BBC Woman’s Hour reveals sport-focused Power List 2023

England captain Leah Williamson topped the BBC Woman’s Hour Power List 2023.

The list recognizes 30 women in the UK who have had a “significant impact on the sporting world” and was unveiled live on the show by presenter Nuala McGovern in front of an audience at the BBC Radio Theater on Tuesday morning.

Williamson, 25, led the Lionesses to glory at last summer’s UEFA Women’s Euros, when they became the first English football team to win an international tournament since 1966.

England Women Training Session – St George's Park – Tuesday 30th August

England’s Leah Williamson with the Women’s European Championship Trophy (Jacob King/PA)

As an Arsenal defender, she has won a number of important trophies throughout her career, including the Women’s Super League twice, the FA Cup and the League Cup.

She also campaigns for equal opportunities for girls in sport, according to the BBC.

Williamson said: “It’s nice, I’m just trying to do my job. My mom will be happy. It’s really nice, I’m a bit surprised but very grateful.”

When asked why the Woman’s Hour Power List is important, she said, “As women, we may have lived in the shadows, but we know we have the ability to improve.

“If you can’t see it, you can’t be. That’s why it’s great when we recognize women like this, because those who aspire to these positions can believe that there is a place for them in the sporting world.”

Leah Williamson and Nuala McGovern

England captain Leah Williamson and BBC Woman’s Hour presenter Nuala McGovern (BBC Woman’s Hour/PA)

Proposals for the shortlist, which includes female athletes, leaders, change makers, reinforcers and grassroots contributors, were selected by the public for jury consideration.

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The panel of judges included Olympic hockey player Sam Quek, Paralympic baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, world cricket champion Ebony Rainford-Brent and former soccer player Jessica Creighton as chairmen.

Second on the list is Baroness Sue Campbell, Head of Women’s Football at The Football Association, where she has campaigned for equality, diversity and access to women’s football, according to the BBC.

England Women Training Session – St George's Park – Tuesday 21st June

Baroness Sue Campbell (Zac Goodwin/PA)

The 74-year-old has been inducted into the 2020 New Year Honors list for her services to sport, in recognition of having spent more than five decades influencing policy, as well as co-founder and Chair of the Youth Sport Trust.

Alice Dearing, who became the first black woman to swim for Britain at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, is third on the BBC’s Hour Power List.

She is one of the four co-founders of the Black Swimming Association, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting diversity in swimming from grassroots to elite level.

The 25-year-old’s championing of diversity includes FINA’s decision in 2022 to add oversized swim caps to its approved competition swimwear list, after an initial ban, to accommodate swimmers with thicker or longer hair.

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games – Kitting Out – Birmingham NEC

Alice Dearing (David Davies/PA)

The Woman’s Hour Power List was first launched in 2013 and celebrates the achievements of British women in different areas of public life.

Karen Dalziel, Editor of the BBC Woman’s Hour, said: “The Women in Sport Power List recognizes 30 incredible women whose passion, dedication and expertise are transforming the profile and experience of women’s sport.

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“We are proud to celebrate the unique qualities and accomplishments of each of these amazing women as they inspire others and create lasting change.”

Other names on the Powerlist 2023 are:

4. Ellie Downie, medal winning gymnast for Great Britain, who spoke out about abusive behavior in British gymnastics

5. Heather Dunnell, Founder of the Scottish Women’s Walking Group

6. Helen Hardy, who created the world’s only official retail platform for women’s football merchandise

7. Lotte Wubben-Moy, Arsenal and England footballer who campaigned for equal access to football for girls in the UK

8. Beth Barrett-Wild, Director of Women’s Professional Play at the England and Wales Cricket Board

9. Sophie Christiansen CBE, eight-time Paralympic equestrian gold medalist

10. Dina Asher-Smith, British record holder in the 100m sprint

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