The initiative was introduced by the world football governing body in 2015 to increase the number of female leaders and role models within football. It follows the inaugural FIFA Women’s Football and Leadership Conference in March 2015, where experts from football, business and society came together to discuss ways to improve the representation of women in leadership positions.
“The FLDP has created a network of like-minded women, which is a great achievement,” said Fran Hilton-Smith after the first edition of the programme.
“We need to continue to share our stories so that we, and future generations of women, continue to learn from each other.” she added.
The success of the programme was made clear by the number of applications for the second edition. More than 80 out of 211 FIFA Member Associations submitted applications for just 35 available places.
Participants in the second edition have been following a special teaching plan designed to strengthen their leadership skills.
Participants also have the opportunity to receive advice and support from experienced mentors. The 2016 programme consisted of a total of six elements: a leadership questionnaire, two or three workshops in each four-day module, a personal project (‘The Accelerator’), mentoring, leadership coaching and off-campus activities.
FIFA Chief Women’s Football Officer, Sarai Bareman, said: “For me, the most important aspect of this final module is empowering the participants to put into practice all that they have learned over the past year in their work, their lives and particularly in football.”