Small Steps, Big Impact: Fostering Inclusion for Women in Sports

By Luciana Resende, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Visa Latin America and the Caribbean

Reflecting on the theme of inclusion and empowerment, which holds a special place in my heart, I am struck by the profound impact of mutual support among women. Nothing helps us step forward more than the power of women uplifting each other. And while we should strive to uplift each other every day in our personal and professional lives, there are ways in which we can scale our support. At Visa, we foster women empowerment through various platforms in diverse areas such as entrepreneurship, technology, financial education, and sports – the latter being the area I want to highlight today. 

Visa has a rich history of supporting women’s sports, championing, and supporting female athletes for over 20 years. We stand by them in every small step they take to achieve their goals, both on and off the field.  One program I’m particularly proud of is #TeamVisa. Since its inception in 2000, we have helped more than 600 athletes in their sports careers and beyond, with 55% of athletes being women. Our long-standing sponsorship of the Olympic and Paralympic Games plays a significant role in this program. Currently in Latin America and the Caribbean, we're championing 24 #TeamVisa athletes as they prepare for Paris 2024. This year, we've achieved full gender parity in the region with an equal number of female and male athletes. This accomplishment aligns with the International Olympic Committee's milestone of achieving full gender parity on the field of play at Paris 2024. As a result, this year's Olympic Games will be the most inclusive to date!¹

Our commitment to support women’s sports also comes to life through other powerful sponsorship platforms. We made history in 2021 by becoming the first-ever global partner of FIFA Women's Football. In 2018, we were the first standalone sponsor of UEFA Women’s Football. Our sponsorships also extend to national women's teams. This includes the U.S. Soccer Federation, the Mexican Football Federation, and Visa KRÜ Blaze. The latter is the strongest female Valorant esports team in Latin America. Earlier this year, we announced our partnership with Red Bull F1 Teams, which included our support for the F1 Academy Visa Cash App RB team, reinforming our commitment to advancing equality in the sport. All these sponsorships have sparked a unique movement, allowing us to rally support for women all around and help break down barriers to make our societies more accessible and equitable

At Visa, we are determined to keep on supporting women in each small step towards their professional achievements, continuing our legacy of empowering women and building a more inclusive world through sports.

Because every small step counts, I invite you to continue inspiring inclusion in your own domains – supporting women in sports, championing diversity in your workplace, advocating for gender equity in your community. Together, we can shape a more inclusive and equitable world where everyone can thrive and achieve their personal goals.