International Women's Day at Man Utd

United celebrate International Women’s Day

Wednesday 08 March 2023 13:20

Today is International Women’s Day – a day in which the world comes together to celebrate women and girls across the globe.

From our women’s team to staff members and fans, we are celebrating and showcasing the inspirational and aspirational women of Manchester United across the world.

We’re launching our annual campaign to mark the occasion, and the key theme is all about embracing equity. When we embrace equity, we embrace diversity, and we embrace inclusion. Equality is the goal, and equity allows us to achieve that. 

The club and Foundation will be running a range of content, events, and campaigns aimed at supporting, developing, and recognising women across United.

We’ll be sharing a series of insightful stories across our platforms, hearing from players at the club as well as colleagues, sports-media personalities, and fans across the month of March, as well as releasing a special episode of UTD Podcast celebrating women in football. 
Players across the club opened up to us about the most important role models in their life, with United Women’s no.9 Martha Thomas recognising her mother as the woman who has had the most impact on her life, saying: “My mum’s resilience, her determination, the love that she gives, and the kind of person she is has made me want to be a better person and grow up to be a strong woman.”

The Scottish international is also inspired by seeing the freedom society is affording others to be themselves, adding: “We are becoming a society that’s more open and allows people to be who they want to be. That’s amazing and so inspirational.”

Fellow forward Alessia Russo – along with team-mate Mary Earps – named tennis great Serena Williams as an inspiration. 

“I love seeing women reach the top of their game,” Russo said. “Now we are in places where people can see us.” 
Club captain Harry Maguire is among our men’s first-team players eager to highlight the influential women in his life, starting with his mother, telling us: “My biggest female inspiration is my mum, she’s taught me everything I know. 

“I wouldn’t be sat here today doing an interview for Manchester United if it wasn’t for her, I’ve learned a lot from her and she’s guided me down the right path.”

Our no.5 was keen to recognise the growth of women’s football over the years, continuing: “It’s really important over the last couple of years that the women’s game has really pushed on, and rightly so. The standards and quality is there for everyone to see. 

“It’s amazing to see United Women doing so well, and the support that the fans are giving them is rightly deserved.”
The women who inspire us  Video

The women who inspire us 

#EmbraceEquity | To mark International Women's Day, our players highlight the importance of female role models...

Head coaches for the women’s and men’s teams – Marc Skinner and Erik ten Hag – shared the people in their lives who have a positive impact on them, with the former giving a special shoutout to the players he works with on a daily basis who inspire both him and his daughter.

“At home, I have two inspirational women that I live with every day, one is a four-year-old and one is my partner in life. They inspire me; there is literally nothing I adore more in my life than those people,” Skinner said. “And then I get to come to work and be inspired by the most inspirational people. I hope that we continue to move towards equality for everyone, to equity in every sense.”

Ten Hag told club media of his inspiration outside of football, Major Bosshardt, saying: “She was the founder and the face of the Salvation Army in the Netherlands. She did it for so many years, always standing up for the poor, and to give them a better life. So, you have to respect that so much, and she did it in such a great and honourable way. She had a huge life, and everyone should respect her."
Marc Skinner, Manchester United Women manager.
Whether it is seeing players on the pitch or women in the boardroom, United’s Head of Women’s Football, Polly Bancroft, emphasised the importance of being able to witness the reality of goals coming true. 

"There's the old phrase 'if you can't see it you can't be it', and I think that really rings true. It is important that women are seen across football, not just in women's football but men's football as well,” she said. 

“It's great to see people in the boardroom, on the pitch; we just need to keep showing that those positions exist and help women to see that they can achieve whatever it is that they'd like to achieve in the game."
Polly Bancroft, Head of Women's Football at Manchester United.
There’s also a trio of events being hosted by the Foundation, including… 

Wednesday 8 March, Great Academy Ashton High School, 8:00-16:00 GMT

The event is part of the FA Let Girls Play initiative which targets girls and encourages them to get involved, or try, football. Last year, this Foundation partner school engaged a very high number of female participants so will be looking to do that again this year along with other local high schools and primaries. 

Wednesday 8 March, Old Trafford, 10:00-14:30 GMT

At the Theatre of Dreams, Foundation partner primary and secondary schools will be taking part in a networking event with female staff and professionals, sharing experiences of current roles and pathways in employment. 

Friday 10 March, The Cliff, 9:30-14:30 GMT

The end of the week will see the Foundation host disability tournaments aiming to break down barriers and see both disabled and non-disabled students participate together, and encourage female participation.