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Sala Roma at Spotify Camp Nou was the venue this Thursday 9 March for participative workshop forming part of International Women's Day, which under the tagline "Barça women play their part" brought together members, employees and athletes from the club to debate the presence and influence of women in different groups at the club.
The aim of the day was to examine issues of specific interest to women, to foster participation and share experiences with regard to boosting the female presence in social, professional, sporting and other areas of life at the club.
The event was chaired by the institutional vice-president of FC Barcelona, Elena Fort, who despite being the only female representative on the current board wished to highlight the presence of women in different and important executive positions at the club. The event was also attended by the vice-president of the club's Economic Area, Eduard Romeu.
"It's the first time we've had an event with women members and it's an honour for us to have been able to do it precisely on the occasion of International Women's Day," commented Fort. "This club works so well because there are so many women in strategic and decision-making positions, in positions ranging from venue management to financial management."
Barça journalist and special guest Mònica Terribas then took the floor to explain what the club looks like from the outside. Despite confessing that it was a very difficult exercise, she summed the situation up by commenting that "the historical inertia of associating this football club, like any other, with masculinity is very difficult to overcome, and at last Barça has managed to crack it. The role of women's football is especially helping to create benchmarks in citizenship, and this was verified just yesterday at the Women's Day demonstration, where there were a number of banners featuring Barça Women's players".
Female workers speak
FC Barcelona's female employees represented at this event included a group of executives, who spoke about the work they do at the club and about some of the experiences they have had. This group was joined by athletes and coaches from the club's women's teams.
The names included Manana Giorgadze, head of the President's Office; Maribel Meléndez, corporate director; Marta Segú, director of the Barça Foundation; Encar Cubedo, Director of Operations, Access and Mobility; Anna Aznar, director of the Social Area; Maite Laporta, head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; Judit Farré, head of Women's Football Business; Laia Soler, head of Methodology and Training; Sandra Sarmiento, Head of Media; Cristina Belloque, head of the Legal Area; Bruna Vilamala, player from the women's football team, and Núria Martínez, technical director of the women's basketball team.
After they had spoken, each employee interacted with different groups of members attending at small meetings where they discussed on the role of women at the club and sought new initiatives to increase the presence of female members and bring them closer together to the activity generated around Barça.
Finally, all the participants went to the Spotify Camp Nou pitch for a joint photo to end the day.
The session was held in a relaxed, fun atmosphere, where all the participating women wre able to chat with the executives and athletes from the club, and share their concerns and experiences, all of which has helped to generate knowledge and find new ways to get women closer to the club and raise their presence within it.
Women and Barça
The 551 Barça employees include 237 women, which is 43% of the total number of employees, compared to 314 men (57%).
Regarding club members, the difference between men and women is more evident. At the end of last season, of the 143,086 members, 26% (37,381) were men and 74% (105,705) were men.
As for actual athletes, there are more amateur females than there are males ones at FC Barcelona, 54.5% (697) compared to 45.5% males. In contrast, when it comes to professional athletes, a vastly higher 90% are men and just 10% are women.
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