Postdoctoral Researcher in Professional Women’s Football, Durham University

Alex's Postdoctoral research is an ARHC project on women sport fans. Alex is a former professional footballer who had unique and unprecedented access to professional women footballers in England. Her PhD research was the first to conceptualise football as work for women in England. Specifically examining the employment policy of professional women athletes, the research sheds light on the wellbeing, welfare and gender-specific issues women encounter in the sports labour market. The outcomes of her PhD have enabled the development of policy recommendations for women athletes. These recommendations will have a significant impact on the employment security, mental health and wellbeing of women at work.

Alex is especially interested in issues of gender, sport-as-work and mental health. Her research interests are interdisciplinary incorporating sociology, social policy, sport, policy and health. The expertise she has developed on women and sport mean she has been invited by series editors to prepare submissions for two research monographs with major academic publishers. One based on her PhD, the other an edited collection on of professional women’s football globally. Public engagement and communication is key to her work. She has disseminated research findings via radio, podcasts, public lectures and media interviews. Through external engagement she has sought to influence media and public debate around the unknown and unreported aspects of professional women’s football. For example, she currently working with the Telegraph Women’s Sport on a special edition on mental health and professional women’s football. Alongside external engagement, Alex has conducted a number of invited and keynote talks at various conferences. As part of these projects and other projects, she has cooperated with municipalities and sports governing bodies, and thereby developed an impressive network.