Former Chelsea FC Women captain Katie Chapman joined more than 50 women at this year’s annual Kick It Out’s Women’s Raise Your Game conference at Stamford Bridge on Monday.
Chapman, who played a major part in both of the Blues double-winning seasons in 2015 and 2018, spoke at length about her career and how she is settling in to her new role as club ambassador.
Chelsea Foundation head of education Sam Gaskin-Kemp also gave an insight into her role during the Kick It Out conference - which was open to all women hoping to work in football to give them a chance to hear from industry professionals and receive one-to-one mentoring, as well as workshop training.
After hearing from women role models involved in the game, those attending were then given the opportunity to receive one-to-one mentoring and guidance from experts across the women’s football industry They also took part in workshops before the event came to a close with a Q&A session.
Speaking at the Kick It Out event, which was also in support of International Womens' Day, Chapman said: ‘For me personally, it’s an honour to be here at the Raise Your Game event.
‘Seeing so many females here is great, hopefully I am being one to inspire a lot of females to get into football, into all different departments.
‘Whether that is playing, in the media side of things, whatever it is, to see so many females here who are interested in getting into it is great.
‘It is a lot more accessible these days and it’s important we do these female-only events because sometimes it is hard to go in a male-dominated section and be the only woman sitting there with a bunch of male counterparts.
‘Separate events are great to empower them and give them that confidence to go forward in the industry and hopefully further on down the line we can come together as male and female and conquer the world!’
Gaskin-Kemp said: ‘I was asked to come along today as a representative of the Chelsea Foundation to talk about women in football, how things have changed for women in the game and why it is important to have women involved in football and sport. It’s about providing opportunities for women who want to get into the football industry in a number of different roles.
‘It could be through elite pathways but also there are a number of roles and responsibilities that are part of the football club’s working on a day-to-day basis.
‘That could be working in the Academy or working in merchandise or in the Foundation as a coach. There are many different roles and the event today is about connecting those people together and giving them the opportunity to hear peoples stories.
‘The event is also about thinking of role models, to think about creating networks where you can share ideas, get advice and tips and it’s also about hearing about the challenges but also the successes that people have had.’
Kick It Out host Ann-Marie Batson said: ‘It’s a fantastic initiative. I’m supportive of everything Kick It Out does and it’s about giving an opportunity to a young person who wants to work in the football industry.
‘As someone who works in the football industry, I found it incredibly hard to make contacts and network, and get to know the industry.
‘I didn’t have this when I started out so it’s fantastic we have an event where in this case, women can come down, network, meet other like-minded people and find out as much about the industry as possible.
‘They have been able to hear from panelists and their journey working in the football industry but also to take part in workshops as well.
‘Not everybody wants to work in sports media. We might have a coach who is interested in doing that or someone who wants to work in governance and leadership so it’s an opportunity to look at all the roles that are in the industry. There might be someone who thinks I want to be the head of a club one day, what do I need to do to get there?’
Click to learn more of the work we do at Chelsea to get more females in the game