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#30 Game Changer - what women's football can learn from business with Ariane Hingst

This was the podcast that turned me into a football fan ⚽️🙌💙

Ariane Hingst is arguably one of Germany’s most successful soccer players. In an international career spanning 15 years, she won four European Championships, two World Championships, three Olympic medals and the World Cup. But this being women’s football, “no one recognised us, there wasn’t money to be earned,” she says.

Like most female professional footballers, Ariane had to work two other jobs - first as a bank clerk and then as a physiotherapist - to make ends meet. Today, most female players in the second and third leagues still have to work other jobs outside of football, often full-time — which would unthinkable in the male leagues.

Ariane is working to change that for the next generation. In 2022, she joined a group of female entrepreneurs as co-founder of FC Viktoria Berlin, with the aim of transforming the sport. "Of course it’s about soccer, but it’s more than soccer,” she says. "We want to establish a brand, we want to have visibility for the players, we want to have diversity, and obviously female empowerment!”

2022 was a big year for women’s football in Germany, with a record 18 million viewers tuning in to watch the European Championship final between England and Germany. But there are still hurdles, and I saw so many parallels between the challenges that female footballers are facing and the issues that we’re dealing with in the business world:

👉 the need for new work models! Especially in the third league where the new talent is, and where players still have to juggle training with paid jobs;

👉 the fight for equal pay - women shouldn’t be earning less for the same job;

👉 understanding that parenthood doesn’t change us for the worse, but for the better. Parents have “resilience and a never-give-up mentality,” says Ariane. And the fact that your body changes? “It could also be a positive thing!”

👉 the importance of role models - why we have to tell the stories of people who are blazing the trail, even if they’re not famous or top of their game. Their experiences pave the way for others.

🎧 You can listen to our full conversation here:

.. and join me in cheering for FC Viktoria Berlin - and women’s football in general!

Speaker: Ariane Hingst, Co-Founder @FC Viktoria Berlin, Co-Trainer @DFB

Interviewer: Dr. Ricarda Engelmeier - Founder @MyCollective

Music: sponsored by @Michaelkadelbach

Photo: Ariane Hingst

Graphic & Production: MyCollective

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