Home » Equality & Diversity in Football: A Conversation with Anna Kessel, Ceylon Hickman &Tatiana Kasujja

Equality & Diversity in Football: A Conversation with Anna Kessel, Ceylon Hickman &Tatiana Kasujja

Speakers: Anna Kessel, Ceylon Hickman &Tatiana Kasujja

Event recorded on 16 February 2023

In 1921 the Football Association of England imposed a ban on women’s football, stating its belief that the game was “quite unsuitable for females”. The ban remained in place for half a century before being lifted in 1971, but another 50 years on, there is still much progress to make. Even following the Lionesses’ achievements at Euro 2022, the vast majority of women and girls still don’t have access to the national game, and despite the incredible contributions made by Black athletes, diversity in sport remains a considerable issue.

Listen to sportswriter and co-founder of the charity Women in Football Anna Kessel (KC 1997), Head of Brand at Football Beyond Borders Ceylon Hickman (KC 2014), and former Cambridge University AFC Women’s President Tatiana Kasujja in a discussion about equality and diversity in sport, the role of sport in tackling societal challenges, and the power women have to make a difference.


Anna Kessel MBE (KC 1997) is Sky Sports' Executive Director for Development. An award-winning journalist, speaker and author Anna has sought to champion women and girls in sport throughout a career spanning almost 20 years in the industry. At the forefront of agenda-setting change, in 2019 Anna joined The Telegraph in a ground breaking new venture as Editor for the first ever women's sport department at a national newspaper. Boosted by a young, diverse and ambitious team, Telegraph Women's Sport would go on to win nine major awards in its first year alone and helped to rewrite the script for women's sport coverage in the UK.

Before that Anna spent 15 years at the Guardian and Observer (2004-2019) covering three Olympic Games, as well as World Cups, Euros and World Championships, and interviewing some of the biggest stars in global sport.

In 2016 Anna was awarded an MBE for services to journalism and women in sport. She also published Eat Sweat Play: How Sport Can Change Your Life (PanMacmillan), a passionate polemic aimed at bringing sport to the female masses. In 2017 Anna launched the Blue Plaque Rebellion, alongside the Women's Sport Trust, to champion forgotten pioneers from women's sports history.

Co-founder of Women in Football (WiF), an organisation lobbying against sexism in the game and championing female role models, The Independent described her as a “fearless adversary of sexism” in their list of the 50 Most Influential Women in Sport.

Ceylon Hickman (KC 2014) is Head of Brand at Football Beyond Borders (FBB); an organisation that uses football as a vehicle for change in the lives of young people. Ceylon joined FBB in 2018, and has since grown their girls programme from 16 participants to over 800. She now leads on the brand development, creating a leading voice for young people in football. Her passion for social justice, education and young people has seen her hold a board position at Step Up To Serve, become a member of the Together Campaign's Steering Committee and most recently, represent young people in the 2023 Coronation planning.

Alongside this, Ceylon founded INMOTION: a creative collective led by women, for women, that seeks a world where all women can take joy from movement. She creatively directed the Lionesses squad announcement film for the UEFA Euros 2022, and has created campaigns for the likes of Arsenal FC, adidas and PUMA. Ceylon also broadcasts with The Guardian and other leading football podcasts. On Sundays, she can be found at Champion Hill Stadium, where she plays as a Centre Back for Dulwich Hamlet FC in the women's football pyramid.

Tatiana Kasujja (Homerton 2019) is a management and strategy Consultant at Oliver Wyman. Prior to her career in consulting she studied Human, Social and Political Sciences at Homerton College. She played football for the University Blues throughout the duration of her studies, assuming the role of Vice Captain in her second year and going on to become Women’s President of CUAFC in her final year. Tatiana also has previous experience playing for football clubs Crystal Palace Ladies FC, Long Lone JFC and was also a part-time football coach for Charlton Triangle Kids Club. 


The event took place as part of the 50 Years of Women at King's series.

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