When Separate Equals Hungry

A 2-part feature exploring food insecurity.

Read Here

Leading the Way: The Chicago Bears' Commitment to Female Fans

Photo Credit:
Courtesy of Chicago Bears

Not only do the Chicago Bears have the number one draft pick this season, but they also are putting ladies first. The organization's hiring of assistant running back coach Jennifer King was historic, as she is the first woman to hold a coaching position in the 104-year history of the National Football League (NFL) franchise. And there to cheer on the team's newly signed backfield receiving threat, D’Andre Smith, are the 938,000 enthusiastic female Bears Nation fans.

Those women constitute the fifth largest women's fan base in the NFL, with 16 percent of them holding season tickets. You could say they are "paw-sitively" dedicated, diverse, and full of energy. Forty-three percent of female Bears fans are under 45 years old, and another 43 percent are from diverse racial backgrounds, according to statistics. With those stats, it's no surprise that the organization has revealed yet another first with their creation of an inaugural Women’s Advisory Board to acknowledge and appreciate dedicated Bears female fans.

Karen B. Murphy, the Executive Vice President of Stadium Development and Chief Operating Officer, will lead the eight-member board as Chair.

"I am thrilled and honored to lead the Women's Advisory Board, working alongside this talented and diverse group of female leaders," Murphy expressed.

Alongside Murphy, the board's dedicated and diverse group of female leaders come from various backgrounds:
• Barby K. Siegel, Global CEO, Zeno Group
• Bridget Brennan, Founder and CEO, Female Factor
• Dinai Yelverton, Founder, The uDe Agency & President, WISE Chicago
• Hon. Patricia Brown Holmes (Ret.), Managing Partner, Riley Safer Holmes & Cancila
• Juliana Zavala, Senior Manager of Elementary Sports, Chicago Public Schools
• Karen B. Murphy, EVP of Stadium Development & Chief Operating Officer, Chicago Bears
• Sheila Oliver, SVP and General Manager, WFLD-TV (FOX32 Chicago)
• Suzanne Yoon, Founder and Managing Partner, Kinzie Capital

The board is charged with understanding and meeting the needs of female fans so that they feel welcome and valued.

“Our objective is not only to strengthen our connection with female fans,” Murphy said, “but also to advocate for diversity and inclusivity in the Chicago community.”

Michelle Brooks is a Chicago native, and all she’s ever known is Bears football. “The Bears were me and my dad’s Sunday activity. My family always watched the team play,” she said. “Even when I was away at college, my dad would call and say, ‘Did you see that?’ Of course, I was always watching.”

She's since relocated to Michigan, and despite her new home and her husband's allegiance to the Detroit Lions, she still proudly wears her blue and orange.

When Brooks found out about the new board, she said she thinks it’s a great idea. “I’d love it if Soldier Field had more women’s restrooms!”

Felicia Renea loves the energy of Soldier Field. “It's the excitement of being live at the game with family and friends…connecting with the other fans, and the food and drinks, of course,” Renea said.

“The Bears are like my first love. I’ve been going to games for 10 years,” said lifelong fan Ebonie S. “I’m never going to give up on them.”

Photo Credit:



Join our newsletter to stay up to date.
By subscribing you provide consent to receive updates from us.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.