In 2016, a glass ceiling was broken in the world’s most popular sport when Senegal’s Fatma Samoura was named the first female secretary general of FIFA, soccer’s world-governing body. Samoura, a veteran of the United Nations, was brought on board to help haul FIFA out of a corruption scandal that resulted in dozens of indictments and guilty pleas for wire fraud, racketeering, and money laundering.
On her watch, FIFA has taken financial oversight responsibility back from its hitherto unreliable member organizations. The proportion of women within FIFA’s administration has risen to 48% from 32% in 2016. She’s helping women gain on the field too: Three years ago, FIFA established its first-ever women’s soccer division; it more recently launched its first global strategy for realizing the commercial potential of the women’s game.