Saturday 22 March will see Everton take on Swansea City at Goodison Park in a fixture that has been designated as the Blues Kick It Out Match of Action.
In the build-up to the game evertonfc.com will be taking an in depth look at the work that Everton and the Club’s official charity does to encompass all six areas of diversity and today the focus is on gender.
International Women’s Day
Dr Denise Barrett-Baxendale, Everton Football Club’s Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Everton in the Community CEO, says gender should never stop anyone from achieving their dreams.
In an interview to mark International Women’s Day at the start of the month Dr Denise Barrett-Baxendale spoke of her work at the Club.
She took over as head of the Blues’ charity Everton in the Community four years ago and in June 2013 was made Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Club.
Denise says she has never encountered any problems professionally because of her gender.
She explained: “I’m regularly asked about it. People ask me how does it feel to be a woman doing the job and how are you treated. My answer is always with absolute respect and courtesy. I have wonderful colleagues and I work for a club that recruits females at each and every level.
“Personally I never think of it as being strange at all, I don’t consider myself a female in football; I consider myself a professional working to the best of my ability.
“I work with females at other Premier League clubs and I go to meetings where there are other females around the table. Nothing ever sticks out and I’ve certainly never experienced anything that causes concern.
“Regardless of your gender, if you have the desire to do something you should never let anything stop you.”
Premier League Schools Tournament
The Premier League Schools Tournament was created as a way of increasing participation in football. Each year the competition provides thousands of youngsters with the chance to experience what it feels like to be a top footballer.
Around 800 schools and 6,500 players battle it out each year for the right to play for their local clubs at the event which is hosted at a different Premier League stadium every year.
Everton boast a proud history in the Premier League Schools Tournament, following victories in 2008 and 2011 at Reading and Bolton respectively.
This year’s Under-13s Girls competition played out a three-group, four-team format with section group winners and the highest place runner up contesting the semi-finals.
All Saints Catholic High School won the right to represent Everton in the Premier League Schools Tournament after a pulsating afternoon of football at Finch Farm.
Everton Ladies Club captain – and former All Saints attendee – Michelle Hinnigan was the day’s distinguished guest at the Blues’ state-of-the-art training facility to see her former school earn the right to wear the Royal Blue of Everton at Manchester City’s Etihad stadium in May.
“The Premier League Schools competition is brilliant for grass roots-level football,” said Hinnigan. “It’s a great turn out and shows the improvements being made in women’s football.”
Everton Ladies Football competes in the FA WSL, the highest division of women's football in England and was formed in 1983 as Hoylake WFC before becoming part of Everton Football Club. The team have won the Premier League National Division once, the Premier League Cup once, and the FA Women's Cup twice.
Managed by Andy Spence, who succeeded current England Ladies manager Mo Marley MBE, the team currently has one of the youngest squads in the division, including 20-year-old Alex Greenwood who recently won her first call-up to the full international squad.
For more information on Everton Ladies, click here.
Premier League Women and Girls programme
For the first time, a collaborative force consisting of the FA, Sport England, Premier League and Football League, are providing new grassroots football sessions for women and girls between the ages of 14 and 25. Over the next two years Everton in the Community will be delivering season-long coaching programmes within the city.
For more information or to be become involved with the programme, contact Everton in the Community's Sports Development Manager, Jackie Twort via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tickets for the 3pm kick-off against Swansea are still available – click here
to book your seat online now.
Alternatively, phone 0871 663 18780871 663 1878 or visit the Goodison Park Box Office, Everton Two or the TicketQuarter.