This Sunday, the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams face off in Atlanta for Super Bowl LIII. Friends and families across the country will huddle around their big screen TVs cheering great plays and debating questionable calls over chicken wings and chili – but will anyone be talking about the role women play in the NFL?
Once relegated to the sidelines, women have been fighting to level the playing field and break down the NFL’s glass ceiling, tackling careers as:
Referees. In June 2017, Terri Valenti became the first female instant replay official for the NFL, and in January 2019, Sarah Thomas became the first woman to officiate an NFL playoff game as the down judge in this year’s AFC divisional playoffs.
Owners. Several NFL clubs have women who are either primary or part owners of teams, including Martha Firestone Ford, who is the principal owner of the Detroit Lions, Virginia Halas McCaskey, is the principal owner of the Chicago Bears and Dee Haslam, who co-owns the Cleveland Browns with her husband, Jimmy.
Coaches. Kathryn Smith paved the way for women coaches in 2016 when she became the first full-time female NFL coach for the Buffalo Bills. Today, women coaches include Katie Sowers, Offensive Assistant for the San Francisco 49ers and Kelsey Martinez, the strength and conditioning coach for the Oakland Raiders.
In addition, advertisers, who spend more than $5 million per 30-second Super Bowl spot, are beginning to appreciate football’s female fans, recognizing that women represent half of the NFL’s fan base and control the majority of an estimated $40 trillion in household spending across the world.* In 2017, P&G targeted women with their “You gotta love a man who cleans” ad, featuring a sexy Mr. Clean. This year, P&G will run a 30-second Oil of Olay spot in the first quarter, which they say is intended to empower women. And Bumble, the dating app, will run a fully female-produced ad featuring Serena Williams, empowering women to make the first move in dating and in business.
Are you playing offense in a traditionally male-dominated field? Your Luma Wealth advisor can help guide you with strategies to negotiate your next career move and break your own glass ceiling.
*“Buying Power,” Catalyst, November 27, 2018 https://www.catalyst.org/knowledge/buying-power