Welcome back! Find out about COVID-19, vaccinations, and returning to campus in Fall 2021. Learn more.

Inspiring Leadership Forum 2021: Virtual Edition, presented by TD Speaker Spotlight on Dr. Jen Welter

By University Advancement and Communications Posted: February 9, 2021 8:00 a.m.

Dr. Jen Welter, the first female coach in the NFL and the first woman to play running back in a men’s professional football season, is the closing keynote speaker at the 2021 event.
Dr. Jen Welter, the first female coach in the NFL and the first woman to play running back in a men’s professional football season, is the closing keynote speaker at the 2021 event. Photo provided by Dr. Jen Welter

The 12th annual Inspiring Leadership Forum 2021: Virtual Edition, presented by TD is just under one month away on Wednesday, March 3! This year we are welcoming Dr. Jen Welter, the first female coach in the NFL, who will leave attendees feeling positive and motivated with her closing keynote presentation.
 
Year after year, the Inspiring Leadership Forum brings people together from Saskatchewan and beyond to hear the inspirational stories of internationally renowned leaders. Welter’s presentation will be no exception.

The Inspiring Leadership Forum 2021: Virtual Edition, presented by TD takes place on Wednesday, March 3.

In 2014, she became the first woman to play running back in a men's professional football league with the Texas Revolution. The following year, she was named the Revolution’s linebackers and special teams coach and helped lead the team through its most successful season in the franchise’s history. In the summer of 2015, Welter was a linebackers coach for the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals, making her the first female coach in the NFL. She believes that playing for the Texas Revolution was the most courageous thing she has ever done.
 
“Playing in the men’s game was never something that I set out to do, but we don’t know what we’re capable of until it’s right there,” says Welter. “I took the opportunity to do it because we as women had been doing so much in football for so long, and we had not been able to break through. I knew that if I play against these men, then it will open doors for all of these women.”
 
Welter discusses her experience and success as a female coach in the NFL in her book Play Big: Lessons in Being Limitless from the First Woman to Coach in the NFL. She also continues to work to empower women and girls through football with her GRRRidiron Flag Football Camp, along with a number of other community-focused programs including Camp on the Corner, which brings football to youth in under-served areas.
 
Reflecting on her own experiences with leadership, Welter believes it’s important for all women to show up and not let anyone’s bias against them to be correct.
 
“Let your game speak. Let it speak louder than your gender, louder than your haters, and louder than your detractors,” says Welter. “Women have a place in every conversation, at every table, and in every profession, and be prepared to kick glass when you get there. If anyone doesn’t see you for your potential, let them regret it on the flipside.”
 
Tickets are still available for anyone wanting to hear more from Dr. Jen Welter, along with Suki Kim and Holly Austin Gibbs, at this year’s Inspiring Leadership Forum. Individual tickets are $75, and 100 per cent of the ticket proceeds will support the Inspiring Leadership Academic Entrance Award, a brand new, four-year $30,000 scholarship at the U of R. Visit the Inspiring Leadership Forum website for more information and to purchase tickets.

Related

Inspiring Leadership Forum 2021: Virtual Edition, presented by TD Speaker Spotlight on Holly Austin Gibbs

Inspiring Leadership Forum 2021: Virtual Edition, presented by TD Speaker Spotlight on Suki Kim

Registration open for Inspiring Leadership Forum 2021: Virtual Edition presented by TD