Today, the Super Bowl LV Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced the launch of the Women's Summit for Careers in Football, a first-of-its-kind program ran by an NFL club in collaboration with the league featuring a series of informative classes with senior coaching staff and club executives providing insight into the skills, responsibilities and objectives of leaders in the NFL.
More than 40 women currently working with collegiate football programs who are passionate about taking their careers to the next level make up the inaugural class of the Women's Summit, an ongoing initiative that will feature high-profile hosts including ESPN's Adam Schefter, NFL Network's Peter Schrager and FOX Sports' Laura Okmin lending their voice and insight to the virtual group discussions. Session One, hosted by Sunday Night Football game analyst Cris Collinsworth with Head Coach Bruce Arians, Defensive Coordinator Todd Bowles and Assistant Defensive Line Coach Lori Locust, is available to view now:
"The Buccaneers Women's Summit for Careers in Football is committed to broadening the candidate pool for careers in the NFL," said Darcie Glazer Kassewitz, Buccaneers Co-owner. "Creating exposure and awareness of the many opportunities that exist in football and providing tangible advice for career development is key. The Buccaneers are proud to continue these efforts while advancing gender equality and diversity in our sport."
The Buccaneers worked with the NFL to identify the inaugural class of participants, all of whom are previous attendees of the NFL Women's Careers in Football Forum. The team has taken an active role in the league event, one of the NFL's key diversity and inclusion initiatives. Annually, Kassewitz, Arians, Locust and Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach Maral Javadifar have participated and helped build out the network for women in football.
"Darcie, Coach Arians, Jason Licht and the rest of the Buccaneers organization have made it clear that diversity and inclusion is a critical priority across the board, specifically related to the inclusion of women in football. They are truly leading in this space," said Sam Rapoport, Senior Director of Diversity and Inclusion, NFL. "We're proud of the impact the NFL's Women's Careers in Football Forum has had across the league, and to my knowledge, the Bucs are the first club to specifically address the lack of women in operations roles through intentional programming. We're certain that the Bucs' Women's Summit for Careers in Football will serve to enhance the women's pipeline in the NFL even further."
Over the course of the year, Buccaneers Women's Summit sessions will feature insightful discussions with key team personnel from a variety of organizational areas and functions. Session Two, headlined by General Manager Jason Licht, Director of Football Administration Mike Greenberg, and Director of Football Research Jackie Davidson, will open up the Women's Summit participants, and viewers, to "the team behind the team" responsible for building and managing the Buccaneers' roster.
Session Three, featuring Director of Player Personnel John Spytek, Director of College Scouting Mike Biehl, and Pro Scout Alex Smith, will peel back the curtain on scouting in the NFL – from what personnel departments look for when analyzing a prospect to the skills and traits they prioritize when building a staff. Additional sessions will feature team leadership from a wide variety of fields, including player development, athletic training, performance science, nutrition, corporate development, marketing, digital media, and strength and conditioning.
Fans can register now at Buccaneers.com/summit to be among the first to view Session Two and receive updates on Women's Summit programming.
The Women's Summit for Careers in Football is just one of the ways the organization is committed to gender equality both on and off the field. The Buccaneers are the first NFL team to create an academic scholarship program for female high school players pursuing a career in sports and will present the recipients of the second annual Girls in Football Scholarships later this year. For the past three years, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Foundation has hosted the largest girls flag football tournament in the country with the Girls High School Flag Football Preseason Classic, presented by AdventHealth. The multi-day event brings together more than 50 high school teams and over 1,000 student athletes in a round robin-style competition to kick off the high school flag football season in Florida. The team also established the Jr. Bucs Girls Flag Football League, a first-of-its-kind league in the City of Tampa, where the Foundation covers league fees and equipment for all girls who play. And through in-school programming, the Jr. Bucs Middle School initiative brings flag football to more than 35,000 middle school girls every year.