Rachel Brown-Finnis: ‘Trailblazers leading the way for women presenting football on TV’
With the rise in popularity of women’s football has come increased television and further media coverage, giving former pros the chance to try their hand at presenting and punditry.
Former England and Everton goalkeeper Rachel Brown-Finnis has found herself in front of the camera talking about the game she loves frequently since hanging up her gloves in 2014. And while some still think there are barriers to overcome for women when it comes to working in the football industry, whether that be playing, in the media or in the boardroom, Rachel disagrees.
When asked about barriers in the women’s game at a recent Executive Guest Speaker session at UCFB Etihad Campus, Rachel, who represented Team GB at the London 2012 Olympics, said: “No, I’ve not noticed or felt any barriers at all as a female in the industry.
“In some cases, measures have been put in place to get more females and people from ethnic minorities and with physical disabilities into positions across the media for them to benefit from. Is that a bad thing? I don’t think so.”
She added: “Maybe they are resetting the balance and it’s come at a time when women’s football is more established on TV.”
Regarded as the leading goalkeeper in the country during her playing career and earning 81 England caps along the way, Rachel was an England regular and one of the country’s most decorated players over two decades, which also included a spell at Liverpool and time in the US.
Rachel went on to say it was only a few years ago female coaches were a rarity in the professional women’s game, but now are more and more commonplace. Additionally, with increased television coverage of the game, ex-pros like Rachel are now following in the footsteps of “trailblazers” like Gabby Logan.
She added: “Even away from football, more so than ever, there are many female presenters in the sporting industry like Gabby Logan, Sue Barker and Hazel Irvine who have been there for years. These people have been trailblazers and the ones who have really broken through and changed people’s preconceptions about what voices they should be hearing when watching football.
“I think people are less stunned to hear a woman’s voice on a football match and that is normalising females in the football industry. I’ve not been a trailblazer, but I’d like to think that there are more opportunities for women in the future in the football and sport industries.”