Saints celebrating International Women's Day

Saints Foundation/IWD_24_u6lxvc

#Inspire Inclusion: As part of our Red, White and You initiative, we're celebrating International Women's Day by shining a spotlight on what we're doing everyday to #InspireInclusion.

What we're doing in our community

Through our charity, Saints Foundation, we work in the community to challenge discriminatory behaviour towards women and girls in our city, whilst also shaping leadership potential and creating opportunities to level the playing field.

Our Team Mates project is delivered in local primary schools to encourage positive relationships, challenge gender bias and reduce discrimination against women and girls.

Team Mates is a 10 week programme delivered via Primary Stars, in partnership with Yellow Door, an organisation which works with young people who's schools have identified them as at risk for having negative attitudes towards women and girls. The project can include boys and girls but the majority of participants are boys. Workshops focus on tackling gender stereotypes and learning about positive relationships.

During the previous academic year (September '22 - August '23) Saints Team Mates was delivered to 113 primary school children with 91% achieving a positive outcome.

Premier League Changemakers empowers, inspires and develops leadership potential in girls aged 11-16, opening up pathways and boosting aspirations for the future.

Changemakers is a year-long project where girls aged 11-16 take part in workshops which aim to develop their leadership skills and raise their self-esteem. Workshops are a mixture of physical activity sessions and classroom-based tasks and there's a strong focus on inspirational guest speakers and providing girls with access to aspirational opportunities.

During the previous academic year (September '22 - August '23) Changemakers engaged with 47 girls aged 11-16, with 90% of participants achieving a positive outcome.

Changemakers has since grown and on Friday 16th February, we welcomed 68 participants to take part in an inspirational day that encompassed female guest speakers from across the club, sharing their journeys in football. It involved meeting our Women's First Team players and hearing an opening speech from none other than Womens First Team Manager, Marieanne Spacey-Cale.

What we're doing for our fans

Throughout the season we're in regular contact with our HerGameToo Ambassador Jaz Newberry, to make sure we continue to evolve our environment and facilities to be supportive of our female fan base. If you're interested in getting involved with HerGameToo, you can follow them on X (formerly Twitter) or email Jaz at: [email protected].

What we're doing for our colleagues and players

For our colleagues, we know we can do more to create a culture where women can thrive and we're committed to fostering that environment. Our goal is to create the ultimate workplace for women within the industry. This is why we're re-launching our Saints Women's Network, a platform crafted by our female colleagues for our female colleagues, to amplify their voices, establish a supportive community for all women and drive positive change within the club.

In addition to revitalising our Women's Network, we'll be sponsoring two women from within the club to attend the Women in Football Leadership course later in the year. We're also providing education on Women's Health for our Senior Leadership team, to be more confident in approaching taboo topics with female colleagues.

Our efforts to inspire inclusion don't stop there. We work closely with relevant education providers, such as Kick It Out,Beyond Equality and Show Racism the Red Card to teach our players and wider community about combating discrimination and creating a better environment for everyone, inclusive of women. On Monday 11th March, our boys first year scholars will also be receiving an educational workshop from Beyond Equality about Tackling Toxic Masculinities.

In addition to educating our boys academy, we provide a dual career programme for our Women's Academy players aged 14-21, providing a pathway into the Women’s First Team. We support our Womens First Team players in gaining additional qualifications too (such as in personal training) to support the transition towards retirement from their playing careers. Our colleagues have also recently completed training on female athlete health to further educate on the specific considerations needed for female athletes. 

See more from Red, White and You here.