The NFL’s First Female Official
Sarah Thomas changed the game in the world’s most quintessential male-dominated sport—football—when she became the first female NFL referee. Now she’s inspiring others to dream big and believe anything is possible. Read More >
Drawing on her pioneering career path to the biggest professional sports league in America, Sarah Thomas extracts key takeaways from her journey that help men and women alike tackle challenges and come out on top. Sarah, who joins the pantheon of women who have reached the pinnacle and left their singular mark on history, inspires audiences with lessons on passion, preparation, and determination that can be applied to any field or industry, and to never give up on your dreams even when the odds are against you. Her story of becoming the first-ever full-time female official in the NFL is an underdog tale—one who goes on to not only win, but blaze a trail for others.
Sarah Thomas is a woman of many firsts – she was the first female referee to ever work a major college football game, the first woman to officiate a bowl game, and the first to referee in a Big Ten stadium. She is also the first permanent female NFL official, and now she’s sharing essential leadership lessons from her journey to the top of a male-dominated industry and vital insights on shattering the glass ceiling in the world of professional sports that can be applied to any field or industry. As an exemplar of what’s possible if you believe, Sarah brings audiences takeaways on breaking through in your own career, from staying focused under pressure and creating change to managing work-life balance and being the best you can be.
"At a recent National Sales Meeting, Sarah spoke to our top 100 Sales employees and delivered a passionate, motivating and compelling speech that had our team excited to take on every challenge they are up against. Sarah has many great stories, and explains how she has overcome many obstacles in her lifetime that has helped her get to where she is today...a terrific mother, and the first NFL female ref! Sarah also took the time afterwards to answer any questions the audience had, and was willing to take/sign photographs. Her story is memorable, and speaking comes naturally to her. We received great feedback about how Sarah really motivated our team!"