Fleur Robinson is Commercial Director of Burton Albion Football Club, a Council Member for the Football Association, an Ambassador for BTEC and a founding Trustee of Burton Albion Community Trust (BACT).
Fleur has capitalised on the meteoric rise of Burton Albion to build a successful commercial arm for the English Football League One club. In 2018 the Club welcomed 124,000 spectators, 8,000 people enjoyed match day hospitality and 30,000 guests attended a conference or event.
In 2016, Fleur was appointed Council Member of The Football Association (FA), at the time one of just 8 women elected to the 120-member FA Council. In this role she is helping to shape the future of football and advocate football as a great career choice for women on and off the pitch. Recently she travelled with the England Women’s Senior Football Team making numerous international and European trips as an FA Representative.
In 2017, Fleur was selected as a BTEC Ambassador, an organisation close to her heart as she enjoyed studying for a BTEC qualification at the start of her career. Fleur’s role is to inspire students across the UK to consider a BTEC as the next step on their educational journey.
Fleur is passionate about extending Burton Albion’s success into the local community. The BACT provides opportunities for thousands of people from the local community to learn, help seek employment, improve mental health through sport and participate in special groups such as its Girls Only youth club. Fleur has recently introduced hugely successful personal development days for sixth form students to help to develop skills such as being able to communicate confidently and how to make a positive impact in today’s world.
A mother of two daughters, Fleur holds a BA (Hons) in Business and Innovation from Staffordshire University and lives nearby to Burton in the village of Tutbury.
Did you ever sit down and plan your career?
When I look back I don’t think I did. In my early years I can’t really remember a time when I sat down and planned my career. What I did do though is seek out lots of practical experience which was how I found out I really wanted to learn more about business and innovation and went on to study these topics at Staffordshire university.
Have you faced any challenges along the way?
Yes! What I’ve learnt is that that there will always be challenges but it’s how you deal with them that’s important. Quite often you can be facing something that seems like a mountain but you learn so much from navigating through it rather than choosing to avoid. I’ve learnt a lot about myself during these times which has helped personal confidence along the way. I think many women suffer from a lack of confidence and events like International Women’s Day are great opportunities for women to learn from others. One thing I’ve definitely learnt is that many of us are similar in terms of confidence so we can help and encourage each other.
What has been your biggest achievement to date?
There are many but I’d call out first raising a family whilst creating a career. This is the first generation where many women have bought up families and built a career which is signalling opportunity to the next generation. It’s great to look at how my daughters are already growing into confident individuals who don’t see any barriers and see that everything is possible if you want it enough.
I’m really proud of what we have achieved as a family and community in terms of developing the Club to what it is today. Community is at the heart of our Club and the fact that we help 7000 people through our Community Trust every week is truly amazing.
In recent years I’ve been appointed a Member of The Football Association, become an Ambassador for BTEC and named on The Blacklist for the first time last year alongside my father, Ben Robinson, the Chairman of Burton Albion Football Club.
More recently I am really proud of our Inspiring Your Future Personal Development days we hold for sixth form students, which we will continue to grow and develop in the coming years.
What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?
Sorry not one thing! It has to be resilience, determination and passion for what I do. I’ve also learnt so much from the influence, support and knowledge of my father.
How do you feel about mentoring? Have you mentored anyone or are you someone’s mentee?
I strongly believe in mentoring. I think there should be more mentors and opportunities for people to get involved whether in a formal setting or more informal. We can all learnt a lot from people who are experienced in what we are struggling with.
I’ve mentored in the past and found it very rewarding and is something I would like to do more of but for now I like to think the work we do under the Inspiring Your Future theme does exactly that.
If you could change one thing to accelerate the pace of change for Gender Parity, what would it be?
I think businesses could establish opportunities for women to support one another i.e. nurture a way for women to meet at work to learn from each other. In my experience if women talk to each other, we can really lift each other up and grow in so many ways. The stronger we get the quicker Gender Parity will change.
If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self what would it be?
Explore anything you want to, anything is possible if you want it enough and don’t be shy or embarrassed to try and fail. Failing produces better ways to approach things or new beginnings and have the confidence to find out ‘what if’ rather swerve something!
What is your next challenge and what are you hoping to achieve in the future?
To grow our business further and also challenge myself to continue to take on new roles or experiences in work and my private life to keep an active and healthy mind.