: Equality for women’s football now
PUBLISHED: 14:30 16 October 2019 | UPDATED: 14:56 16 October 2019
© Karen Yeomans, all rights reserved
How can it be that women’s football is still at such a disadvantage in 2019 when it comes to something as straightforward as securing training space?
I'm sure Better didn't intend its bookings system to be skewed against women. But when processes and facilities are designed primarily by people from one sector of society (in this case men), discrimination against other groups is often the result.
Just two of the 10 people listed among the senior managers on Better's own website are female. Some 39 per cent of the management and leadership roles in its leisure division are held by women, though this figure has risen since last year.
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As with seatbelts and stab vests that don't fit women's bodies, public transport that takes twice as long for disabled people to use, bathrooms that put trans people at risk of violence, and the underrepresentation of people from minority backgrounds in boardrooms - we will continue to end up with systems and services that reproduce inequality unless we work to get a properly diverse range of people making the decisions.
People who complain about positive discrimination probably don't think about it like this. But when society is skewed against the interests of a group of people, it's harder for those people to get the seats at the table that they need to influence decision making, which in turn would remove some of the barriers stopping other people from different backgrounds climbing the ladder to join and replace them.
Whether Better opts to reform the systems that favour men's teams or builds a genuinely fair amount of mandatory provision for women's football into its processes, it must address the inequality we have reported on this week.
But it should also work to remove barriers to women holding the strategic positions within which they could stop this sort of oversight being repeated.