Visa teams up with Barclays to expand career skills programme for women’s top-flight players

Visa is partnering with Barclays on The Second Half programme to offer skills, training, and support for professional female footballers playing at the elite level as they consider their careers beyond the football pitch following their retirement.

The career development programme – developed by Visa in collaboration with Karen Carney MBE (former England international) and Kim Little MBE (Arsenal Captain and former Scotland international) – aims to help players transition the skills they have developed as a professional footballer to their next career, with a focus outside of traditional media and coaching roles. Through The Second Half, Visa and Barclays help players see new opportunities and career pathways with support tailored to their individual goals.

Players joining The Second Half receive training in topics such as leadership, communications, career planning, and personal branding, CV writing and social media. They also receive a career mentor ecosystem that matches their personal interests, are provided with corporate networking opportunities, and have the chance to complete work experience in a corporate environment.

For the first time, in 2023, players are also offered the opportunity to apply for paid internship positions at Visa over the course of the summer break.

Barclays – which set a record for the biggest investment into UK women’s sport in 2021 with its £30 million investment into women’s and girls’ football over the period from 2022-2025 – including title sponsorship of the Barclays Women’s Super League – has been brought on to help grow and support the programme, including providing materials from their Digital Eagles learning resources to help upskill players on topics from financial literacy to staying safe from scams.

As the first FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023TM partner and first standalone partner of UEFA Women’s Football since 2018, Visa’s investment in women’s football has focused on increasing visibility for the sport at all levels, driving acceptance, and future-proofing the game. This partnership with Barclays to expand The Second Half programme underlines their joint commitment to supporting women both on and off the pitch.

To date 71 players have benefitted from the programme, which is now in its third year of running.

Karen Carney MBE, who helped create the programme, said: “For the women’s game to continue to succeed, creating long-term career paths for players is a must. That’s why partnering with Visa on The Second Half to help athletes recognise their potential off the pitch continues to be a source of pride for me. And with the additional support from Barclays, I’m excited to be able to expand the programme so that more women can benefit.”

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