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  • Writer's pictureBethany Barker

Lioness tops the Woman's Hour Power List

Updated: Apr 12, 2023

The England captain has been named the most influential woman in sport in the first-ever Women's Hour Power List

Wednesday 29th March 2023


Leah Williamson- now a household name after captaining last Summer's historic Euro's winning team- is being celebrated as one of the most remarkable women in sport by a judging panel comprised of Paralympic and Olympic gold medallists Tanni Grey-Thompson and Sam Quek.

The Woman's Hour Power list was launched in 2013 and has since become more diverse including more areas of life such as the environment and music; for this year the judges identified the 30 most outstanding women in the UK sporting scene after what was termed a"game-changing year for the visibility and perception of women in sport in this country".

Lotte Wubben Moy- her Arsenal team-mate and fellow Lioness- who was so fundamental in gaining equal access for young girls in football, finished seventh. The government funding means more girls will have a choice to take up football and Williamson added, "I always say that if a girl chooses not to play football then it's good because she's had a choice in the first place - I'll take that any day instead of somebody choosing for her." showing that the new equal access will allow more girls to have that choice.

Speaking to presenter Nuala McGovern the Lioness captain stated "I'm slightly taken aback by it but very appreciative," and then went on to discuss male involvement within the women's game. Williamson welcomed male involvement however stated she did not want the women's game to be viewed as a route into the men's game, "The only thing I'm concerned of is that, as a growing sport, we are used as a stepping stone into men's [football]. But I do think that we do have good men allies - Ian Wright is obviously a major one for us and when he speaks, he speaks from the heart." BBC research indicates that men's Premier League players earn 100 times than those in the WSL, which proves that pay equality could be a long way off; Williamson said, "I'm not sure I'll see that gap close in my playing time - we need to keep growing our fanbase, we need people to turn up consistently, week in, week out for these games," she said.

To conclude her interview she said that she hopes that the award would help her to continue inspiring the next generation, "When we recognise women like this, it's great because it shows that next person [they can do it too] - 'if you can't see it, you can't be it', that's something I really love as a saying.".

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