This weekend marked the 54th Super Bowl played by the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49-ers. While the Chiefs' win certainly was historic, something else historic was happening on the other side of the field. 49ers Offensive Assistant Coach Katie Sowers was the first woman to coach in a Super Bowl. Katie is the second female in history to earn a full-time coaching job in the NFL, and also the first openly gay coach to coach in the Super Bowl.
In the last few years, we have seen great strides in the fight against gender inequality, however it can still be difficult for women to picture themselves in male dominated roles. This historic moment at the Super Bowl has helped continue to pave the way towards a more gender inclusive workforce.
"I am willing and happy to be a trailblazer because I know that other women, other young girls, are watching this and maybe their path seems a little clearer now."
- Katie Sowers
In the Microsoft Super Bowl commercial, Katie Sowers talks about how she always loved football and always knew she wanted to be a coach but never thought being a football coach would happen because she has not seen a woman in that role. During the commercial, Katie brings up a good point that these men (football players) have been taught by women their entire lives (moms, grandmothers, aunts, teachers). To her point, what’s the real difference?
Women can channel Katie’s persistence and apply that in their own careers. It is important to recognize that even if there has not been a woman in your company’s C-Suite that doesn’t mean that path is not possible. Currently there are only 33 female CEO’s in the Fortune 500 list of companies.
"Even though I'm the first, the most important thing is I'm not the last."
- Katie Sowers
Brittany Chapman is a Student and Graduate Assistant in the HRD Program at Villanova University. Connect with her here!
Jennie Killebrew is a Student and Graduate Assistant in the HRD Program at Villanova University. Connect with her here!
Photo Credits: Katie Sowers Instagram