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European women's football is driving forward at a rapid pace on and off the field – and this progress has prompted a call for greater participation by women in the European football decision-making process.
Consequently, a new project – the UEFA Women in Football Leadership Programme (WFLP) – was launched in 2014.
The programme was developed as a response from UEFA to feedback from its member associations. As a result, the European governing body established a specific leadership programme for women involved in the European national associations.
There is an increasing number of women now in leadership roles in the game. Nevertheless, figures still show that very few women occupy national associations: currently only 5 percent of mid-level or top management positions are held by women. Therefore, the WFLP aims to accelerate a development process within the associations.
The WFLP initiative is aimed at women working in all areas of the football landscape – not necessarily women working specifically in the women's football sector.
The programme seeks to identify individuals who have the potential to become leaders, with this initiative the scheme helping them develop the necessary appropriate skills. Moreover, women already occupying in leadership positions will be offered extra support in their roles.
"UEFA, through its new women's leadership programme, is concentrating on increasing the number of women occupying executive positions in football," says UEFA General Secretary Theodore Theodoridis. "This is an important long-term development programme, and will draw on the female expertise of the 55 UEFA member associations to ensure that leadership skills are recognised, nurtured and implemented across the European football family."