She is one of the biggest faces at Burton Albion and sits on the board of the Football Association Council - but Fleur Robinson is also a loving mother and a champion role model for the younger generation.

Here Fleur talks openly about how she became the Brewers' commercial director, the importance of empowering women to get into sport, raising a family and why she has never seen sport as a "man’s world."

At just 43, Fleur Robinson has achieved more than most. Despite never originally considering a career in sport, she has helped build the Brewers' reputation and paved the way for many other women in the process.

It is her passion for young people and her positivity around the subjects of sport and business that will shape the next chapter of her life.

Fleur is pictured with her dad, Burton Albion chairman Ben Robinson and her two daughters

Fleur, of Tutbury, said: "While I was at school I took part in various sports but I wasn’t overly sporty and unfortunately because of work and family commitments now I am probably less sporty, but I always had an interest in sport as a spectator rather than a participant.

"I never thought I would go into sport as a job but I suppose most people don’t end up in the career they envisaged.

"As a young person I never really had an idea of what I wanted to do, I did a BTEC at college which gave me a really good grounding across lots of different subjects and then I did a degree which also had lots of variation.

"After leaving college I went to work for dad in the family business doing insurance and financial services but gradually got more involved in Burton Albion Football Club when he took that over, doing different bits and bobs to what I am doing today."

Fleur recalls her first ever business meeting within the football industry in which she was "by far the youngest and the only female" - but said she had seen a lot of change in the past 20 years.

She said: "I wasn’t aware of it being male-dominated, I never saw it like that; I do remember going to my first meeting within the football environment when I was in my early twenties.

"I was by far the youngest and the only female but I have never had any negative experiences around that and I think because I have grown up in football it has always been that kind of environment but also a very supportive one.

"It has changed over the years and there are a lot more females involved in football and in key roles. There are not as many as there perhaps should be but there has certainly been a change in the last 20 years and I think that goes for most industries.

Fleur enjoys cycling in her spare time and has taken part in charity bike rides

"There is still lots of room for change but there has been a significant increase, which I think is promising."

Fleur has made big strides in the world of sport and business and made headlines in October 2016 when she was appointed to the FA Council, which has responsibility for managing the national league system, sanctioning competitions and matches, approving changes to FA regulations and debating topical matters within the game.

Despite being one of only 13 women to sit on the 120-person board, Fleur said she was not chosen because of her gender but because of what she could offer.

She said: "I was not chosen because I am a woman despite being a minority. The FA have recognised that it needs to change and it is making strides to do that so I am going to enjoy my time on the council and make sure that I am part of that change and making a difference."

Fleur said she had never thought of sport as a "man’s world" but would like to see more women in the industry so that it becomes the norm.

She said: "We see it in lots of different industries, not just sport. Some are less female- orientated than others but there has been a gradual change in all arenas over recent years; while it might not be as quick as most people would like there has certainly been a shift in change.

Fleur said one of her biggest achievements as a woman is raising her family and wants to empower her daughters

"I think we have a responsibility to make sure that those changes happen and that they happen quicker.

"I am a great believer that we need to stop using negative terminology and talk more positively about women in sport and we need to start that from early years in the school and work environment. It is about re-educating people in a different way so it doesn’t become such a negative topic and it becomes the norm.

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"I am proud of how far women have come but I think it is down to women to make sure they are paving those ways as well. We are equally as capable as anyone else to deliver the roles that we go into but it is about the options available and for women to recognise that those roles are available to them.

"I am a great believer that if you want something you go ahead and do your utmost to grab those opportunities. What we have to do is make sure we are giving young women the confidence to make sure they know they are capable of those roles and to mentor them and to push them in that direction."

As well as making a name for herself in the world of sport, Fleur is a mother to two young girls and said she wanted to inspire them to do whatever they want in life.

She said: "My daughters are 10 and five and they are encouraged to do anything they want to. It is important to do things you enjoy and I think sometimes that gets lost along the journey but it is equally important to take time for yourself.

"It is very hard when you have got a family or busy work life but I will certainly be empowering my girls to know that they can achieve anything they want to and they have to enjoy what they do.

"If they take the route where they want to have a family I will share my thoughts on how important it is to make quality time for themselves and I also think it is important to do things out of our comfort zone and challenge ourselves.

"By nature of being busy at work and having a family I don’t really get much time to myself but what I have recognised is that I have to do things for myself. Last year I set up my bike riding to Amsterdam for charity which I really enjoyed and I will continue to cycle because it is great fun and gives me exercise which is much-needed!

"My work with the FA means that I do go and visit other clubs and that means I am seeing a different side to the environment within football which I enjoy."

While Fleur says she is proud of how far women have come in the past 100 years, her focus remains very much on the future and how she can help make a difference.

She said: "People see me in this male-dominated environment but I have never been subjected to any inequality within the game so my focus is on inspiring and empowering the next generations in a positive way.

"I think that naturally girls are not very confident and as women we don’t value ourselves and look at what we contribute to society, but as a woman I would say that my greatest achievement to date is raising a family of two girls who are going to be able to explore and do whatever they want in life and my contribution to running a successful business.

"I think what I have realised in the past 18 months is how I can now give that back to the local community in terms of my experiences to make sure that future generations are more aware of themselves and their surroundings and opportunities – I think we get so hemmed into what we are doing that we don’t think about the bigger picture.

"When I look back at the Suffragettes and how far we have come in 100 years I think it is fantastic what they did and it no doubt got us to where we are now, but we keep going back and talking about historical stuff where we should be putting more focus on what we are going to do in the future.

"I never thought I would achieve what I have but again that is because within school environments we don’t use positive language. Everything is academically-driven which is important but equally there are people that aren't academically-driven that have just as much value as worth in areas that they can succeed in.

"At the end of this month I am doing an event called 'Inspiring your future' where 100 sixth form girls will be coming along. The aim is to inspire young female students from local schools in support of the International Women's Day and Staffordshire University and prominent local businesses will also be running a series of interactive workshops.

"I am really looking forward to the event and hope that it will give these young women more confidence away from school which will hopefully make them more work-ready or better prepared for the next step they take in their education.

"We need to make sure that we are doing all we can to empower these young people from an early age, so they know they can play a huge role in changing the shift and breaking down barriers. We need to motivate and inspire them now so that there is no more talk of women in sport being unusual; so that women in power just becomes the everyday norm."