This week the NFL hosted their 3rd annual Women's Summit called "IN the Huddle" to bring awareness to the importance of females in the world of sports.
"It's really important," said Anne Doepner, the Director of Football Administration for the Minnesota Vikings. "I don't think that I can overstate it. These women need to see people that look like them succeeding in the NFL."
The event brings together current and future leaders to discuss how football and the broader sports world can continue to support the advancement of women on and off the field.
"Confidence is a big thing for women and for girls and we need to help build that for them," Doepner said. "By seeing women that look like them, that have been through some of the obstacles that they might face, I think it's just going to be hopefully really empowering for them."
Doepner was a french major in college. She began her career in sports as an executive assistant 11 years ago in the football operations department for the Minnesota Vikings. Now, she's the Vikings' Direcotr of Football Administration.
"I was just able to bite off a little bit every year, a little bit more, a little bit more," Doepner said. "I started to ask for more opportunities and started to feel more confident in offering more ideas and strategy like 'how can we get better? How can we do this a little differently?' so it was just kind of a natural evolution."
Although women are more prevalent in sports now, Doepner believes there's still plenty of room to grow, but women also need men to support them.
"We're not going to get anywhere without men championing us because they're going to be our vehicle because they're the ones that are there and they're able to really push forward that change," Doepner said.
She also wants to continue to see women progress in the sports world. .
"We need to normalize women being around the team," Doepner said. "We have a women in our athletic training room that was not the case a couple of years ago so I want it to get to the point where we're past all of these firsts and we're into a time where it's just normal."