YORK City communications director Sophie McGill believes that female football managers will take charge of professional men's teams at some point in the future.

McGill is hoping aspiring girl and women coaches, aged over 14, will take up the club's offer to take part in a Female Only First Steps Into Coaching Workshop at Bootham Crescent on Thursday night.

There will also be an opportunity for interested individuals to complete ten hours of volunteering with the Minstermen, with McGill having had her opinion changed on the potential of female coaches following a recent meeting with York City Ladies' boss Kayleigh Davis.

"I was really impressed with Kayleigh and she made me wake up to the fact that there are some fantastically-talented female coaches around," McGill revealed. "She is fully focussed and dedicated and just as impressive as any male coach that we have interviewed for at the club - even for the managerial position.

"She has that fire you are looking for and is desperate to win. After meeting her, I came away thinking she could quite easily manage a men's team.

"To even have a conversation about women managing at a high level in the men's game and coaching first-team players would have been unthinkable 15 or 20 years ago but, whilst it's probably still quite a long way off , because football is moving at a slower pace than normal society in terms of sexual equality, things are starting to move in the right direction and I think it will happen eventually."

Along with Davis, City's women and girls' officer Ruth Brazier has also proved that gender is no barrier in terms of delivering high standards of coaching for the community department at Bootham Crescent.

"Ruth's sessions are every bit as good as those carried out by the excellent male coaches we have in the department," McGill pointed out. "Ruth and Kayleigh are the first examples of female coaches I have come across and they are both very, very strong women.

"We will have no hesitancy in appointing more female coaches at the club because we have always shown a willingness, as a board, to be liberal in our approach to try things and encourage new projects."

Sexual equality is, indeed, embraced in other areas of the club these days, with current club secretary Lisa Charlton and community manager Paula Stainton the first-ever women to be employed in those roles at Bootham Crescent.

Outlining the strengths of both pioneering employees, McGill added: "Both positions are traditionally male roles but Paula has been with us for nearly six years now.

"We needed a strong focus on securing funding and bringing more organisation to the administration of the department when we brought her to the club and she is very good at operating commercially with a strong focus on community. Lisa also performs a key role and has been in football for 22 years, having been club secretary at Darlington and part of Hartlepool's administration staff.

"She was recently recognised by the Football League for her services to football and has an amazing knowledge of football technicalities. She knows her job inside out, which is vital because, if you make a mistake in her position, it can cost the club a lot of money and league points.

"There's nothing she doesn't know about the process of signing players and the rules about what can be put in contracts. She is a true expert in the intricacies of the job and has so many contacts in the Football League and football industry, which benefits us as a football club.

"I think women can be really successful in relationship building and a lot of football is about who you know, so you need to get the best out of those relationships and we are very lucky to have Lisa in that respect."

McGill went on to stress that the club is now a more female-friendly workplace than when she first joined the administration staff back in 1999.

"As a board, we have always looked to appoint a certain kind of person as our manager in terms of their ethos and all of them have been very respectful of me, as have my fellow directors," she explained. "I have never felt that I have been treated any differently from within the club as a director.

"I can't say it was like that when I was an employee and I found that very tough, as a graduate coming into that environment. There was a very different culture here back then, in 1999, but there has been a phenomenal change since then."

While McGill has been a club director for more than a decade, though, female representation in the country's boardrooms remains disturbingly low.

High-profile figures like Karen Brady and Delia Smith have been flag bearers but, in Sky Bet League Two, McGill is only one of five females among the 154 listed as club directors.

Of the others, Carolyn Radford and Tina Broughton are the wife and sister respectively of Mansfield owner John Radford, Nicola Palios is the spouse of Tranmere chairman Mark and Bury's Gisella Alberici was previously the club lawyer.

Morecambe, meanwhile, have a 13-strong board with no female presence.

There clearly remains significant obstacles for women hoping to take a seat around our football club's top tables and, on that subject, McGill said: "Initially, when I walked into boardrooms, people generally thought I was somebody's wife but, now, I am treated very well.

"People know I have been involved for a significant number of years and that I am passionate about York City and the game. Football is a very male-dominated industry, but women can deal with that and be successful at board level.

"Some football club's boardrooms are like old-fashioned gentleman's clubs though. There are women out there who have terrific skills to bring to the boardroom and I also think we see things in a different way, but it's all about getting that opportunity and I don't know how they'll get that at some clubs because it's up to the owners to encourage women to come forward."

On the pitch, interest in the ladies' game is expanding with the international side attracting a crowd of 45,619 for their first-ever match at Wembley against Germany last month.

With their female workshop and forging closer links to their own ladies' team, which have included buying kit, providing training facilities, offering coaching assistance and designating development consultant Richard Cresswell with the task of helping the team prosper, City are embracing that enthusiasm.

"We have recognised there is big potential to take the women's team forward," McGill explained. "To get that crowd at Wembley did surprise me and it really bodes well.

"The FA and Football League have worked hard to promote the women's game. Back in 1985, when I first got interested in the game, there were no teams around for a young girl to play in and that's all I wanted to do.

"We ended up setting up a girls' side at school, but that wasn't the norm. Now, there are lots of opportunities for girls to play, which is brilliant."

Anybody interested in attending the female only workshop, which will run from 6-8pm on Thursday, should email ruth.ycfc@live.co.uk or call 01904 559508.