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FA plans for diversity

DIVERSITY BID: Paul Elliott leads the Inclusion Advisory Board

THE FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION has announced its new three year equality, diversity and inclusion plan called In Pursuit of Progress.

The new plan is part of The FA’s commitment, announced in January, to ensure the diversity of those leading and governing football better reflects what we see on the modern pitch.

In Pursuit of Progress is a new strategy that will deliver initiatives primarily focused around gender and ethnicity across The FA’s general workforce and leadership roles, including coaching staff across the England teams.

INCLUSION
The FA’s three-year plan focuses on The FA and its culture, the support structures around the England teams, the grassroots workforce and inclusion programmes across the game.

In 2014, The FA introduced English Football’s Inclusion and Anti-Discrimination Action Plan and has continued to make good progress to improve equality, diversity and inclusion across English football. This includes the formation of The FA Inclusion Advisory Board, strict anti-discrimination regulations with robust reporting mechanisms and tough sanctions across the game, clear inclusion structures for every County FA, with many progressing through the levels of the Equality Standard for Sport, and meeting Sport England’s Code for Sports Governance.

As a result, The FA’s current workforce consists of 32 per cent female staff, 13 per cent staff from BAME backgrounds and has an average age of 37.

Today, The FA has set out a new focused, challenging and achievable set of targets that have deliberately chosen to help drive faster and more meaningful change within the organisation.

These changes will make The FA a more diverse organisation that will, it hopes, better reflect modern-day football and society, while also helping to bring down barriers and inspire the next generation.

These new targets, which aim to be completed by 2021, initially focus on improving opportunities around gender and ethnicity, however The FA will continue to work with and support all under-represented groups.

Paul Elliott, chair of the Inclusion Advisory Board, said: “This new plan signifies The FA’s determination to accelerate the pace of change of the organisation and taking a real leadership role.

“Since 2016, The FA has more than doubled the number of senior women – including now having t h r e e women on t h e F A Board. BAME representation at The FA has also improved greatly over recent years, but we know there is room for improvement. “This new commitment from The FA proves that they are redoubling their efforts to bring our great sport together.”

EFFECTIVE

FA chairman Greg Clarke, below, said: “As the governing body of English football we want to lead the way in equality, diversity and inclusion.

“Not only is it the right thing to do, but it will also benefit the organisation greatly. A diverse workforce is an effective workforce and we want The FA to reflect modern society in this country.

“It will not happen overnight, but this is a significant step in the right direction to make football more equal, more diverse and more inclusive for all.”

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