INDIANAPOLIS, Ind-- If you’ve been to a Colts’ game at Lucas Oil Stadium recently, you might have noticed more women sporting their blue and white.
Women make up roughly half of NFL fans, but just a third of league employees. But the NFL is working to change that.
Our Alexa Green sat down with four women from the Colts’ franchise who say their journey to the NFL started with a dream.
“I had several professors who said I should go to law school or be an engineer,” said Colts VP of Marketing Stephanie Pemberton.
“For me, I don’t want to say I got lucky because I worked really hard but the NFL was my first home right out of college,” added Amber Derrow, social media manager for the Colts.
That dream became a reality when these women joined the Indianapolis Colts.
They do everything from communications to management to being a part-owner.
“All we want to do is soak in and be sponges and really learn how to lead, whenever that day may come,” said Kalen Jackson, Colts Vice Chair/Owner.
These women say they have seen and heard it all.
“I had to give my email address for work and the woman said, ‘Who do you belong to? you’re email is Colts,’ and I’m like, That’s my email address,'” said communications coordinator Pam Humphrey.
Humphrey has worked for the Colts for more than three decades. She says the comments she gets about working for an NFL team don’t get to her anymore.
“It’s about the organization. It’s about the horseshoe, it’s about something bigger than yourself,” she said.
Others like Derrow, say she’s okay with fans assuming there’s a man behind the keyboard.
“For me, I try to provide a stable voice, a stable tone, and I like that it provides this mystery of who is behind the account,” Derrow said.
But these ladies are slowly gaining yardage on their male counterparts, and say they’re not going to let anyone or anything hold them back.
With women calling the plays, things like nursing pods at Lucas Oil Stadium or a “female-only” fan club just make sense.
“Little things like that, and we can continue to keep our eyes open, and trust our gut and continue doing what were doing,” added Jackson.
But they’re not done yet. These women say they’re ready to leave everything they’ve got out on the field.
“As long as we look at it from a business standpoint like we’re here to do a job, then you can succeed no matter who you are,” said Pemberton.
Right now, about 42% of the front office staff is made up of women. But when you add in football operations, including coaches and scouts, it drops to 26%.