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'Make an effort to celebrate the women in your life and make sure they know how appreciated their efforts are': Rams Women's History Month Staff Showcase with Katie Ahlers

As part of the Rams' celebration of Women's History Month, the organization is sharing inspiring stories of female staff changing the game for future generations.

Kicking off the series is Team Dietitian Katie Ahlers.


Although she has been with the Rams for just over a year, Katie Ahlers has seen many encouraging spots in the inclusion and elevation of women during her short time within the organization.

"From seeing Sophie Harlan as the Director of Operations, to the hiring of Casey Africano as the only female Head of Player Affairs in the NFL, to the chance they took on me, and so many other empowering positions and moves for women in sports, it is incredibly encouraging," Ahlers said. "I would love to see the number of women continue to grow throughout the league and I think our organization has been and will continue to be at the forefront of that growth."

As Ahlers pointed out, she has her own role in that as the Team Dietitian, a role she has currently held for 8 months.

She handles all of the nutritional and supplementation needs on both a team-wide and individual basis. She also works with players on fueling in and around activity, collaborates with the performance staff on optimizing performance outcomes, helps players with body compositions goals and changes, and schedules out and collaborates on menus with the team's chef.

"I do my best to create menus and fueling opportunities that will serve to cover the base needs of every player on our roster," Ahlers said, when asked how she balances the individual nutrition needs of each player with support for the team overall. "If I know that each player at least has multiple opportunities to set themselves up for success (as well as the education to know how to take advantage of those opportunities), it allows me to have more freedom to take care of more of our individualized nutrition needs. I also try to sit down with guys as individualized needs come up, explain the why behind the change or addition, and work out a plan for how we can work together to create fluidity and consistency in their individual protocol."

For Ahlers, the relationships that she gets to develop with the coaches, staff and players is the best part of her job.

"The trust and respect that we all have with each other is something really special," Ahlers said. "With the hours that go into this operation, it is so important that work be a place where you look forward to going every day and that is definitely the case here."

A background in athletics and with strong mentorship prepared Ahlers well for her current role.

"I played softball for 12 years, both club and school. It was basically year round training that took pretty big physical and mental investments," Ahlers said. "I think the work ethic I developed through those years has been instrumental in my career path and development. Especially in sports, things move at a million miles an hour and being able to commit and adapt is imperative for success."

When it comes to career guidance, Ahlers pointed to Natasha Novak and Erica Genise – both of whom she worked with when she was with Iowa State's football program – as two influential women in her career.

"I could write pages and pages about how much I learned from them," Ahlers said. "Not only through the advice and support they were constantly giving me, but through observing their actions. I learned so much about leading with confidence and kindness as well as being a true team player through their example. I would not be the person or professional I am without their guidance and support."

Ahlers said that continuing to grow and learn is "what is really cool for me in this area," and likewise what motivates her constantly. She said she always wanted to enter a career path where she would never have to stop learning, and "this position and organization has perfectly aligned with that."

Having long been a male-dominated sport, Ahlers recognizes the importance for young people to see women like her in her position.

"I feel as though young girls are typically raised with the belief that sports are for men," Ahlers said. "As they get older, they hear about all the men in careers within sports. I don't think it is always highlighted that women belong in sports and the number continues to grow. So, having as many forward facing women in the sports space as possible is great early exposure for young girls to know that it is possible and happening."

When it comes to celebrating Women's History Month, Ahlers points to three recommendations centered around support.

"Make an effort to celebrate the women in your life and make sure they know how appreciated their efforts are," she said. "Talk to the women in your life about how you can continue to be an ally and support women not only in sports, but across all sectors of life. Our greatest tool is our community and making sure that women feel the magnitude of support of the community around them is one of the best things you can do to celebrate."

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