Everton Make Pledge In Support Of #GetOnside Campaign

Everton Football Club has shown its support for a new campaign encouraging fans, clubs and organisations to 'Get Onside' and actively promote change when it comes to gender equality in football.

The #GetOnside initiative was launched by Women In Football on Tuesday and outlines its commitment to taking action to improve the landscape for women and girls in the game.

The campaign has seen a number of clubs and organisations, including Everton, make a specific pledge of action that will provide women playing and working in football with greater support, mentoring, visibility, opportunities and networking.

Everton Chief Executive Officer Professor Denise Barrett-Baxendale took part in filming for the campaign's launch video, which brings together role models from across professional and grassroots football to deliver the #GetOnside message. Chelsea manager Emma Hayes, former England boss Hope Powell, England Women captain Steph Houghton and Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville are also among those to appear in the video, which can be seen here.

Everton's #GetOnside pledge is to introduce a women's health policy to support women at all levels of the Everton Family and reduce stigma and barriers to progression. The aim of the pledge will be to educate and empower staff, particularly line managers, to support members of their teams with varying health matters, including pregnancy, periods and the menopause. 

Women's health and well-being among staff are already key focuses for the Club through its All Together Now equality and diversity commitment, and the details of the new policy are currently being finalised before it is published and implemented later this year.  A series of learning and development opportunities including guest speakers, information campaigns and myth-busting sessions will be introduced as part of the plans.

This follows on from Everton's announcement last week that it had signed up to Jo Trust's ‘Time To Test’ pledge, an initiative that sees employers and organisations commit to allow staff flexibility to attend cervical screenings and other important medical appointments during work hours.

The new women's health policy has been informed by feedback from the Club's Women's Network, a group of staff who meet regularly as part of a move to give staff increased opportunities to engage with senior leadership at the Club, raise concerns and celebrate achievements. Other staff networks that have been established at Everton include a Mental Health Network, LGBT+ Network and Disability Network.

Research by Women In Football has shown that almost four out of five of its members (78 per cent) want to see more gender diversity in boardrooms, 71 per cent want more support for the development of women in leadership roles, and almost one in three (29 per cent) have experienced social media abuse based on their gender.

Professor Barrett-Baxendale said: "It was an honour to be invited to take part in the launch video for Women In Football's #GetOnside campaign.

"As the CEO of a Premier League club, I fully support any initiative that aims to deliver greater equality and opportunity, whoever that may be for.

"Women In Football believes in promoting action over conversation, so we have made our pledge to put an even greater focus on women's health and to ensure our staff know they will be supported and have someone to talk to in any situation."

Women In Football CEO Jane Purdon added: "Football belongs to all of us, but sadly real barriers exist for women in the game.

"We know that football wants to change this, and I applaud the many organisations who have stepped up and committed to take action to help create a fairer, more inclusive game.

"The future is equality - and we're bringing it home."

Women In Football is a member network of over 5,000 women, men and non-binary people dedicated to transforming the football industry for the better.

It is the network's intention to harness the power of their collective expertise, knowledge, skill and experience to create improvements for all in the football industry now, and for every person who will join in the future.

For more information about Women In Football and the #GetOnside campaign, click here.