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‘Where are all the women coaches?’ Jill Ellis and U.S. Soccer hope they finally have a solution

Jill Ellis
Photo Copyright Hannah di Lorenzo for The Equalizer

Every year, typically around the annual United Soccer Coaches Convention, the same question is asked: Why aren’t there more women in coaching?

Every year, there is discussion about the systemic sexism — explicit and implicit — which women face on their professional journeys, many of which end too early. What often lacks are more tangible solutions to accompany the discussion — and that particularly bothered Jill Ellis. A new initiative from U.S. Soccer aims to be a small part of that solution in the United States.

Tuesday marked the launch of the Jill Ellis Scholarship Fund, named after the two-time World Cup-winning coach, and the SheChampions Mentorship Program. Together, the goal is to double the number of elite professional women coaches in the U.S. by 2024 by financially supporting the pursuit of higher coaching licenses by women, and by creating a network through mentorship.

“First of all, it’s coming with potential solutions,” Ellis told The Equalizer. “I think we’ve all seen the numbers and seen the statistics. So, what are we doing about it? The action piece has been, I think, missing a lot of the times when this data is stood out at us. It’s like, ‘OK, but what are we doing?’”

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