As recent polling showed that nearly half (46%) of women working in football have experienced sexism in the workplace.

The Women in Football research found:

  • The number of women working in football who have suffered sexual harassment at work has doubled in the last two years (up to 15% from 7%).
  • Nearly two-thirds (61%) of women in football have witnessed sexism at work.
  • Almost a quarter (23%) working within the industry feel their appearance is judged over their ability to do their job.
  • Nine in 10 (90%) of women in football still believe that more could be done to increase the chances of women not only breaking into the sport but getting further opportunities once in it.

Huge Arsenal fan TUC General Secretary Frances O'Grady said: "We need to do so much more to combat the sexism that disfigures football.

"Women remain under-represented in football's key institutions, boards and committees, in the sport's grassroots and in the media.

"We need to see women breaking through football's glass ceiling and a zero tolerance approach to sexual harassment in any workplace - with football taking the striking role.

"And the government could help by abolishing employment tribunal fees – nobody who has been harassed or discriminated against should have to pay up to £1,200 to enforce their basic rights at work.” A Women in Football spokesperson said: "Our research shows worrying stats around sexism and sexual harassment in football. We are looking forward to coming together with the TUC, Prospect, the PFA and the LMA to discuss how we help women overcome the challenges faced working in the game.

"Our network aims to help women obliterate the glass ceiling – whilst also educating those who help keep the ceiling in place. We aim to improve women's representation at all levels of the game by challenging discrimination and lobbying for change.

"We support the TUC in its quest to abolish employment tribunal fees and hope events like tonight will encourage more people to report inequality and support equality – and help show them how to do so."

Anonymous quotes from the survey

  • "Sexist incidents occur daily due to the culture of the environment we work in."
  • "There are far too many sexist incidents to describe. It's endemic."
  • "A teenage female referee who had to travel to games with an older male official was sexually harassed, with inappropriate touching, on the journey. He told her that there was no point complaining because she was so young no one would believe her. The referee was afraid for her career."
  • "I've been subjected to sexist taunts from colleagues, sent sexually provocative texts on a match day, and not supported in any way by my superiors when I complained. The situation became so unbearable I had to leave my job."