The scouting field is largely male dominated, but the situation is changing as currently, 33 female scouts are working in the NFL. Ashton Washington is another female who has broken the barriers and entered the scouting field as she became the first full-time female scout in the history of the Chicago Bears in August 2021.
Washington started her career as a journalist and recruiting analyst, covering high school and college football for various outlets. She also worked for the Houston Roughnecks in the XFL before joining the University of Illinois as a recruiting analyst.
Washington then moved to Texas Tech as a Director of Recruiting before getting a call from the Bears about an internship opportunity. Washington, the sister of rookie Jacksonville Jaguars receiver Parker, was promoted to the position of scout in August 2021. She is responsible for scouting college players, evaluating talent, assisting with roster management, and working closely with the coaching staff.
Washington told Sky Sports, "For me personally, it was a helping hand, a lot of the coaches saw that I was very passionate so were willing and open to help me." The scout continued, “I wasn't just in it to be this or that or make history, it was because I love football."
Washington hopes to inspire more girls and women to pursue their dreams in football and beyond and is involved in various initiatives to promote diversity and inclusion in the sport, such as the NFL Girls Flag Football League in the UK, which aims to provide opportunities for girls aged 11-16 to play flag football.