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Reimagination At Work by Watch This Sp_ce
Reimagination At Work by Watch This Sp_ce

Episode 1 · 4 months ago

Kicking the Balls

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Karen Dobres, Director of Lewes FC, joins Mo and Allegra to talk about how she got involved with the club despite actively disliking football in the past!

Lewes FC is the first football club in the world to pay male and female players equally, and one of very few sports clubs where the men and women play on the same pitch. The club has inspired a book and a social movement, and Karen isn't stopping there.

Find out more about Karen's incredible mission, and get this month's What Fresh Hell Is This? report.

Sponsored by Ideal and Plus Accounting.

Hello and welcome to the reimagination of work podcast. Class helps you to seek about ideas, to reimagine the world of works that it includes everyone. I'm OK Angel Out. I'm one of the hosts of the podcast and I have with me a Legra Chatman, who's one of the other host hello, a Legra. Hello. This episode of sponsored by ideal, experts in networks, cybersecurity, collaboration and platforms. Ideal design deliver and manage core technology from world leaders, including Microsoft, Cisco and Palo Alto Networks to help you create value, protect your critical data and applications and accelerate your business transformation. You can find out more at ideal docode dot UK. And we also we are delighted to have with us in this episode Karen Debraz who is one of the directors of News Football Club. Hi, Karen, hello, Hello, nice to see you those yes, thanks so much for joining and really great to have you on this episode and we have lots to talk about, lots of interesting subjects. A talk about a Karen, you and I met at a girl's network event. Didn't really when we were both on the panel. We did, and it was such a it was a great event it was really celebratory and we're on the panel with some amazing people as well, and it was about networking that we were getting them when we were teaching about networking, and we were. We ended up networking ourselves, we did people. So many of us got to know each other from that. Yeah, and that the theme of that friend was about showing the girls the power of network. So it seems very apt that we've all stayed and gone fact ourselves. Yeah, asolutely. Let's keep those effects coming. Yes, exactly, and Karen, I'd be really great for us if you could introduce yourself tell us a bit about yourself and your career and what you're doing now. Okay. Well, so my name is Karendo break and I'm an elected director at Louis Football Club and it's my great privilege to sit on the board there because at the moment there are seven directors and I'm the only woman. I'm hoping that changes soon because we've got an AGM coming up and anyone who owns the club can stand as as a director, stand to be a director. So I'm really encouraging women to put themselves forward at the moment and we are the first football club in the world to split our playing budgets equally between men and women. That tells you a lot about football. And we play in Lewis at the dripping pan. Both teams play. They're both play on the same pitch. Again, that's unusual in football. Usually the women play on inferior pictures that are a long way away from the town. And I I lead on Louis football clubs impact on the world, which I love. I absolutely love doing it's really, really interesting and makes the world seeing a lot smaller and actually a lot lighter and warmer because of the great messages that we send out and the people that respond to them. So that's what I do at the moment. In terms of my whole career, she asked about I've had a very varied career and I started off as a scientific writer as a pharmaceutical company. I went on to do a degree in literature. I then became a fashion model. I then trained as a counselor. Oh for a while I sold newspapers with the Essex Chronicle. I then became a counselor in private practice. I then managed a counseling service for polygram records who are or worm multi site. They've now become universal. They were taken over by universal for all their employees, and I've sat on on some board since then and done some writing and got a great article published in The Observer magazine a while ago about what is it like to model if you're over fifty years old, which is quite a fun one. It's quite a laugh and I yeah, I now do vote nearly all my time to live this football club, having never liked football football before two thousand and seventeen when I heard about Lewis, Lewis's equal pay initiative, that's amazing. So it wasn't football that three you end for the role. It was the the colpey campaign. Absolutely I really didn't like I was actually anti football, to be honest, Alegra but because I was misinformed. I was, and I was, I would say I was deliberately miss informed by the society that we live in. I thought football was just men. I thought men played football. All I saw a football was men on the ...

...television. All I saw a football in the newspapers was men on the back pages. I could be forgiven for thinking that, and since then I've learned that. You know, I was born in one thousand nine hundred and sixty seven and when I was born there was still a ban in place on women playing football. The FA band women from playing football. People again, it is so no wonder all the boys played football at school and took over the whole playground, I might add, early early man spreading tendencies, and all of us girls were on the edges playing hop Scotch or, you know, netball. I did play netball. But you know, football the world's most popular sport, with over three point six billion fans around the globe. I saw as exclusively for men and also, growing up when I did in the s and the S, I associated it with, you know, the worst kind of toxic masculinities, wholiganism, abuse. I lived near Wembley Stadium. Actually I lived in northwest London, in Newston, and I would get off of the tube if football fans came on because I was scared as a woman that. You know, I was scared and so and and the other thing I associated football with was wags, right and yeah, decorations to the main event. And you know, I that's that's an unhelpful way to be. I believe if you're a girl or a woman in this society. So, yeah, all negative. So when I actually heard that Louis Football Club were paying women the same as men and they were making international and national headlines, and I live fifteen minutes away, I thought, what, what's going on in Little Lewis? You know, hang on, women play football. Hang on, they do, and they're not paid the same as men. And that's when I, you know, I went to watch women's March. It was amazing and and my my life changed. Actually thinking about it has when my life changed a Leccra. That's amazing. And and yeah, what is going on in Little Louis? Because that's such an amazing thing to have sex so many, so much groundbreaking activity going on. The women are playing on the same pitch, they're being paid the same amount. I imagine having somebody like you're the board, whose focus is on impact on the wider world is quite is that a normal thing? Is that quite unusual, because that feels quite a, you know, an important thing for football. Say what's what's what is it Louis that's created this culture of such a kind of socially aware we all weird and so radical. Basically, I'll tell you that the answer is that. Well. Actually, let me continue on the weird and radical theme because Lewis it fits the town's Calma right Ye, be dependent, to be activists, to be making change, and so, first of all, that's that's not that. That's a nice fit. So that's why it works here. And the real answer to your question is that the initiative to be absolutely pioneering worldwide in gender equality comes from the community ownership model, and Louis Football Club is one hundred percent community owned. It became community owned back in two thousand and ten because it was on the brink of financial ruin, and most football clubs, by the way, do not make profits, so this is not unusual. But to make it sustainable, a group of six men got together and bought it for a pound, paid off all the debts and it became a mutually a mutual so people could at that stage by a share in the club for thirty pounds and become an owner of the football club, and only by one share, not allowed more than one. Right keep that corruption out of football. And and for that they would get to elect directors and stand stand to be a director if they wanted to. And because, therefore, the aim of the club is to create value for its owners. It's a not for profit. It'd be nice to make a profit, but it stands as an off profit. It's looking to address things that affect people in society, because these are our owners. So any issue that football can address directly, we will take on if we have the resource to, and that's usually time, resource more than anything, and we will make a difference and we will set an example. So not only do we campaign for gender equality, but we also campaign for the Anti gamblification of football, for example, and we can talk about that to the cows come home, because you know that the football is a wash with betting adverts and betting sponsors on the front of their shirts. We've actually turned away the money from gambling sponsors because we don't like the association with football. We can see that it causes men...

...in particular to commit suicide. Marketing it as as a fun thing to do and to associate with football is, in our eyes, corrupt. So yeah, we don't like little children learning that the favorite thing in the world that they love is all about gambling. So yeah, so that's one another thing we do. So that to go back to your question. The reason why is simply because it's in the minds of the directors on the board to be thinking that way, and it really all comes from decision makers. So they were literally in the boardroom one day thinking with we're dishing out the budget here. Our women's team are doing really well. Why are we giving more of a proportion to our men's team than our women's team when they're doing so well? Now the answer really is, well, the women don't get the same crowds as the men. They didn't anyway, so we should give more money to the people that are earning us more of a platform for sponsors. But looking at the unfair way and the UN level playing field that women have always had in football, being socially owned and socially minded, the decision was taken to split the plane budget equally on the basis that we would raise the women's gate figure and make money out of them too, because there was so much potential in women's football and men's football was in fact a mature product that had, you know, reached a brilliant peak but and would carry on. But women's football had the such an and still has such an exciting potential within it to really boom out and not only can it bring in people to watch matches and attract sponsors and, in our case, attract owners, it also has that added social potential to show a different way of being for girls and women, to show it to not just two girls but two boys, to you know that there are other ways to be socially acceptable as a female. So it's women's football to me has everything in it at just everything, morally, business, economically, just brilliant. I love it. And so yet. So the reason why Louis did that was about intention, mindset and attitude and keeping fairness front of mind. And just to add to that, Allegra, we quadrupled our gate figure for the women in two seasons. Wow, maybeing drop the amazing story? Yeah, amazing story, it really is. And, and I mean all of that is so fascinating, such a great story that people really need to hear. And so your role, Karen, what's involved in your role? What do you do day to day? And it's yeah, what what I do day to day is I'm responsible for the strategic vision and direction of the club, along with the other directors. So we're in constant communication on you know, slacks like is a message. So we're in constant communication on that. I lead, as I say, on impact on the world and I'm part of impact on fans and the community. So what I tend to do is take our story and find different ways of angling it towards different people and and publicize it and make sure that we're putting in on our socials and that we are also that we are registering our impact, because we do so many things. It's sometimes things slip through the net and like at any one time, the impact of a football club is is kind of incredible because it's there are so many parts of our communities and parts of our collective imagination that it effects. So I could be, you know, one evening down at the under sixteen s girls training, talking about a new book that's been written that's been inspired by the Quality FC campaign. That's the name of our campaign for gender equality and football, and then the next day be up at our community garden, so called Brad's pit because it's been started by Bradley Prickchyard, one army fielder on the way by, where we can weep. I have links with all sorts of community organizations. We bring in refugees to help on the community garden and also to be stewards are matches, you know, so that they can put that on their CB as something that they've done and become embedded in, more than embedded in the community. I also, you know, write articles and, right, press releases and try to get, try to get actually a lot more women to come to our matches and feel welcome at a football club. So that's so the things that I concentrate on are not necessarily always football le things, but they are ways of attracting through culture, because because I believe, and we believe that Louis...

FC, that a football club is a community asset that's there for everybody. So we can connect that with our culture in general and we can talk about you know, for example, this weekend at the dripping Pan, that's the name of our ground, we have chef Giancarlo cal daisy coming from London to Co commentate on both matches and provide the food for the pet players post match. So we can, for example, talk a lot about that. Now, why, you know, why is he interested? Well, he's interested in the equal pay, but he's also interested in how you fuel players, because he was once a sound of back for Romford, right. So, and we can talk about a story like that and how, you know, football and food connect, and they do on so many levels or another another. Also we have them Dr Eva Carneara coming, who used to be a physio for Chelsea but famously, famously got into a row about sexism. She was the first ever female physio in the Premier League because she went to treat a player on the pitch and has Jo's A. Mario was very cross with her and she won a case against him for unfair dismission, dismissalins and sexual discrimination and it was very public and her life changed as a result of it all. And she's coming. She's an owner of Louis all club that she's coming. It's going to do a chat at halftime about actually, I don't know what it's about yet. I don't think she does, but I expect it's about her life in some yeah. So, you know, these are all very I find the very deucey, very interesting stories that. But but what's the common factor? The common factor is people want to come and support Lewis in solidarity with what we're doing because, oh my goodness, we did this in two thousand and seventeen and we are still the only club in the world to fairly resource women footballers. Wow, that's how deep the sexism runs all in the structures and systems that that exist there and and how excluded women are actually from it. You know, I'm and, as I say, the only elected director on the board that's a woman at the moment. That's wrong, that I shouldn't but my goodness is it hard, you know, to get women to step up, sometimes not the thought full of their own but just through the world that we live in and what's seems to be available and what seems to make sense to women. And there's so many parallels with the business world. So thinking about you know, they're so far to go on equal pay in businesses, so far to go with enough women on boards and so far to go with women feeling like they can do those roles as well. If you know, so many parallel with a business round well, and I think that's interesting because when we're talking about our impact, I always see football as a microcosm of the wider patriarchy, if you like. And so we can we can take football and it's entertaining. So it's it's it is attractive to take football and we can look at it and we can dissect it and we can use it to set an example to the wider world. And the really great thing at the moment power football, because you know, there's some negative things that they're really great thing is that it has the the attention and the hearts and the minds of so many men around the world, and it's actually men that we need to change in order to get women to become more empowered. Right. So, using football, we have this genius way in to men's hearts and minds and often the half of the impact I'm doing is on getting unwelcome women to be more welcome and the other half is getting men to understand their privilege via football. And I tell you what, it's a really, really useful vehicle and under it's and it's I think it's working well because I'm changing and the people around me are changing and I always think that if we're actually changing as people, then we must be changing the world. Yes, wow, how did that? Great? Forget that a tea shirt place. It's more to chat to you about what we're just going to take a quick break, and that's to Allegra. So this wants what fresh held is a support thank you. My people across the UK are outraged to learn that the prime minister attended at least one party at Downing Streets during the pandemic. There have been Latin traps, however, at the government's passing legislation to remove British citizenships from the children and grandchildren of immigrants, people who have been born and raised in this country and could be less stateless by such actions. They have been less outraged by the removal of the rights to protest, criminalizing those who seeks to challenge government actions, and they have not yet been much outrage expressed at the government's moves to remove the NHS is requirements to provide healthcare. This is free at the point of views, putting the most...

...vulnerable in our society at huge risk. How many of us are only aware of politics when it affects us directly? Is it time to recognize that not following politics is a huge privilege, because politics isn't likely to be a life or death matters for you? Well, it is for others. Dept Labor leader Andrea reigner has spoken of the criticism she receives of her accents every time she appears on television. Since two thirds of the current cabinets were privately educated and more than a third of all British prime ministers went to just one school. Eaten. It is perhaps not surprising that people aren't used to seeing different types of people in politics. We need greater representation of different types of people, different accents, class background and life experiences in all aspects of leadership to make the appearance of a northern woman on TV less surprising. And finally, no back. Dakovich has apologized for failing to isolate after his positive covid results and blames his assistance for his incorrect immigration paperwork for his trip to Australia. That has been condemnation from his family and friends and wellknown supporter of eastern Europeans by just Raj. Are the conditions druck of itch was keptain during his payments. We await the same outrage that many refugees and as silent seekers have been living in these same conditions for some time. I will not be with away any time soon. It to compete at major tall tournaments, and that's if this month's what fresh hell is this report? This episode is sponsored by Plus Accounting, a further experienced chartered accountants based in Brighton and Hove, plus accounting offers a comprehensive range of tax and accounting services. They provide support and guidance for all types of this a signers to keep control of their finances. What makes plus accounting stand up from the crowd is their genuine interest in you and your business. They take time to understand what is important to you and then tailor their services to your requirements. Find out more at plus accounting DOT CO DOT UK. Hello, my hello, it's being quite there the week of happenings in the dust. It really has, and there was a really interesting link between all those stories. I think about privilege. I think it's a huge privilege to say that you know interested in politics or don't have times discuss it because it doesn't affect your life. So if you're not one of those people that could be affected by one of those bills that are going through, although arguably, how could you not be affected by the health and social care bill, people just sort of rather eyes that it's not something they're interested in and not engaged in politics. But this is about people's lives and a lot of people don't have the privilege to not be interested in politics. I think that's the kind of strand that ran through all of it for me. Yeah, and I wonder if part of that is that people see politics as something totally disconnected from their lives, that it's the realm of you know, posh White Etonians and it doesn't affect them. It's not it's not relevant to them. They don't see it as being something immediate and you know that effects are they stay lives. It's something to do very etherial and that you know, posh people are interested in, and that's for somebody like Angel Rainer is such a shock because it's like, oh, that she's not a politician. POLITICIANS AS BAS be be posh white now and and you know that sort of that need for more, you know, kind of you quite a quite ordinary people in politics visible talking about their experiences so that people can connect it to their real days and I can engage with it a bit more and feel like actually instant people like me and that this is something I can I can take noteok, because some things might not affect you directly but they in fact other people, and that's still surely something that we should all be taking an interest it. Yeah, and that's why I think about the NERVEACK drugs fit story. So he could have used this opportunity to highlight the flight of people that arrive at the Australian border and and then held in that hotel that he was held and he could have done something about that and he hasn't. And it's his his intense sort of privilege that he's talked about. Yes, somebody filled in the film for me wrong and that he didn't get a proper breakfast and things like that. Lucky hasn't used his platform to do anything about the plight of other people and it's just another example of privilege. Like he he was outraged to be held in this hotel where there are some people that have been there for years in that place and I were just a waiting and outcome. Yeah, I mean there's a theme at the moment of privileged people thinking the rules Vo'd apply to them with yeah, we're going do in any details, but and yes, it's very interesting that there's quite a and I wonder if this is a also linked to the people not taking an interest in politics if it doesn't affect them, if there's quite a trend towards just focusing on your own...

...situation they Jockovich has a rise at this hotel and rather than going, Oh my God, this is awful that people are being captain these conditions, this is terrible. I should do something on behalf of all of these people, he's just gone. But I don't deserve to be kept with these people. I should be different from them, I should be treated better and and then just, you know, leaving everybody else to deal with it. And there's there's something they're thinking in US thinking more collectively about ourselves as a species, in a group, because we have got to all be in this together, otherwise we will everything collapses. We are social, being the reason that humans survived, as the places in the ender soles to say, and neanderthals were bigger, stronger, cleverer dot us, but we were social. We worked in groups and societies, and that's what enables us to survive when they died out. And that's what you know, although the wood, it's a sieties lives like, has changed. That's what keeps US going. If you know society, and if we let that get Tedier ustic about it, but if we let that cromblem and we start only looking after ourselves, then what you know where do we go from there? So, yes, I think for something, the something they are around looking at collective every possibility. Yeah, and to bring that to the work context. So I often get told by people that skeptical about working on diversity inclusion. That doesn't affect them. It's identity politics. It's not, you know, it's not as bother. I'm not really interested in it and they're missing the point actually making the world of work more inclusive everyone is better for everyone and that if we don't all work on this together, then the work things aren't going to change for everyone. You Bet yeah, and I think it's getting back across the people and that sense of collective responsibility that we'd like to see progress, absolutely and that, you know, it's very sumpting to say. Well, I just want things to say that they are, because my ideas getting hurt and I'm getting on show and the it's will were comfortable for me. But actually, for anybody anything to be a success, you need everybody didn put you need a variety of different people's ideas and that all needs to work together. Other ways you're never going to move forward. And as much as it might be fun to be the other person holding forth in a meeting that's not getting a good results. So yeah, if we can bring it to place that we're willing to all support one another and listen to one another, that's what's going to take us for forward. Yeah, I know that, nyle. Go back to Karen. Thank you all. Graph good to chat, as always, about the latest do stories and now we're back with Karen and Karen and so much more to talk to you about. But what I'm really interested to hear from you, first of all, is whether you feel you've learned lessons along the way, like things that people can learn from you in your journey in Liwis football club and with your wider campaigning roll. Yeah, I mean definitely. I mean HMM. Well, personally speaking, I think the biggest lesson I've learned is that I've got something to say and not to be afraid to say it. Before I got on this mission, let's call it a mission, to go and tell women, go and go and invite women to come and watch Lewis SC women in solidarity with our cause, even if they didn't like football. I was I was not a seasoned public speaker at all and I think that I've done so many panels and and conferences and talks and even TV, you know, and radio. Now that I feel much more confident about just being myself and and being clear about why I'm doing what I'm doing. So getting my purpose clear, and I think that getting your purpose clear is is really a great lesson for anyone really, because it enables you to focus and to get over yourself. Because as a woman, as women, we often, I think we often find it difficult to, you know, be the big I am, publicize ourselves or show off or whatever that, you know, the negative terms are for this kind of thing. But I think by doing that we actually we're actually, you know, taking away from the world. By not showing ourselves and showing who we are and, say being what messages we have, we're actually doing the world of disservice. So it's really important get get your purpose clear. Very, very often it's not really just about you showing off. I mean you, if you want to show off, show off that usually it's a you've got something to say, there's something that you might want to change or there's some message that you might want to put out to a wider audience. So I've learned not to be afraid...

...and that the message is more important than me, you know, to get a get over myself. Is is a big one for me and say that's such a big thing. Is that having your purpose straight, and we because we talked about that with organizations, as well as understanding what their purpose is and what their mission is. You know, what are they really all about? Because I spilty that's what brings people together and connect people and helps you have something to say like that you just said, to say yeah, so imp and when you know, when you know your purpose, you can keep referring back to it so that if you feel a little bit wobbily and set off course, you can just, rather than go into a kind of what what am I sounding like? What am I looking like? You can just check back. Am I am I doing what I said I was going to do, you know? Yeah, and then then you're back on the straight and narrow and you don't need to think, you don't need to think about yourself. Yeah, definitely, that's great advice and something desolutely not for us to remember. Like I'm with Ya round. Yeah, and and then what about the next generation? Because that I find it fascinating. As you know, I'm a mentor for the Girls Network, which is how we met, and so I work with girls and I find it fascinating to see when they start to feel those limitations in their life because of their gender. So what do you think we can do about inspiring the next generation, so young girl, so that they don't feel these imitations and they see, you know, Lewis Football Club paying women, men and women equally, and can feel that they can own that space themselves and well, I think you know, visibility and representation a terribly important so it's it's important that we get you know, we haven't, we haven't post codd so far, but get into assemblies. We've done a lot of that. We'll do some more and keep talking about and letting people know in different media, so not just adult media, and about what Louis Football Club are doing and trying to try and to inspire them. We have this last season we inspired a book called my mummy as a footballer by Butterfly Books, which I absolutely love and it's part of a series of, you know, gender defying career based books for little ones. Includes you know, my daddy is a nurse, my mummy us a soldier. My Mommy's a firefighter and my mom as an engineer. They're brilliant, and so my mommy as a footballer is absolutely brilliant and we will be taking that. We've got a hundred copies. We will be taking them around to schools and be on the ball short for Beatrice. On the ball was inspired this season for young teens about a young girl who, you know, has lots of social issues and play ends up playing football for Lewis FC because of the equality campaign. But there's a lot more to it than football. There's a lot more going on in the story for young adults. So, though, taking those around of publicizing them is good. Getting our match our match day posters out to schools and colleges is another great thing that we do, because our match day posters usually feature inspirational women and not necessarily in a footballing capacity, although sometimes in a footballing capacity, because again, we're trying to get to girls who won't necessarily think football is something for them. And the reason, the reason that we're trying to do all this right is because what we have on a football pitch with women playing football is we have something very, very different to the usual scenario in which we see women in a public space, whether that's virtual or whether that's, you know, real, and what they're doing is they're working in a team and they're being extremely focused and extremely assertive and they are trying to win and they are failing and they are falling down and they're getting back up again regardless. And one thing that we know happens to girls more than two boys is that they don't learn to be rough and humble and they don't learn to fail. So they feel a that they can't take a knock and be that if they fail, that's a complete and utter nightmare rejection of themselves as people and they might as well dig a hole and live in it, you know. And this is really not the case. We see this born now in things like, you know, job but applications, where you get loads of men apply and hardly any women, because all the women feel they have to be a hundred percent meet all the criteria and the men think that they can meet thirty three percent of that criteria. And we see it in in email responses. When a woman asks for something...

...or whether man ask for something, it's much quicker for a man to get a response. We see it, we see we see also we all know what I'm talking about. So there's a there's a lack of confidence and there's a belief imperfection that girls have, and it comes around about, I think, puberty or just before, and and it's I think it's when they don't want to be different and they want to conform and they want to make sure they're accepted. Therefore, they'll look for the stereotypes that they need to conform to. So the best thing we can do for girls is to show them, I mean, I would say this, wouldn't know, but to show them women footballers, because women football. Even if the girls don't have to play football, you know, be nice if they come to watch it because they see something different. But they don't even have to. They just have to know that it's available and they have to know that there are women doing this in the world that they live in, so that they know that, that they see that they can be capable of that too, and I think that's what we need to change because if you speak to any of our women footballers now, their heroes growing up women and what we want to do is is girls to have heroes growing up who are women, you know, so that they're dream so that they can dream as concretely as the boys dream, because then, if you can dream, the more you can make your dreams specific, the more likely they are to come true. So that's that's what you know, that it's so important. Role modeling is so important and we have the most amazing caldron of role models that the dripping Pan, and I just think they should come there and they could some magic could happen to them. I'm not surprised you've massively increase there that therebers of people coming to see women's games, Karen, because I'm absolutely sold and I know I think we really need to go. Don't worry, yeah, maybe, anyone. Bring my nits, bring my little girl, yeah, bring, bring her just, I mean literally, just as long as she can remember it. One match will make a difference in her life if she hasn't been to a live women's football match before, because you know it, she'll be able to. There are conversations about football happening all the time and it's nice to be able to partake, isn't it? It's nice to use partake and it's nice to be able to see yourself represented within the sport that people are talking about, even if they are talking about men, and so yeah, I I really do advocate coming to a women's football match. I also think Lewis FC men a great let me just say that now they are, they're really brilliant and that this season will than ever their male allies, you know, and because another thing, another thing that you know, you asked about impact on the world, another thing that we're doing this season, which I suggested actually through our sister ship's network, and our sister ship's network it one thing leads to another. Our sister ships network is a is a network of organizations that empower girls or women in some way. And in fact, no, it's the reason that I met you, because the girls network is one of Louis SCs yea, and so we mutually support and so I was looking at all of their social media and messages recently and there was this horrible spate, and it continues probably, a violence against women and girls, and the horrible details that emerged of the case of Sarah Ever Ard, and it's the in and essays case, and the the two women, the sisters Nicole and Beiber, that were murdered and the policeman taking selfies and all this horrible all these really harrowing details that are emerging and that were literally making me cry, and I was seeing all the all of the other sister ship organizations putting this stuff out and their social media and thinking there must be something we can do in football. So what we did? We started, we suggested, I suggested to the the men's team managers, who are very, very strong, leading men, let me say Tony and Joe. They're amazing, that we might, you know, get the men's team, as role models, as footballers, role models to boys and men, to pledge to call out any sexist or misogynistic comments that they heard in the dressing room or anywhere else. And they agreed and they put out lots of tweets and the Hashtag call him out, and now we're now working on that as a campaign. So we're going in woods first, because we've made all these pledges, but we really need the men are leading on it, by the way. Now they're going to look at themselves and they're going to think what is misogynistic? These these are for the footballers that play for Louis Ecmen right, what is misogynistic that I ever say or do? And we've all been there we've all, you know, we're all in this together. We've said things that we maybe didn't realize, you know, were sexist and we've done things that maybe, you know, we'd still do tomorrow and not know that they were sexy. So go to think about it and going to pledge to call out and then then they're going to...

...go to our under teens boys who come from a, you know, a school schools where there's a very rape culture going on, you know, and those are the people that we need to get to. So they're going to talk to them as their role models and pass it on. So we're doing another that's another impact that we're doing. And Yeah, I was just going to say I how much I like Louis FC men to but there are different reasons, aren't there for going to a football match. And if you go to see US FC men play, you'll see men being brilliant playing football, but they won't be changing anything just by playing the football. If you go and watch the USC women and they're playing football, you'll be seeing women going against all of those stereotypes. So you'll get an extra sugar in your tea and the tea will have oat milk in it. If you want ring. Yeah, I saw that. I saw the campaign of social media and where you started to say the call it out, and I thought, yeah, that's that's the kind of thing we need to see, rather than it being you know, what should women wear and what they shouldn't wear. It needs to there needs to be a conversation with everyone, and men have to be part of that. That's the thing. That's the thing more because I was seeing all these women saying, why should it be asked? Why do we need to change what we wear? Why do we need need to think about hailing down buses in the dark? Why do we need to start checking who's a police officer and who isn't? Why is it women? And it was women saying that. It was all my lovely women organizations. I thought, what, we're talking to each other here? Yeah, the wrong people. Oh, hang on, I'm a director of Football Club. Hang on, I've got loads of men. So yeah, so it's this is again how football can really use its power in the Patriarchy to change things. Yeah, yeah, that's incredible, because, I mean, the change for something like that has got to come from men, because it's it is a male issue, and yet it takes such a degree of humility and it kind of a willingness for introspection to like you say, except that you've probably done things wrong yourself and that you will do things wrong again and be willing to open and up to that and to learn and to grow and pass that message on to others. So it's a difficult challenge, I think, for a lot of men. So it's brilliant that the men at Lewis have embraced it and and run with it. Listen, we are all flawed, you know, like it's a massive challenge for them, and I'm also not saying that I know all of this stuff and that I'm perfect either. And you know, we're all in this soup together and it's some I am so proud of them, you know, not in a weird patronizing aunt. I'm just really proud that they're doing this and that they're willing to do it and that, as footballers, they know that football can be about more than just what you do on the pitch. I mean, I'm immensely proud and and I part a part of me things. You know what, you should be doing that as well. So she'd all the other footballers in the world. But will leave that part at home because the main part is I'm really proud of them and I yeah, yeah, it's brilliant. Absolutely, and there are footballers in you know, in bigger clubs. You are doing things to change the world as well, so you do see that where footballers have a platform. But yeah, I think it's what you're doing is fantastic. But I know the other great thing about football and football is is they, a lot of them, aren't coming from privilege backgrounds. So they empathy and they understand that. They that they occupy a space that could go any minute and they know what it's like on the other side and therefore I think when people, you know, they people often therefore want to help, don't they, and and they understand what it's like when you're not when you don't have that platform. I feel now, more than any other type of my lifetime, footballers are starting to become real role models and and people to respect and are having a really positive social impact, because when I was growing up in the S and S, I don't think that was really the CAF, whereas now you look at people like Marcus Rashford and the kinds of things that are going on in football now. I think it's it's become a much more positive, socially aware space. Yeah, I think it's just the fans we've got. What I caught was, yeah, yeah, do you think it's jinks becoming more and more ex assible for women these days? Because I think I was very much like like you, Karen, I never thought football was for me and I think that started at school because I was told categorically we weren't allowed to play football. You know, all the boys were going off to play football. Or can we plet know? No, girls don't play football, that's not for you. You you know, going and playing APP ball and sewing. We did a bit sewing at my school. That's a that's a kind of education I had, but you know, it was very much categorically. We were told from the teachers, who are people that you you know, are very influential when you're that age, that football was not for us. So we were...

...kind of packed off. And then, you know, like I grew up in the the S and s where the Holok atism was a big problem and you did see these big crowds of very angry men how in the street, and that wasn't the space I wanted to be in at all, and it has, you know, for Mason my life felt well, this isn't for me, so I'm out. And I've never really been a built and football it's not but not something that I've ever had an interest in. Do you think that's changing? It is, because I know so. I'm I'm at a point now where my daughter's starting school next year, so I'm in the midst of school selection at the moment, which is the most dauting experience of my entire life, trying to figure out schools to beating and and they one of them. One of their teachers was talking the other day about the the sports that they do and he was saying they played rugby and basketball and football and did it and I went, Oh, did the girls play? And he went oh, yeah, like that was tastally normal. Now I don't know how normal that is, but he thadly said it as if it was a textually normal thing. At the girls play everything they do. You think there's a shift happening with a new generation, that girls are being invited into these spaces now more? I think there's a shift. I think that's true, but I think girl still drop out at an early age and I still think that it's it's seen, as you know, unusual for a girl to progress very far in football. I think that we're doing all we can to change that and keep pushing. And there are a lot. I mean, since the band was lifted in one thousand nine hundred and seventy one and women's football. And, by the way, it was given no extra resource and no sort of, you know, fanfare. It was simply lifted. This at a point where, you know, our culture told us that girls and women didn't play football. It's it's it needs more resource. Basically, it's the answer a Leegra. There needs to be more marketing, more availability of pitch time, more extra encouragement for girls to play football. If you know, we get we go, we do go into schools and girls tell us that, you know, the boys take the ball or they won't play with us, or they put you know, you shake your hand at the beginning of a match and they put their sleeve down because they don't want to touch our hand because we were a girl and all they were past to them. And this is a very these are the things that kind of go on. Actually there there are lots of boys who don't do that. Of course there are, but this is these are the kind of obstacles in the way of girls. And then, as you know, if we're talking to get serious about football, as you get a bit older and you you don't play in a mixed team anymore. I think that's about age thirteen, fourteen, because he's a FA rules you. You then have to find a girl's team to train with, and they're fewer and further between than boys teams. So you have to have very supportive parents who are willing to take you, you know, and bring you back again, and not just in the evenings but at weekends as well, to play matches and and parents that understand and don't, you know, don't tell you that you ought to be doing ballet, you know, something like that. But it's there's there's a lot. There are many more obstacles to get through if you're a girl and you want to continue, because not only of you got the psychological and emotional thing, you've got the time commitment and you've got the need for support until you get to a stage where you're old enough to take yourself etc. Etc. And then in football itself you've got to get past that, that you're probably going to have male coaches all the time and physios and and a listen all the rest of it, and that you're going to be playing for a probably for a club where you see all the guys going around in them to say d's and there, and they're given given mecedes and lovely kit and all the medical assistance in the world and you're going to get hardly. You know, you're going to get peanuts compared to them. Because when we talk about inequality, I mean one thing we can paign about is the FA Cup Prize Fund and the Women Get. The men get one point eight million as their prize and the women get twenty five thousand. And all the way through the rounds you get these massive discrepancies. And you know, we carry it was only a few years ago that that lioness has, as in the played for England, could afford to go out for a Cappuccino. You know, wow, this is we yes, things have improved, but they need to improve a lot more, a lot faster, and it's yeah, I mean yes, there's some small improvements that there's so much more than needs to be done. Long Way to go. Isn't there? Yeah, and we've got that. We've got the euro matches an't way coming next way, next year. Yeah, yeah, but I wonder how, I mean you're you know, the difference in funding for the men's Uros and the women's Uros. Yeah, I don't know exactly the exact numbers, but it's massive, I should think. HMM, I'll come and find out, but yeah, it will be massive. I mean...

...the things that Uros is a chance to once again give women's footballer a lovely platform and also they're obviously going to play some matches in Brighton. Yes, I've created yeah, got tickets exact, and there's a going to be an exhibition at the Brighton Museum and Gold Power. Yeah, so that will that will be fun as well, and the focus will be on women's football, which is brilliant. But what we need to make sure about is that in between times when there's not a World Cup and it's not the euros, etc. That we're pushing, you know, the world's most popular sport in schools for girls as much as we are for boys, because they stand to learn so much from it. Yeah, so it is really, really interesting what you were saying. As well about, because that the excuse that's always given is that will the men bring in more money, so there's more money in the men's game to pay the men. Yeah, and it's really interesting what you were talking about. It, Louis about. Well, actually, if you start by paying the women more, then that is what brings in more money and raises it. So it's not that's a good lesson, I think, for all organizations to think about actually which way rounds. It's cooling. VESTMENT, isn't it? Yeah, investment. And I gave a really good example actually recently at at a tool about business, which was Cocacola, and I think it was one thousand nine hundred and eighty two that coke introduced diet coke and Cocacola was, at the time, you know, the world's most popular drink. Why were they bringing in another drink that could splip their market or that they weren't going to be able to get a market for? And now diet coke outstrips cocacola. So it's a really went when you've got a mature product and you've got to a potential much smaller product, the thing to do is not just keep investing in the mature product all the time regardless, but to give the other product, product of charts, because you just never know where it might go. And the thing that people have to remember about, as as I said before, about women's football, is that during those years that the game was banned in this country and there were similar bands around Europe and Brazil, you know, all the big footballing countries of the world, that was the time when broadcasting rights came into play and that's where all the money is in football actually. So all of that time the men's game had the monopoly over the broadcasting rights, which were sewn up, and that's why the men's game is so rich today and it's so hard for the women's game to get a looking. Yeah, happen, but it will happen, you know, over time. And Yeah, so, I mean there's just so much potentially women's game and and as our society moves towards, you know, products with purpose, I think, you know, look no further. Yeah, means football has so much meaning in it. Absolutely. Yeah, I was I was told. I don't know how to this, it is carry maybe you know if this is true or just a Beth I've heard, but somebody setting what's the reason that the band came in on Women's football? Was Because the women's game is becoming more popular than the men's game, and they are I didn't like it, so they just stopped it. Good question, I mean. Yet the thing is what had happened was that during the war women's football had taken off because all the you know, the men had gone to fight for the country and the women were player were making munitions and parachutes in factories right and to have a break they used to start playing football in the factory yards. Before you knew it, factory was playing factory and League started to appear and women's football became very popular with all the men at war. Then what happened was the men came back and the women were still attracting crowds of tens of thousands and the men's game couldn't reach that level. So there was one was the idea that, you know, that the men in the Fay wanted men's football to catch up and do better than women. So it's so they banned women. But the other thing that's very interesting to note about women's football, and it's always in the case of women's football, is that they were collecting. They collect for charity at matches and at that point they were collecting for the striking miners. So they were enabling the miners families to keep going and for the minus to keep striking, which politically, was a real problem government and FA and government were very, you know, together. So there's another argument which says that it wasn't just that they wanted the men, you know, to restore the gender norms after the war, but they also wanted to get women out of politics and stop all this money being collected at women's matches that were really enabling these strikes to continue. Of course, the reason given was that it was bad for women gynecologically to play football. Ah, take your pick from a by yes, yeah, the real reason that we're in a fifteen minute meeting on December the fifth. One...

Thousand Nine hundred and twenty one one hundred years coming up, you know, or by the time this podcast gets out, will just have gone over years of the ban on women's football right now, and in a it just took them fifteen minutes to stop all these women playing football were already becoming heroes just nationally, and to stop the potential, you know, that might have been, really might have been and we might actually be looking a very different world today. You know, means foot were already, but how interesting that women's football has always had that strong social connection and that kind of influence on the world. That's really in fascinating, isn't it? Yeah, yeah, what happens when women run things? Exactly. Yes, women work together, yes, exactly. Yes, and parents. Thank you so much. That was fascinating. Can you tell us where people could find you, how they can support you, how they can come to Lewis Football matches? Of course. So me personally, I'm I'm at Karend Obray on most social media that you can support Louis FC by supporting either either or both of Louis FC women and Louis FC men on instagram and twitter and facebook. And the reason that we have those two handles is because what we have found is by having Louis Football Club, people assume that's the men's account. So we've deliberately have Louis FC men and Louis FC women. We don't have Louis FC and Louis FC Women, we have Louis FC men and LOUISFC women, and that's a very important distinction. So, yeah, please follow us on on all of the handles and please support us. Please come to a match. Please become an owner of the club. It's just fifty pounds a year. We'll welcome you with open arms. Fantastic, and we must go to a match like grap Daly. Yeah, that's what we're gonna get it. Yeah, right, well, my little girl will. Yeah, okay, that's sounds like a great day out. Yeah, I'm sold. Let's do it. Yeah, let's do that soon. Yes, Great. Thank you so much. This has been the reimagination at work. podcast from watch this space and to find us. We are watch the space, but UK and on social media. We're act. Watch this SC and we will catching next time. Collection. Hi,.

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