Kimberly Fields, NFL
“As you can imagine, when I went to tell my parents and I was like, ‘I don’t think I am going to be an engineer, I think I am going to go and work in sports,’ you can imagine what that was like.”
She landed a low-paying internship with the Women’s Sports Foundation, so low she took a part-time job at Barnes & Noble.
“In the beginning, it can be hard,” she said of the advice she would give to women trying to break into sports. “You have to press forward.”
Fields would land a job at the NFL in player engagement, which ultimately became part of football operations. She rose in the ranks, until recently leaving that area to fill a new role as special assistant to the commissioner.
Asked what it was like as one of the few women in a room full of all the men in football operations, she replied, “I would just say we have a very focused effort to ensure we are building up the pipeline to have more women, whether it is in scouting, coaching, game operations, officiating. We have done a better job of that, we could always do better.”
- Where born: Richmond, Va.
- Education: University of Virginia, B.S. and M.S., systems engineering; William Mitchell College of Law, J.D.
- Attributes I look for when hiring: Character and critical thinking.
- Networking tip I’ve learned: Be intentional about engagement; always be responsive with a follow-up note with those with whom you share information.
- Best advice I’ve received for career development: Be fearless.
- Sports business industry can foster a healthier work-life balance by: Listening to employees and being flexible.
- Woman in sports business I’d most like to meet: Serena Williams. Her purpose is clear and her passion is undeniable.
- Is discussion about challenges women face working in sports necessary or played out? Necessary. Inclusion is good business.