The FA Women’s Super League in England is leading the way when it comes to providing opportunities for female head coaches and managers, compared to other top domestic leagues, the Women’s Champions League and the world’s best 25 international sides.
The majority of head coaches in women’s football at club level in Europe and the United States continue to be male, but that is starting to change and there are already now more female head coaches than ever before.
A RunRepeat report has analysed 111 clubs and national teams over a 10-year period and found that in 2021, 72.06% of permanent head coaches across the WSL, NWSL, Frauen-Bundesliga, Division 1 Femine, Primera Division Femenina and FIFA’s top 25 international teams have been male.
However, that figure has been in decline year on year since 2015 when it reached a peak of 83.96%. It also means that the proportion of female head coaches is on the up, reaching 27.94% this year. There remains work to be done as there are more than two male head coaches for every female.
In 2021, the WSL was the only elite competition where the majority of permanent head coaches have been female, recorded at 56.25%. That is in stark contrast to Germany’s Frauen-Bundesliga where the proportion of permanent female head coaches this year stands at just 7.14%.
In the NWSL in the United States that figure is 10%, but will be boosted by Casey Stoney’s move to San Diego, while it climbs to 16.67% in France, 22.22% in Spain, 26.92% in the Women’s Champions League, and up to 40.74% among the best international sides in the world.
The WSL in England has been improving with regard to providing opportunities to female head coaches as it was only 25% in both 2015 and 2016. However, 2021 has represented a slight fall as the figure in 2020 was actually 66.67%, meaning two thirds of head coaches were female.