By Ellie Reynolds

I recently had the opportunity to interview esteemed businesswoman Nicola Palios, following her recent visit to UCFB’s Etihad Campus. Nicola spent 24 years working in law and international financial services, before becoming owner and Vice-Chair of Tranmere Rovers FC, alongside her husband Mark Palios, former Tranmere player and Chief Executive of The Football Association.

With football very much being a male dominated industry, it is both aspiring and motivating for female students, such as myself, to see successful women working within the football sector. I believe that many young females still find the idea of working in an industry with such a low percentage of active females intimidating, but this should not be the case as we are starting to see a lot more women at the helm of sporting organisations.

Often, a person’s biggest barrier to achieving their desired success can be themselves, as Palios explains: “I think a lot of it is in people’s heads and it’s odd, I sort of take this back also to my education.”

Nicola Palios, left, being interviewed by UCFB student Ellie Reynolds.

She continued: “I came from a northern comprehensive school and ended up going to Oxford University. When you have these debates of why isn’t there more people from comprehensive schools at Oxford University, the honest answer is there aren’t that many who try to get in because they have all these assumptions that they won’t be welcome, they won’t get in, they won’t be able to keep up. I think you can get like that a little bit in football”.

When quizzed on the circumstances surrounding female involvement in the game today, Palios revealed that there is nothing to stop women from being successful in the football industry.

She concluded: “I think that in the football world now, on the business side of it, women are very well accepted. In terms of if you work in financial, marketing and commercial, I genuinely don’t think there is much of a barrier now.

“I think if you’re competent, you’re credible and you’ve built your CV in the best way that you can, there’s absolutely no barrier to doing it. I think one of the biggest things is actually to just give people the confidence to go for it.”