A weeklong workshop as part of FIFA’s Female Leadership Development Programme – an initiative aiming to improve the gender balance in football decision-making took place in Amsterdam this week where a total of 33 women involved in the inaugural edition will graduate from the programme.

Antigua & Barbuda Gwen Salmon is enrolled in the FIFA programme. Gwen Salmon is a Vice- President of the ABFA Executive and is currently the chair of the Women’s Football & Competitions Committee. She is also a CONCACAF Match Commissioner and General Coordinator, She officiates and administrate matches throughout the region.

“The emphasis in the revised FIFA Statutes on promoting women’s football – the game itself as well as the role of women in governance – will make a big difference and I hope that we will look back and see this as having been a major milestone in normalising the presence of women in the game,” says Moya Dodd, FIFA Executive Committee co-opted member and chair of the FIFA Task Force for Women’s Football , who is also a mentor in the FLDP.

“Football can be a better game holistically if it is able to embrace and call upon the administrative, coaching and other skills of the entire population and not just half of it,” Dodd added.

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The workshop focused on giving participants the tools they need to rise through the ranks in football. It provided an opportunity for networking, individual coaching sessions and the exchanging of ideas while the participants also had a chance to meet the mentors they have been paired with and who will support them in realizing their potential as leaders.

The FIFA Female Leadership Development Programme, which is being organized in partnership with THNK School of Creative Leadership, was launched in Vancouver just prior to the final of the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015™.

“We are delighted to be supporting FIFA with the design and delivery of this unique programme. We’ve seen over the course of nine months more evidence that these women are game changers,“ said Natasha Bonnevalle of THNK School of Creative Leadership. “The studies show that gender diversity leads to better problem solving and decision-making, with clear benefits for football and society more generally.”