All nine CFL teams will have one woman join their football operations or business administration departments during training camp as part of their new Women in Football Program.
The initiative is designed to promote inclusivity throughout the league with the help of resources provided by the CFL’s employer partner, the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion.
“Women have traditionally been underrepresented in the CFL and their voices and ideas have too often been left unheard,” said CFL head of football operations Greg Dick in a statement.
“Through this program, and with the support of our partners at KPMG, we aim to take a step forward in welcoming new points of view and in promoting more diverse and inclusive environments, where talented women are valued for their contributions and insights, as we continue to grow Canadian football.”
The Women in Football Program will run during training camp from May 15 to June 4. Each club will be tasked with creating an immersive and educational experience to grow and employ the skillsets of the participants.
“This program isn’t only about the CFL’s nine teams and their objectives; it’s also centred on opening pathways for these women to further their careers,” said CFL chief people office and head of office operations Susan Jones Bouk.
“It’s an opportunity for them to learn and contribute in a professional sports setting. At the end of the program, they will have gained additional skills, knowledge and personal networks to thrive in similar roles, or perhaps one day, in the CFL.”
In addition to the program’s core elements with CFL teams, KPMG will offer participants further opportunities involving mentorship, learning and development with a focus on business-related fields.
“Inclusion and diversity are fundamental to the success of any organization,” stated KMPG region east managing partner Ruth Todd. “KPMG is committed to empowering women in the workplace, in business and in our communities. This exciting new program aligns with our KPMG values and we are proud to work with the CFL to offer opportunities for women in Canadian football.”
“The Women in Football Program represents progress,” said CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie. “It’s a step in the right direction, but by no means is it the destination. We will learn from its first year, and our successes and areas of improvement will inform the second year and beyond.
“But this is about more than our growth as a league. We have to do better as a society in recognizing women, valuing their unique perspectives, and acknowledging their expertise, to build more successful organizations and a stronger Canada as a whole.”
The application process will be open from April 6 to 15. Those interested in applying for the CFL’s Women in Football Program are invited to do so here.