Women in Business Day takes place this Thursday, and the latest addition to our panel is truely inspiring…
Since Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney purchased our near-neighbours Wrexham AFC in 2021, they’ve become one of the most talked-about football clubs in the world. They recently celebrated their triumphant return to the football league!
Shortly after the take-over, the Hollywood stars picked former Burton Albion Commercial Director Fleur Robinson to be their new CEO and manage the club day-to-day and we’re delighted to confirm Fleur will join the panel for our Women in Business Day this Thursday, 15 June to discuss her career in football, working with Ryan and Rob and much more!
Fleur’s pathway to CEO started in the home dressing room at Burton Albion, where her father, Ben Robinson, has been chairman over a span of some 45 years. She followed in her father’s footsteps and is now one of the most prominent female executives in professional football.
A busy few months have ensued since being appointed by her Hollywood bosses in March. From negotiating Wrexham’s debut in Fifa 22 – the first-ever non-league club to be included in the game – to navigating the fly-on-the-wall cameras capturing a docu-series about the takeover, ‘Welcome To Wrexham’ (a good watch on Netflix!)
As the first black female CEO of a professional football club, Fleur was named on football’s prestigious Black List for influential role models within the national game. It is the second time she has appeared on the list and, while she says that “people don’t particularly see me as being a woman of colour,” some of the experiences of her father remain etched in her mind.
“Certainly my father has probably encountered some negativity in boardrooms,” she says. “People going to their male white colleagues first to shake hands. It’s quite sad that we haven’t seen that diversity within boardrooms, or football clubs. I’m a believer that you have to see it to believe it and there haven’t been those role models in place.”
As a woman, she has had her own challenging experiences. She recalls her first commercial managers’ meeting after Burton were promoted to the Conference (now the National League) under Nigel Clough in 2002. “I was the only female around the table, and half the age of the rest of the people,” she says. Another place of frustratingly slow change has been the Football Association, but Robinson was appointed to the Council in 2016 and there is an ongoing drive to finally make the organisation more representative of the communities it serves.
“It is becoming a more inclusive environment – I was only speaking to [female] CEOs at Grimsby and Harrogate this week,” says Robinson. “There are more of us in these key roles, which is important for the next generation. It is evolving but not as quickly as we would like. There are challenges. I see it now. You go to a boardroom, and people gravitate to the male party you are with as opposed to you as a female. That’s the generation change that needs to happen. Any organisation needs to have that diverse workforce to bring different cultures together to create ideas. And it’s not just the boardroom. I’m also a big advocate for the administration support within football!”
We’re delighted to confirm Fleur will be joining the panel for our Women in Business Day this Thursday, 15 June to discuss her career in football, and working to bring the industry into a newer more diverse and inclusive era.
The panel will also feature media personality Louise Minchin and businesswoman Victoria Price.
Louise is a British television presenter, journalist and former news presenter who currently works freelance within the BBC. After her 20 year career on the BBC Breakfast couch, we can’t wait to hear her experiences as a woman so prominant in the public eye and we’re sure she has a few stories to share! Her new book Fearless, Adventures with Extraordinary Women reflects her passion for celebrating women’s success. In each chapter Louise takes on a difficult challenge with a different courageous woman to tell their incredible stories. As part of it she has swum from Alcatraz, free dived under ice in the dark in Finland, and cycled across Argentina. What a woman!
Victoria is the Europe, Middle East, India & Africa (EMEIA) Private Tax Leader for Ernst & Young (EY) Global Limited. In this role, she drives the tax strategy across the region to bring the most innovative solutions to the dynamic private clients to help them plan efficiently for the diverse challenges they face. She is also impassioned about helping young people to realise their career ambitions and is a devoted supporter of the EY Foundation program. In aid of the charity, she has trekked across the Sahara, climbed Kilimanjaro and completed the Yorkshire Three Peaks with alumni from the EY Entrepreneur of the Year program. These women in business are amazing!
The Bolesworth International
A host of world-class sport will run alongside the Bolesworth International Women in Business Day in Bolesworth’s bespoke showjumping arenas with many female riders in the thick of the action. Top sportsperson Louise Saywell, mother of an 18-month-old daughter, will feature heavily in the higher-ranking classes and will be intent on repeating last year’s victory in the highly-revered showjumping finale, the Bolesworth Grand Prix.
Additional VIP packages that are available throughout the show include the established business networking lunch on Friday 16th featuring an Audience with Michael Owen and Sir AP McCoy, Ladies Day on Saturday 17th, and evening sessions that combine favourite sporting highlights such as the Puissance with Live Music and exclusive Entertainment. VIP tickets are priced from £99.00 (adult) and £78 (child)*.
The brand new Bolesworth International has a packed programme of events and adrenaline-fuelled displays and activities throughout the weekend for the whole family with camping available onsite for Friday and Saturday nights. Highlights include stunt horses, freestyle motocross displays and a new live music stage on Friday and Saturday nights headlining with Rick Parfitt Jr and the RPJ band, The Brand New Heavies and DJ Trevor Nelson. The event kicks off with sporting action from 8am on Wednesday 14th June and runs right through to 7.30pm on Sunday 18th of June 2023.
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