Meet the Match

A Leader with a Vision for Armenian Women in Sports

Naira Abramyan was born in the capital city of Armenia. Naira is the middle child in a family of five. Her older sister is a professional dancer and choreographer, so Naira’s first love is dance. As a child, Naira was very active, trying her hand at a number of sports. Although she never played soccer, she has always been a passionate fan of football and FIFA World Cup matches in particular. This proved valuable later in life, as Naira is one of the only women in all of Armenia working in a sport management role.

Naira attributes the lack of women in the sports field to the cultural context and gender norms present in Armenia. According to Naira, the lack of equality between men and women not only affects the personal dynamics of family but also affects employment. “Women in my country are expected to dedicate themselves to having a family and taking care of the household. Most women in Armenia are not working. They are housewives only.  And for the women and girls that do pursue a degree from the university and graduate, they are limited in the jobs they can choose. Most of the employers are males.  Women can be smart and more experienced and still not get the job.  This is something I would like to see change.”

Using her degree in International Relations, Naira has negotiated her way into a predominately male space as the Expert of the International Department and Manager of FIFA Transfer Matching System for the Football Federation of Armenia. In her current role, Naira serves as the main point of contact for international efforts and is solely responsible for all international transfers of Armenian National Team players. As a young female, Naira hopes to work her way into senior management, becoming a visible role model for other young women interested in a professional career in the sports industry.

“You aren’t born a leader.  You develop skills to become a leader. You are given experiences and opportunities to refine those skills and develop a sense of confidence. Confidence comes with years of decision-making. And I want to be in a decision-making position. I am a woman of worth. And I want to learn what it takes to be a confident leader.  This program is a great opportunity to learn these skills and make change for my country.”

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