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International Women's Day

'Allyship helps to change perceptions'

8 Mar 2023

Southampton Academy coach Alice Weaving on the importance of opening up new career paths

This International Women's Day, we hear from inspiring female fans and women working in football to see how the Premier League and our clubs are working to promote gender equality in the game.

'Allyship helps to change perceptions'

For Alice Weaving, her role as a Southampton Academy coach offers proof that women can succeed anywhere in football, including in the development of male players.

As a Foundation Phase coach, she is helping boys aged up to 11 on their journey through the youth ranks and towards the ultimate dream of becoming a Premier League player.

"At a club like Southampton, there's a lot of female staff here," she says. "Initiatives like the Premier League's Coach Inclusion and Diversity Scheme is really pushing for more females to be involved in roles that possibly are male-dominated.

"Having people within these roles are going to create some role models, hopefully, to inspire others to get involved and actually see this as a career path. So we're getting there.

"There's this importance of allyship, and leaning on mentors. People want you to succeed, and especially I feel that at Southampton and with the support from the Premier League.

"I've often been misjudged for a physio, so those little bits go a long way into changing people's perceptions, that females can be in these roles in these clubs.

"That's why allyship is so important to me because I feel like everyone here has rooted for me and wants the best for me."

Also in this series

Part 1: 'There's progress, but still room for improvement'
Part 2: 'Everton means every single emotion I have experienced'
Part 3: 'Those who bullied me now admit they were ignorant'
Part 5: Premier League clubs celebrate International Women's Day

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