My Career Story: Tim Woodhouse, Head of Policy, Women's Sport & Fitness Foundation
Published: 23 Nov 2012
Current role: Head of Policy at the Women's Sport and Fitness Foundation
Previous role(s): Policy Manager at Sport England, Sport and Leisure Officer at Chichester District Council
Post Graduate Diploma in Sports Development from the University of Gloucestershire
BA Hons in Politics from the University of Sussex
Date of Birth: 11/12/1975
GlobalSportsJobs: When was your big break in your career?
Tim Woodhouse: “My biggest break was definitely landing my current role. Being male I wasn't over-confident of securing the job at the Women's Sport and Fitness Foundation, but it’s been a wonderful opportunity to turn passion into progress at a senior level within the sector.”
GlobalSportsJobs: What was the best piece of career advice you ever received?
TW: “Always build time into your schedule to tell internal and external stakeholders what you are doing. There is no point working hard if no one knows what you are up to.”
GlobalSportsJobs: What was the biggest challenge or your most difficult decision of your career so far?
TW: “The biggest challenge of any charity like ours is always to demonstrate our impact. We don't directly deliver sport so we can't count the number of medals we win or the number of participants we have through the doors. However, as a team, we have built a very good reputation for our research, campaigns and practical support both in the UK and internationally.”
GlobalSportsJobs: Tell us about the WSFF. What is its role?
TW: “WSFF is the UK-based charity which is working to create a nation of active women and we cover issues from getting girls active at school right the way through to securing more media profile for women's elite sport.
GlobalSportsJobs: What sort of experience did you take from your time at Sport England?
TW: “My experience at Sport England was fantastic and it gave me the experience, knowledge and contacts which have been the foundation of my career so far.”
GlobalSportsJobs: What sort of qualities do you look for in an applicant for a job at the WSFF?
TW: “A passionate commitment to women's sport and fitness isn't rare, so in addition, we need to see experience and excellence in the technical aspects of the role we are hiring for.”
GlobalSportsJobs: In your opinion, to what extent has become easier for women to break through in the sports industry?
TW: “It has become slightly easier, but there are still many more men than women in senior management and board level roles in sport. Much of our work in this area has been to demonstrate the value of gender diversity at all levels of decision making and many organisations are now taking steps in the right direction, but progress is slow.”
GlobalSportsJobs: What would be your key piece of advice for someone starting out in the sports industry?
TW: “My top tip would be to join Twitter and start making connections. You still need to gain qualifications and experience but Twitter lets you start creating networks instantly.”
GlobalSportsJobs: What are your future career aspirations and what would be your ideal job?
TW: “There are so many opportunities for women's sport in the UK at the moment, and I want to stick around and help deliver them so I can't see myself moving anywhere for a while. But in the long term I am ambitious and would like to do more to unite the many organisations and individuals globally that are working to improve women's sport at all levels.”