‘I’m only a role model because I’m female’ – FA Cup winning Coach Emma Hayes (UK)
Chelsea Ladies manager Emma Hayes says people call her a “role model” because she is female when she wants to be known for her coaching success instead.
Hayes’ team face Arsenal in Saturday’s Women’s FA Cup final at Wembley (17:10 BST), which will be live on BBC One.
The 41-year-old, who is 33 weeks pregnant with twins, will not walk her side out after health advice, but plans to follow the game from the dugout.
She is one of only three female bosses in England’s 10-team top flight.
When asked about being a “female role model” during Chelsea’s pre-match news conference, Hayes replied: “You wouldn’t call [Manchester City Women boss] Nick Cushing a role model.
“You’ll call me one because I’m female.
“While of course I want to influence other females in the game, more importantly I want to be renowned for being good tactically, being an outstanding coach who delivers well on the grass, who gets the best out of my players and who ultimately competes for titles year in, year out.
“It does make it hard when there’s not a lot of us [women] doing it, but we have to remove the gender-specific conversation about it. I just see myself as a coach.”
Pregnancy ‘is my biological right’
The former Arsenal assistant coach, who has led Chelsea since 2012, has continued to manage her title-chasing side throughout her pregnancy.
But she stressed that made her “no different to any other pregnant woman in the workplace who is still going to work”, when speaking to the gathered media before the 48th Women’s FA Cup final.
“For me, it’s important that people think you can do both,” Hayes added.
“It’s important that all women in this position feel supported enough to do this. I’m at the best club in the world for that. There’s been huge support for me.
“But also, it’s my biological right to do that – and I can still get up to go to work every day.
“Some days I’m going to struggle, but I’m at 33 weeks and I’m still marauding about on the football pitch barking at them all, and can still go home and get the adequate rest.
“It’s important for my mind and my health to keep working, as long as I do the right things and get enough sleep.”
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