Op-Ed: NFL Works Hard to Promote Women to Leadership Roles

By Renie Anderson | EVP NFL Partnerships and Chief Revenue Officer, National Football League

"We aren't going anywhere... so buckle up." - Renie Anderson, Executive Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer at the NFL

Photo Credit: National Football League

I've worked in sports for 22 years. To secure my first job out of college, I was given a typing test. Thankfully, I was a fast typist, but I doubt any of my male colleagues did this for their first job. Today, I'm the Executive Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer at the National Football League. It's a big, complex and challenging job - one I never dreamed of, but I am proud to be doing it. 

I was disappointed that a portion of the story entitled "Washington NFL Harassment Report Shocked Many, But Not Women" suggested a lack of female leadership in the NFL. One of the sources in the piece was quoted as saying: "You can promote all the wimen you want and put them into all the top positions you want, but if you're creating accountability and buy-in in fostering an inclusive and supportive workplace, it doesn't mean much."

Although there is still more to do, the NFL League office has worked hard under NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's leadership, especially the last several years, not only to promote women, but to put them into positions of major responsibility and hold them accountable. I'm proof of just that. 

Not only is our Chief Operating Officer (COO) female, women also fill the roles of Chief People Officer, Chief Information Officer, Chief Security Officer, Deputy General Counsel, Senior Vice President of Football Operations, Senior Vice President and Special Counsel for Investigations, Senior Vice President of Communications, Senior Vice President of Social Responsibility, Senior Vice President of Football Communications and Marketing, Senior Vice President of Partnerships, Senior Vice President of Health & Safety, Senior Vice President of Brand and Senior Vice President of Partner Operations. 

Unfortunately, these leaders were omitted from The New York Times story.

"What do I do? Do I call Jerry Jones or do I go to the dry cleaners? So I decided to pick up the phone..." 📞@renieanderson has never been afraid to make the big calls. Here's how she built a career as the @NFL's first-ever Chief Revenue Officer. 💰🏈#SheGotGame pic.twitter.com/vDQoEqZbIL  — Strong Side (@strongsidenfl) November 26, 2019

The list of women in senior roles with a seat at the table on the most important issues is growing and we shouldn't dismiss this progress or these women. The NFL and other sports entities are relying on us for roles that have been traditionally male dominated. This growth isn't just because we are women - it's because we are as good at our jobs, if not better, than anybody in the world. 

But there is still more work to be done. The alleged behavior reported in Washington is disgusting. Like many women, I have my own experiences that are humiliating. 

To brave women that speak out against this barbaric behavior, we are with you. 

To the men who championed me in my career and made it a point to make sure I was safe and comfortable in my job, thank you. 

To ALL women who work in sports, from the boardroom to the locker room, it can be hard, you are not alone, KEEP GOING!

I'm proud to represent the men who play this game, the most avid fans in sports and our clubs. On behalf of the women of the National Football League, we stand in support of ALL women and those who suffered from mistreatment. 

This article was originally published on NFL.com and republished with permission from the author. 

Headshot of Renie Anderson

About Renie Anderson

2016 WISE Women of the Year honoree Renie Anderson is the NFL's EVP of Partnerships and its first chief revenue officer. She oversees the league's partnership divisions, including sponsorship, new business and consumer products, and is responsible for all media sales for the league's owner and operated assets, including NFL Network and NFL Digital Media. Anderson joined the NFL in 2006 after nine seasons at the Arena Football League.