Most women in football suffered discrimination - survey

England players form a huddle before their Women's Euro 2025 qualifier away to the Republic of Ireland in April 2024
England have gone into the Women's Euro 2025 qualifiers as defending champions [Getty Images]

The vast majority of female respondents to a new survey say they have experienced discrimination while working in football - and most of those who made complaints said no action was taken.

A total of 995 women responded to the survey, conducted in May 2024 by Women in Football (WIF), with 89% (885) saying they have been discriminated against in results released on Wednesday.

Some 60% of those who reported the gender-based discrimination said their complaints resulted in no action, of which 16% said they were not even listened to.

WIF is a professional network of more than 9,000 members of all genders who work or volunteer in the football industry and support gender equality in the game.

There were 112 male respondents to the survey, which is the fourth conducted by the network - and the largest yet.

Some 88% of female respondents believe women have to work harder than men to achieve the same recognition and benefits, with 74% of the males agreeing.

However, 85% of the women asked and 91% of the men feel that opportunities for women in the football industry will improve.

Asked specifically about whether more women will fill senior leadership roles in future, 80% of the female respondents agreed along with 93% of the men asked.

"Everyone knows that gender discrimination happens in football, but the problem isn't just that it happens - there's an even bigger problem around how football deals with it," said Women in Football's chief executive Yvonne Harrison.

"Women deserve better. For real progress to be achieved at this point, the message of our survey is clear: listen to women, and act on what they tell you."