In the Women’s World Cup being played out across Canada this month, only eight of the 24 countries have a woman as their head coach. Similarly, in the English Women’s Super League, only one woman, Emma Hayes at Chelsea, holds the head coach role.
The Rooney Rule, used in the NFL, is designed to ensure minority candidates are interviewed for club coaching positions, but a lack of female candidates means it may not be the most effective way to address women’s under-representation in coaching.
FA director of women’s football Kelly Simmons admitted work had to be done to increase the number of women interested in coaching and undertaking the necessary training.
“I guess we’re playing catch-up because when the women’s game started there were very, very few female coaches at all, even the grassroots game, and there were thousands of thousands of male coaches, so I guess the guys had a head start in that sense,” Simmons told Sky Sports Sportswomen.
Dundee United director Justine Mitchell echoed Simmons’ concerns and said the problem was not with quality but quantity. Mitchell is set to start a women’s team at Tannadice but after advertising for the head coach position, received cv’s from male coaches only.