Exclusive: England’s only female South Asian in a prominent academy role discusses her journey from primary school teaching to being a vital part of the West London club’s youth setup and how the most underrepresented demographics are beginning to be recognised.
In Manisha Tailor’s own words, she is doing something “revolutionary that should be normalised”. The Queens Park Rangers academy foundation lead is the only female South Asian in such a role across all 92 professional clubs, breaking glass ceilings and ascending to a position of prominence that has led to an MBE for services to diversity.
Tailor’s success is a result of working harder than her contemporaries, none of whom look like her, and the belief shown by a number of established figures inside the game.
Former Arsenal forward Rachel Yankey, Sir Les Ferdinand and Chris Ramsey at QPR, among others, have recognised Tailor’s potential and been willing to invest in her development. Without their influence she would unlikely have reached a position where she can now “create and influence change” for two of the most under-represented demographics in professional football.