International Womens Day 2024


Wembley Stadium has witnessed some powerful female performances throughout its 100-year-history.

Beyoncé, Pink, Spice Girls, Taylor Swift, Adele and the Lionesses of England have all lit up the famous Wembley stage. However, this year, for International Women’s Day, we are shining a light on the female stars who work behind the stage.

The women who make up the team at Wembley Stadium and help deliver the greatest shows on earth.

Gemma Fordham
Event Manager

What does your job involve?

The events team are the main point of contact for the event owner whether that’s EFL, FA Events or a concert promoter. All questions, requests, plans for the event come to us then we filter the information down to the relevant departments at the stadium to make sure everyone is aware of what is going on and all the right plans are put in place to ensure the event runs smoothly.

What aspect of your job do you enjoy most?

Seeing the event come to life. In my role, I am lucky enough to be right in the thick of it all when the event is going on. I get to see the spectacle, excitement and enjoyment going on inside the bowl alongside what’s happening behind the scenes.

Favourite Wembley memory?

Standing just a few metres away from Brian May in an empty bowl while he rehearsed ‘Love of My Life’ for the Taylor Hawkins Tribute Concert. It brought back childhood memories of listening to that song with my dad in the car.

What’s it like working as woman in the events industry?

I encountered quite a few problems in my previous job as Operations Director, as we travelled to a lot of different countries where women are definitely not held in the same regard as men.

There would be meetings where the local men working on the event would enter the room, shake all the hands of the men in our team and blank the women. You really had to prove yourself to earn the respect that the men in our team had from the start.

I’m happy to say I haven’t encountered anything like that since working at Wembley.

Abbey Smith

Senior Crowd Safety Manager

What does your job involve?

Overseeing the planning processes for the Crowd Safety Team, ensuring all processes, procedures and documents are produced in line with the stadium policies and adhering to legislation.

I look at the tactical element of the plan in order to keep the stadium and people safe so they can enjoy their event.

What aspect of your job do you enjoy most?

I enjoy event days as its rewarding to see your plan put into action. I like knowing the hard work of the team throughout the weeks prior to an event has paid off.

What’s your favourite memory of Wembley Stadium?

My favourite memory of Wembley stadium would be the NFL last year. I had never worked or watched any NFL before and to see the planning and everything that goes into the event is astonishing. It was something I was proud to be part of.

What’s it like working as woman in the events industry?

I feel very respected, accepted and that my gender doesn’t define whether or not I can do my job.

I haven’t ever encountered any problems or challenges in the industry whilst being at Wembley.

Manisha Mistry

Membership Services Manager • Club Wembley

What does your job involve?

I manage the onboarding process of all new Club Wembley Seat and Private Box members.

How long have you been working at Wembley Stadium?

I grew up in Wembley in the shadows of the twin towers and my first job was as a student working in the tours team before the old stadium closed for refurbishment.

I’ve been with Club Wembley since the new stadium opened in 2007.

What aspect of your job do you enjoy most?

I love working in a team and collaborating with all the other parts of the stadium to deliver huge events.

My role involves working closely with other departments including Sales, Account Management, Ticketing, Legal and Finance to ensure all memberships are set up and complete in time for events at Wembley.

Favourite Wembley Memory?

All of them! I love attending live music events, but when the Foo Fighters performed at Wembley was particularly special.

I also love bringing my son Luca to football events at Wembley and elsewhere  - especially to support the Lionesses!

What’s it like working as woman in the events industry?

For me personally it has been great. I am lucky in that I have worked with some great women who have all proved very inspirational and helped me in my career immensely.

I am now part of the Prospects programme here at The FA which provides excellent support in my career progression.

It gives me the opportunity to work with others outside of my immediate team and develop additional skills which will set me up for the future.

Eden Imrie

Assistant Hospitality Manager

What does your job involve?

Looking after hospitality guests who sit in private boxes at Wembley. I make sure they are all catered for, and they have a perfect day in the best seats in the stadium.

What aspect of your job do you enjoy most?

I enjoy welcoming our guests and making them feel comfortable. Last year’s FA Cup Final between Manchester United and Manchester City was the biggest operation I have worked on in my six years her at the stadium. It was really busy and the atmosphere that day was amazing. It felt great to be part of such a big event.

What’s it like working as woman in the events industry?

It’s great. I do not recall a time where being a woman has stopped me from progressing further.

I do find there is less female representation at a higher level in the event industry, but I do think that is changing now.

I look forward  to there being more female role models in the sporting/stadia sector.

Favourite Wembley memory?

The Men’s EUROs in the summer of 2021. I am not necessarily a huge football fan, but the atmosphere for those games both in the stands and on the concourse was so infectious. For me, it was the point I knew I didn’t want to work anywhere else.

Ellie Gray

People Operations Manager

What does your job involve?

I look after the casual catering staffing requirements for events and non-event day business, such as conferences, banqueting & private functions.

How long have you been working at Wembley Stadium?

In my current role, just over 2 years. However, I started as a casual member of staff on event days 12 years ago when I was 16 years old. Working at the stadium made me realise how much I loved working here so I chose to study event management at university in the hopes of working here full time. To come back and now be on the other side of that staff journey is a real full circle moment.

What aspect of your job do you enjoy most?

Getting to know the people who work for us and helping to develop them. We have such a diverse and interesting workforce, many of whom have a lot of potential and ambitions to do more within our business.

Favourite Wembley Memory?

The Taylor Hawkins Tribute concert. When Taylor’s son Shane performed ‘My Hero’ you felt the whole stadium share the same emotion. I had never experienced that before. It was really special.

What’s it like working as woman in the events industry?

Working in events, especially within the hospitality sector, can be challenging as a woman.

As a mid-20s self-proclaimed ‘girly girl’ I find that my femininity means I can sometimes be overlooked or not taken as seriously as my male counterparts.

There can also be the odd occasional run in with a tricky guest who finds it appropriate to make comments regarding my image, age, & gender to try and ‘get a laugh’ off their friends.

However, I feel lucky that I am working in the industry now, which is in a period of change. With the Lionesses winning the EURO Final I feel like women are moving more into spaces previously owned by men and I am excited to be a part of it.