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Influential women in football

Not all battles in football are won on the field. These 15 women are proof. This group of pioneers has built the National Football League into the meritocracy that it is today, each in her own way.

Martha Firestone Ford is a revered owner. Amy Trask is a Super Bowl executive. Sarah Thomas is a full-time referee. Beth Mowins is set to break ground as a nationwide play-by-play announcer. Charean Williams is a national writer and Hall of Fame selector.

From the front office to the field, these women have made significant in-roads toward defining the direction of America's most popular sport and opening doors for those who dream to follow in their footsteps. Read about their contributions to the game of football below.