Billie Jean King Delivers Knockout Speech at FIFA Women's Conference
"My generation worried about getting us a seat at the table. That's gone. That doesn't matter anymore. It's about having a voice at the table."
A slew of trailblazing women leaders spoke at the FIFA Women's Football and Leadership Conference on Monday, including MAKER Billie Jean King who delivered a knockout speech.
"No we deserve the cake, the icing, and the cherry on the top also. Okay. We deserve it," she said advocating for women's voices to be heard in sports.
The event was held at FIFA headquarters in Zurich on the eve of International Women's Day on Tuesday, and was meant to establish an "open, honest debate about the future of the women's game and the role of women in sport governance."
King advocated that the new FIFA president Gianni Infantino (elected 10 days ago) take three concrete steps for major FIFA reform including: a commitment that one third of all appointed leaders be women starting now, the appointment of a secretary general with a proven track record of supporting gender equality, and the creation of a team focused on building the commercial strategy for women's football.
"The sky is the limit," King said in reference to building the commercial brand for women’s football, later adding to Infantino, "No pressure, but the world is counting on you."
"We have to develop the commercial side of women's football. We have to put in the necessary resources."– FIFA President Infantino #IWD2016— UN Women (@UN_Women) March 7, 2016
Other prominent female leaders at the conference included two-time Olympic gold medalist and FIFA Women's World Cup champion, Abby Wambach (who also attended The 2016 MAKERS Conference), and the remarkable Annie Zaidi, a football coach who faced racism, sexism, and Islamophobia.
We gathered some of the most inspiring and thought-provoking live tweets and moments from the event here.
.@CoachAnnieZ: "Imagine a 5"2 Asian, Muslim woman, with headscarf going into Newcastle, coaching 40 boys! More I did, more respect I got."— FIFA Women'sWorldCup (@FIFAWWC) March 7, 2016
Today's closing speech: "Sometimes we have to set targets, allocate resources & bring passion. You have my support." pic.twitter.com/tWAIqDCyQ1— FIFA Women'sWorldCup (@FIFAWWC) March 7, 2016
Photo Credit: FIFA Women's World Cup/Twitter