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‘Female leaders bring a fresh perspective’ – Helen Mallon

Chair of Capital Football, Helen Mallon

Recently elected Chair of Capital Football, Helen Mallon has been a long-standing member of the organisation’s Board based in Wellington.

Currently in her third term, she has a wealth of experience in many facets of the game which she gained over the past 25 years being involved in football.

Helen holds an NZF Level 2 Referee Assessors’ qualification, is a current National Youth League Assessor, she has been a member on the Referees Committee for over 10 years, and a driving force behind the Female Referee Development programme established in 2018.

Last year she was invited to Geneva to attend a joint FIFA/UEFA Women in Football Leadership Programme aiming to increase the number of female decision makers and providing them with the opportunity to grow as leaders in the sport.

Helen returned from Switzerland with aspirations to continue and develop her career in governance which resulted in her election as Chair of Capital Football in May.

During her visit to the Oceania Football Confederation offices in Auckland, we sat down with Helen to find out about her hopes and aspirations for the future and her advice for other females looking for leadership roles in football.

What is your vision for football ?

My vision for football is to provide the opportunity for everybody to be involved in the game in both grassroots and senior levels.

What can women bring to football as a whole?

Skills and experience is a big part of it but also women bring a different, fresh perspective and it’s something that I’m really passionate about. Having both males and female represented around the Board tables creates a very good dynamic and provides different views and perspectives to be considered when it comes to decision making processes.

Could you elaborate on the impact of recently elected New Zealand Football Chair Johanna Wood, in terms of her serving as a role model for other females looking for leadership roles in football?

I think having an incredible role model in Johanna as the Chair of New Zealand Football is very inspiring. She brings an amazing depth and breadth of experience to that role and that’s something which on a personal level I absolutely aspire to as well. She is very genuine and she brings a comprehensive skillset to the Executive Committee of New Zealand Football. It’s exciting times with football in New Zealand now recognising the impact that females can have at governance level.

Do you think there are enough women in leadership positions in Football?

At the moment no. No and for me it’s a frightening statistic that of the 211 member organisations around the world there are only two female Chairs. I think there is a great opportunity there which is as yet untapped, but I’m excited about what the future will bring in that regard.

What advice would you give to women who are looking to follow your footsteps?

Step up and have a go. It’s rewarding, it’s fantastic being able to  work with other people who are skilled and experienced at sports governance level and it’s fantastic to be able to share your knowledge and your passion and make a difference not just for one or two but for many.



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