Women’s football: Professional career in Switzerland?

Image: Daniela Porcelli
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on Xing Share by email

Playing in the top football leagues and holding down a regular job: This is now a reality for the best female players in Switzerland. In some ways, women’s pro football outside of Switzerland has seen much greater advancements, which current and former players talk about in our “Steilpass” podcast.  

The first blog article for the “Steilpass” podcast delved into the topics of gender equality and balance. Moderator Sara Akanji talks with Lara Dickenmann, Toja Rauch and Cinzia Zehnder about where Swiss women's football stands today. One thing became clear: Not only are there differences between men and women, there are also differences among countries. Martina Moser, Lia Wälti and Lara Dickenmann talk about their experiences abroad. 

A pro career abroad  

In 2017, Martina Moser left the national team after a 21-year career in football. Playing football full-time or “just on the side” – she’s done both. For three years she was constantly shuttling back and forth between her 80 percent job in Bern and her football club in Freiburg, Germany. Then she switched to Wolfsburg, Germany. When she became a pro, she was able to focus solely on football – a highlight of her career. “This wouldn’t have been possible in Switzerland.”  

“Our next objective is 50 percent working hours for all players.”

Lara Dickenmann, General Manager of women’s football at GC Zürich

Lia Wälti, who's been under contract with national league A since 2011 and with Arsenal Women FC since 2018, can confirm this: In contrast to Switzerland, her football routine in London is very similar to that of a male player. “We can use the same training field. It’s enormous. The gym is great, there’s a pool, professional medical care, physiotherapists, sports psychologists – the whole deal. And we can practice from 9am to 3pm instead off during off hours.” These are the kinds of conditions female footballers in Switzerland can only dream of.  

  • Teaser Image
    Give 100% everywhere

    Many girls and women who are very active in football also work full-time. How do they manage such a busy schedule?

    Read the blog

Women’s football is booming in England 

Financing plays a key role. “In England there is a lot more money available for women’s football, and there's even a great deal more money for TV than in Switzerland. Because in England everyone is crazy about football. It’s deeply ingrained in the culture,” explains Martina Moser. And Lia Wälti adds, “There is a much larger media presence than in Switzerland. The success of the women’s team in the 2022 European Cup triggered a veritable boom. Now we sometimes play to sold out men’s stadiums and we’re courted for attractive sponsorship roles. Even here in England that was unthinkable five years ago.”  

“Sometimes I wish it were possible to focus more on football and less on everything else going on.” 

Lia Wälti, Captain of the Swiss national team 

But Lia Wälti sees progress in Switzerland too. “We’re receiving more and more support from different areas, and that’s very motivating. In the meantime, we’ve managed to convince a lot of people about women’s football. But sometimes I wish it were possible to focus more on football and less on everything else going on.”  

“But at least now we can offer apartments to players in Zurich,” chimes in Lara Dickenmann, who played in the US, France and Germany during her career. “It’s a great relief to have a free or cheap local apartment to use. Our next objective is to reduce all players’ working hours to 50 percent. This means that they would be able to spend more time and energy on football, even during the day. One of the keys here is of course sponsorships.”  

  • Teaser Image
    AXA promotes women’s football

    For women’s football to continue to grow in Switzerland, strong regional structures need to be put in place. How AXA helps.

    Read the blog

Future players: focusing on conditions  

All three agree: First and foremost, future Swiss women’s footballers need better conditions. Wälti puts it like this: “It’s not at all about getting the same pay as men – we want similar conditions. That’s what will make professional football possible.”   

“Young players deserve a better infrastructure, more trainers, more resources. We need clubs, associations, cantons and communities to step up.” 

Martina Moser, former professional footballer, now football expert for SRF 

 “Women’s football should not be anything out of the ordinary”  

In the future, Lara Dickenmann hopes to see women fully integrated into Swiss football. “Then we’ll no longer talk about women’s or men’s football.” Martina Moser agrees: “Neither in business nor in sports should there be differences based on gender. The only thing that should count is performance. One day, women’s football will no longer be a topic of discussion but instead will be completely normal and something everyone takes for granted.” 

Associated articles

AXA & You

Contact Report a claim Broker Job vacancies myAXA Login Customer reviews Garage portal myAXA FAQ

AXA worldwide

AXA worldwide

Stay in touch

DE FR IT EN Terms of use Data protection / Cookie Policy © {YEAR} AXA Insurance Ltd