The National Football League will host the first-ever NFL Women's Summit: "In the Huddle to Advance Women in Sport" on February 4 and 5 in San Francisco leading up to Super Bowl 50. The event will bring together prominent leaders from sports, government, academia, media, and a variety of other fields, including the World's No. 1 Female Tennis Player and 2015 Sports Illustrated "Sportsperson of the Year," Serena Williams, in an interview with Good Morning America anchor Robin Roberts, and former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, to discuss how participation in sports positively influences the future success of young women both personally and professionally. The NFL Women's Summit aims to reinforce the power of sports in women's lives and to encourage broad support -- from men and women alike -- for girls' athletic participation.
At the culmination of a year in which the league has celebrated the history and future of NFL football in the lead-up to Super Bowl 50, the NFL is honoring the critical role sports have played in the lives of female leaders past and present and raising awareness of how sports can help in developing the next generation of leaders.
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The exclusive live stream of the NFL Women's Summit will be hosted by www.MAKERS.com, AOL's women's leadership destination that highlights the stories of groundbreaking women today to inspire the leaders of tomorrow -- it is the largest and most dynamic collection of women's stories ever assembled. Links to the live stream will also be available on www.NFLWomensSummit.com. Fans can follow live social media coverage of the NFL Women's Summit on Twitter via the NFL's @SuperBowl handle and join the conversation across platforms with #inthehuddle.
Summit attendees will include approximately 250 NFL, Club, and partner executives; local government officials; teen, collegiate, and pro athletes and coaches; non-profit organization members; and media.
Confirmed participants include NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, tennis star Serena Williams and former U.S. Secretary of State Dr. Condoleezza Rice.
There is increasing recognition that sports participation helps develop leadership, teamwork, and other skills that promote success throughout one's life and career. The NFL Women's Summit will highlight that playing sports in the teenage years develops the character and values that last a lifetime. EY's Women Athletes Business Network, with which the NFL has collaborated to bring this event to life, has been tracking the role that sports has played for female leaders across industries.
Executive women are more likely to have played sports and to hire other women who have played sports, according to EY global research. The 2014 EY report, Making the Connection: Women, Sport and Leadership, shows that the majority of female executives surveyed believe a sports background helps fast-track a woman's career and has a positive influence on hiring decisions. Additionally, according to research from a variety of sources compiled in EY's 2015 report, Where will you find your next leader?, girls who participate in organized sports have greater social and economic mobility, are less likely to use drugs, have greater personal safety, and perform better in school.
In conjunction with the NFL Women's Summit, the NFL is partnering with the Women's Sports Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization that is dedicated to cultivating leaders by ensuring girls access to sports, particularly in underserved and diverse communities where opportunities are fewer. According to the Women's Sports Foundation, two in five girls participate in high school sports in the U.S., totaling 3.3 million participation opportunities for girls. By contrast, there are 4.5 million opportunities for boys to play high school sports. While great strides have been made to increase participation levels among young women since Title IX's passage in 1972, the NFL Women's Summit seeks to advance the conversation and inspire forward progress in this area. The NFL Women's Summit builds upon the goals of NFL PLAY 60, which brings together the NFL's long-standing commitment to health and wellness with partner organizations to tackle childhood obesity by encouraging youth to be active 60 minutes a day. The Summit will evolve the conversation by focusing on the benefits of organized sports participation and the positive character and values learned on the field of play.