Liverpool have been very lucky in having at the helm of the men’s side one Jurgen Norbert Klopp. The German is affable, politically aligned to the club’s ideals, and obviously talented.
Vicky Jepson, the manager of the women’s team, is more local but appears to be on a similar trajectory. Young but full of promise, Jepson grew up just outside of Merseyside and has seen her career tied to Liverpool for years.
This past weekend, both managers shared the stage and earned accolades for their work at Liverpool. The Woman of the Future Awards honored Jepson, Klopp, and the Club for their work in advancing women’s roles in the workplace.
First, the club took home an award in the “corporate” category for several initiatives implemented at the club’s structure that “focus on equality and inclusion in the workplace.” The details of those initiatives weren’t included in the write up from the official site.
Jurgen Klopp’s award was due to, aptly, acts of kindness throughout the previous season. Specifically, the committee behind the award pointed to the way the gaffer interacted with Sean Cox and his general comportment as an ambassador and figurehead for the club as being key to winning this award. Klopp is, of course, a veritable font of leadership and kindness so it makes all the sense in the world that he’d take home this award.
Vicky Jepson was recognized for her work at the helm not the women’s team. She was also shortlisted for the Rising Female Star in Sport category. A well deserved nomination to be sure, given all of the hard work she’s put in to achieve her role as Liverpool Women’s gaffer.
These are all certainly positives on behalf of LFC and speak to a club that is working, in some measure, to express equity within its ranks. But, and this is the biggest of ‘buts’ around: Liverpool still have quite a way to go in seeing these things work their way to the investment put into the women’s side of the game.
As Ritika and Jordan have written here numerous times, FSG must do better by the athletes and fans and provide more adequate support and resources for the women’s team. Because as nice as these little accolades are, nothing will speak more directly to how committed the club are to equality than ensuring that the women’s team and its staff have access to fair wages and equal facilities.