The Vikings want to do more for women.
The team announced “Vikings Women,” an advisory board that will work with team insiders to connect with and support women as fans, in their lives and as professionals inside the organization.
Karin Nelsen, vice president of legal and human resources for the Vikings, will be central to the effort devised by COO Kevin Warren, who said the aim is to more effectively include perspectives, opinions and voices of women from the community to “positively impact the organization.”
The effort is in the early stages, but Nelsen insisted the team is making a strong statement.
“It’s important to put your stake in the ground and say, ‘This is what’s important,’ ” she said. “There’s definitely more to come.”
The goals encompass three key areas: philanthropic efforts, fan experience and support for professionals in the organization.
In terms of philanthropy, Nelsen said the organization will seek ways to have more of an impact on women and their families. Fan experience enhancements include private areas at U.S. Bank Stadium for nursing mothers.
In the past couple of years, the Vikings have elevated women into prominent positions. Nelsen was hired a year ago. The team has two other female vice presidents and other women in prominent roles.
“If we empower women in the workplace, they do great things for the community,” Nelsen said, adding that the Vikings will need to develop “meaningful milestones” to assess their progress.
The seven-woman advisory panel includes Tami Krause, director of Vikings Women and strategic development as well as the head coach for the cheerleaders. The others are professional basketball player Lindsay Whalen; Jennifer Smith, founder and CEO of Innovative Office Solutions; Sheila Oliver, vice president/general manager of KMSP-WFTC; Barbara Butts Williams, dean at Capella Education Co. and member of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority; Bridget Brennan, founder and CEO of consulting firm Female Factor, and Amy Becker, vice president for Donaldson Co. Inc.