The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced Wednesday that the team has launched a summit for careers in football aimed at women, a first-of-its-kind program for an NFL franchise.
The program will be run in collaboration with the NFL and will feature a series of informative classes with the Bucs’ coaching staff, executives, and media personalities, providing insights into the skills, responsibilities and objectives of leaders in the league. The first session was hosted by former wide receiver and current Sunday Night Football analyst Chris Collinsworth and features a trio of Tampa Bay coaches: head coach Bruce Arians, defensive coordinator Todd Bowles and assistant defensive line coach Lori Locust. Future hosts will include ESPN’s Adam Schefter, NFL Network’s Peter Schrager and FOX Sports’ Laura Okmin.
“The Buccaneers Women’s Summit for Careers in Football is committed to broadening the candidate pool for careers in the NFL,” Buccaneers co-owner Darcie Glazer Kassewitz said in a prepared statement. “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 inaugural class of the Women’s Summit for Careers in Football features 43 women, all of whom are currently working in collegiate football. The women selected were identified by both the Buccaneers and the NFL, and all of them were previous attendees of the NFL Women’s Careers in Football Forum. Kassewitz, Arians, Locust, and Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach Maral Javadifar have participated in similar events in the past and helped build out the network for women in football.
The team said in a press release that the second session will feature General Manager Jason Licht, Director of Football Administration Mike Greenberg, and Director of Football Research Jackie Davidson, who will discuss the process of roster construction and management. The third session, featuring Director of Player Personnel John Spytek, Director of College Scouting Mike Biehl, and Pro Scout Alex Smith, will focus on the process of scouting for talent in the modern NFL.
The sessions will be available for public viewing afterward on the team’s website.
The Buccaneers were also the first NFL team to create an academic scholarship program for female high school players pursuing a career in sports, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Foundation hosted the largest female flag football tournament in the country, while also establishing a female flag football league in Tampa.