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Football Leadership Diversity Code 2021/22 update

28 Oct 2022
Ball on No Room For Racism plinth

Report shows League is continuing to meet or exceed targets to improve representation within organisation

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The FA's Football Leadership Diversity Code for Season 2021/22 has been released and shows that the Premier League is continuing to meet or exceed its targets to improve representation within the organisation.

The Football Leadership Diversity Code (FLDC) was launched in October 2020 to improve policy and tackle underrepresentation across football. The Premier League and all 20 clubs support the Code, which complements the existing work being carried out to increase diversity within the workforce and tackle inequality.

The report for the 2021/22 season shows that good progress was made in several critical areas across the game, including senior leadership positions, team operations and recruitment.

"We are pleased to be making progress but there is still much more to be done to ensure there are opportunities at all levels of the workforce – this remains a priority for us"

Richard Masters, Premier League Chief Executive

"The Premier League fully supports the Football Leadership Diversity Code as we collectively work to achieve greater diversity across all areas of the game,” Premier League Chief Executive Richard Masters said.

"Over the past two years, the Code has represented an important commitment from across football to tackle inequality and create long-term change.

"We are pleased to be making progress but there is still much more to be done to ensure there are opportunities at all levels of the workforce – this remains a priority for us."

The Premier League’s targets for Season 2021/22 were to have 15 per cent of new hires in senior leadership positions to be Black, Asian or of Mixed-Heritage. Twenty per cent was reached. The target for female new hires in leadership positions was 30 per cent and 40 per cent was achieved.

In team operations, 23 per cent of new hires were Black, Asian or of Mixed-Heritage, exceeding the 15 per cent target, while 39 per cent of new hires were female, higher than the target of 30 per cent.

In addition to the FLDC, the Premier League’s commitment to improving representation across the game and creating a workforce that reflects the diversity of our industry and communities is evidenced in our No Room for Racism Action Plan.

Launched in February 2021, the Plan outlines a series of six commitments by the Premier League, building on existing work to tackle discrimination and embed equality across all areas of the game.

A one-year progress Plan, published in March 2022, outlined the action the League had made in the opening 12 months, which includes work to tackle discrimination, pathway support for players and coaches, as well as diversity targets for the League’s own workforce.

The League is progressing towards these targets by working to attract diverse candidates, monitoring recruitment data and creating an internal culture where every individual can thrive.

Saints Academy helping coaches on development journey
Participants on the League's coaching diversity programmes visit Southampton's training ground to learn how clubs develop young talent

In September 2022, the second cohort of the Premier League Work Placement Programme began, which aims to provide improved access to career pathways in football for individuals from currently underrepresented groups.

Recruitment is under way for an additional independent non-executive director to complete the composition of a new and diverse Premier League Board. This follows the appointment of Alison Brittain as its new Chair, who will take up the role in early 2023.

More diverse coaching workforce

To help create a more diverse professional coaching workforce, the League is working with partners across football to deliver programmes for individuals from underrepresented backgrounds to increase career opportunities and pathways.

This includes the creation of a Coach Index, alongside The FA, EFL, LMA and PFA, to share personal development and job opportunities with black, Asian, mixed heritage or female coaches.

The Premier League also continues to promote EDI across all areas of its central operations and supports clubs to do the same.

The FLDC is integrated into the existing mandatory Premier League Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Standard (PLEDIS), which requires every club to report progress against agreed EDI targets, which take into account the club’s culture, policies, leadership and people.

Clubs work towards achieving the Preliminary, Intermediate and Advanced levels of the Standard and have their activity assessed by an independent panel of experts.

Once the Advanced level is awarded, clubs undertake further assessments to support their continuous EDI development.

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