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International Women’s Day 2020: Tanya Oxtoby

As part of the celebration of International Women’s Day we spoke to Bristol City Women Manager, Tanya Oxtoby about her journey so far and who helped shape her to become the woman she is today. 

What do you like most about your job role? 

The thing that I like most about my job role is getting to work with the players every single day. They’re a fantastic group of young female role models and to be able to come into work every single day, and be apart of their journey is definitely the best part of the job. 

What has been the proudest moment in your career so far? 

There are probably two aspects to it. One of them is seeing the players that we have developed go on to bigger and better things whether that be at club or international level.

The other would be last season in taking points off the likes of Manchester City and Chelsea, that was definitely a proud moment. We were definitely underdogs in those game, so to come away with a result that people weren’t expecting was definitely a highlight of the career so far. 

Who has been a female role model for you? 

Everyone will say this, but my Mum for sure, she’s amazing. She looked after my brother for 38 years and when I look at her struggles and how she has been graceful through a number of things then I think if I end up being anything like she has, then I’ll be pretty happy with myself.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

For us working in such a male dominated environment it’s about providing opportunities for young females. From our perspective for the players and staff it’s about helping them to achieve their dreams and being able to reach their potential.

We’ve got a great platform to work from and being the manager of this football club I have an obligation to all of our players to show them the way, show them that barriers are no obstacle. Leadership and positive role modelling is what the day is all about. 

What piece of advice would you give to your younger self? 

You can’t make everyone happy. It’s a myth and especially in this job you want people to like you and respect you, but they’re two separate things.

Sometimes when you’ve got that respect, you’re not always going to be liked, so don’t try to please people. You’re got to do what’s best for the group and sometimes individuals won’t wholeheartedly understand what you’re trying to do. 

What does being a powerful woman mean to you? 

Being true to yourself. Don’t try and be someone you’re not, people will see straight through that.

Right or wrong everyone has got their faults and flaws, embrace those and own them - be happy and proud of who you are. For every one person that doesn’t appreciate your qualities, there will be five of six others that do and it’s about all of us coming together as strong women to influence the next generation.  


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