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American football in Europe shows NFL who’s boss on the subject of women within the boardroom | Sports | German football and major international sports news | DW


While a far cry from the NFL, the ELF has already achieved a surprising feat inside skilled male sport – 25% of the 12 teams have female general managers. Though there was a record 12 female coaches in the course of the 2021 NFL season, no head coaches or general managers across the 32 teams were women.

Within the ELF, Diana Hoge (Berlin Thunder), Patricia Klemm (Rhine Fire) and Claudia Nuener (Raiders Tirol) represent that change.

“Working within the sports industry lately feels more like a job of purpose. We’re not like doctors but we are able to create stories, reach people and check out to alter lives,” Hoge told DW. “In case you can reach some young individuals who have not got the simplest lives and provides them something, it makes doing this job price it.”

While fulfilling her childhood dream of working on a cruise ship, Hoge injured her right arm and believed she may never regain using her hand, but twenty years plus a bunch of jobs later, Hoge is a pioneer in a job she loves.

“It’s sometimes frustrating in 2022 that it’s still such an enormous topic having a girl able of power but alternatively I’m proud to be a task model,” Hoge told DW. “To indicate that, at the same time as a single mum, with labor you possibly can achieve wherever you need to.”

Goalposts to GM

After an inaugural season that saw 35,000 attend the championship game in Düsseldorf, the brand new ELF season starts on June 4, with a league that has grown from eight to 12 teams from five different countries.

One among the newcomers is a Raiders team led by Claudia Nuener, who has been the final manager of the Innsbruck-based organization for 4 years and played a key part within the Raiders change into one among the latest teams within the ELF.

Working in a supportive and progressive workplace, where football (and other sports) are on offer for all and equality is a norm, Nuener gives short shrift to regressive mindsets.

“It’s refreshing that there are two other female general managers however it must be normal,” Nuener told DW. “There are sometimes men and even at times women who’re astonished or who think ‘football and also you’re a girl?’, but I answer ‘correct’ after which it’s their problem … I even have never had the sensation that I can not do a job because I’m woman. I just do the job as best as I can.”

Patricia Klemm first watched Rhine Fire back when NFL Europe still existed, and went on to play the sport in Germany before former coach and current Fire co-owner Martin Wagner offered her the job as GM last yr.

Patricia Klemm in motion for Bochum Minors

Having the ability to mix her knowledge of playing the sport and her sports business management degree has given Klemm an edge, but getting a team with history in Europe back to former glory poses its own challenges.

“Since 2007, when NFL Europe folded, every yr the town begging for the team to come back back,” Klemm told DW. “I feel that pressure because I do know the entire city is watching me.”

While the NFL leads the way in which on the sphere, it could definitely learn a thing or two off it from the ELF concerning the value and strength of a various staff.

Edited by Jonathan Harding

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