The Football Association has today launched the Football Leadership Diversity Code to drive diversity and inclusion in English football, with Chelsea one of the first clubs committing to tackling inequality across senior leadership positions, broader team operations and coaching roles.
The Football Leadership Diversity Code has been developed in collaboration with club executives, including our chairman Bruce Buck, as well as players, coaches, HR directors, media and leaders across the game to ensure English football better represents our modern and diverse society.
Recognising that clubs and support structures off the pitch do not reflect the increasing gender and ethnic diversity seen on the pitch, it will increase accountability and transparency and will see The FA, key stakeholders and clubs across the men’s and women’s game commit to embedding greater diversity across senior leadership teams, team operations and coaching setups.
The Code focuses on increasing equality of opportunity with hiring targets – rather than quotas – to encourage recruitment from across society. Hiring will be based on merit, to find the best person for the job from diverse talent pipelines. The aim is to move away from recruitment practices focused on personal networks, which is a longstanding challenge across football and has limited the diversity in leadership across the game.
It is viewed as a starting point towards greater diversity and, while focusing on gender and ethnicity now in reflection of the current player base, it will expand more broadly over time.