Partners launch Empower Her project for young women playing grassroots and professional sport.
Saracens Foundation, the charitable arm of Saracens, and Shawbrook Bank have launched a new leadership programme for young women designed to inspire the next generation of female leaders through sport.
Empower Her will involve 30 participants including 15 young women aged 16-25 from amateur sports clubs in the region and 15 elite sports women from Saracens Women’s Rugby and Mavericks Netball teams.
Offering a unique combination of skills workshops, access to inspirational leaders and practical application with the opportunity to gain a formal qualification at the end, the project is also structured to match each amateur sportswoman with a mentor from the elite teams.
The launch comes amid the need to boost female representation in top sports jobs. Research by Women in Sport found that only 30% of board positions at national governing bodies are held by females, who also make up just 10% of the UK’s high performance coaches.*
The first 12-month scheme was launched by Saracens Women’s Rugby Captain, Lotte Clapp and Mavericks Netball Captain, Sasha Corbin – both mentors on the programme - at an event at the club’s StoneX Stadium in Hendon, London on Wednesday 22nd September.
The course will focus on developing a mix of personal, leadership and business skills and is designed to fit around the participants’ work and other education commitments. It will be delivered primarily online with monthly in-person workshops delivered by a host of inspirational female leaders in sport including Saracen’s chairperson Lucy Wray; author, broadcaster and Women’s Sport Trust trustee Sue Anstiss MBE; and professional wheelchair tennis player Lauren Jones.
The programme is funded by Shawbrook Bank and free for participants.
Charlie White, Development Manager at the Saracens Foundation, said:
“We run over 30 programmes designed to address a broad range of challenges that impact our community. Gender equality and social mobility are both issues that continue to hold people back from fulfilling their potential are we’re deeply passionate about tackling them.
“Working with Shawbrook Bank to develop the Empower Her programme, we believe we can make a real difference for local young women, providing them with an opportunity to build the skills they need to become the leaders of tomorrow.
“The project will provide a balanced mix of mentoring and workshops that will help to inspire and equip this group of young women to excel in their future careers.”
Jo Grobel, Head of CEO Office at Shawbrook Bank, said:
“The incredible work that the Saracens Foundation delivers across the region resonates with all of us at Shawbrook. We set out to make a difference together and we’re incredibly proud to be working with them on this new project by not only funding it but also playing an active part throughout.
“We’re also excited by the culmination of the programme, which will see our participants deliver a charity sports tournament at the StoneX, giving them not just the practical experience of organising, promoting and delivering a major event, but in helping to fund the project next year as Empower Her is designed to be financially self-sustaining.
“Empower Her has the potential to make a big impact and to unlock real opportunity for all those involved, which we couldn’t be prouder to support.”
Shawbrook Bank entered into a multi-year partnership with Saracens in April as the club’s official banking partner, the first principal sponsor to support all three elite teams and the Saracens Foundation.