West Ham United recognised for commitment to equality

West Ham United’s commitment to promoting diversity and equality across the Club and in our wider community has been formally recognised by the Premier League.

The Club is pleased to announce that the Premier League has awarded it the Intermediate Equality Standard in recognition of a range of initiatives and campaigns.

The Hammers recently submitted its evidence from the past two years to a Premier League panel made up of experts and are delighted that their efforts have been recognised by this award.

West Ham United Vice-Chairman Karren Brady said: “Equality and diversity are at the heart of West Ham United’s values. We are committed to eliminating discrimination and creating an environment in which everyone is not only respected but valued.

“Since our move we’ve invested more than £6m into Newham and the surrounding Olympic boroughs, which has allowed us to work hand-in-hand with a number of local charities, while our brilliant Disabled Supporters Advisory Board makes a real difference to the matchday experience for supporters with accessibility needs. 

“Since consulting with them, we’ve been able to provide more free shuttle buses than any other club in the Premier League and are training staff in disability awareness and BSL to communicate in sign language – in fact, I’m proud to say I passed my own BSL module 101 this week! 

“West Ham United pays all full and part-time staff the London Living Wage, helping to address social inequality and our -9.76% gender pay gap shows we take equal pay seriously.

“We passionately believe in a culture that embraces equality and values diversity, so we are thrilled that our important work in this area has been recognised by the Premier League.”

Premier League Executive Director Bill Bush said: "The Premier League is committed to tackling discrimination and promoting equality, and through the Premier League Equality Standard encourages clubs to develop partnerships, activities, and projects targeted at under-represented communities and individuals. 

“West Ham United's achievement in attaining the Intermediate level is testament to the hard work undertaken by the club and its foundation over the last two years, and we look forward to seeing their continued efforts as they work towards achieving the Advanced level.”

Roisin Wood, CEO of Kick It Out, which provides support and advice to clubs regarding best equality practice, said: "We’re pleased to see West Ham making progress in developing their equality practices and sending a clear message that the club is welcome to everyone who supports zero tolerance to discrimination, abusive conduct and exclusion.” 

The Club’s achievements – as part of a three-year Equality Action Plan which covers all areas of the business - were recognised by the Premier League’s independent assessment panel. They include:

  • The formation of the Disabled Supporters Association (DSAB) alongside the existing Supporter Advisory Board (SAB), with representation from all protected groups on the SAB. Both groups meet three times a year.
  • Increased provision of shuttle buses for both home and away supporters with accessibility needs.
  • Up to 40 Supporter Liaison Officers (SLOs) on hand on matchday to assist supporters at London Stadium.
  • A 47 per cent increase in matchday staff from BAME backgrounds.
  • A 16 per cent increase in female matchday staff.
  • The launch of a diversity campaign (We Are West Ham. United) – which has reached more than a million fans online and via our stadium screens. 
  • Official partnerships with six unique and diverse charities including Blesma, Bobby Moore Fund for Cancer Research UK, Richard House Children’s Hospice and others
  • Regular engagement and project delivery with external campaign organisations like Stonewall, Show Racism the Red Card, Kick it Out and Holocaust Memorial Fund
  • Award-winning Foundation that delivers life changing opportunities to more than 20,000 residents over 35 projects across education, employment, health, inclusion and football development.
  • A comprehensive programme of equality training which ensures that all staff receive training and senior staff attend bespoke themed training. For example, mental-health awareness, disability awareness and unconscious bias training

Having achieved the Intermediate Level award, the Club can now work towards the Premier League's Equality Standard Advanced goal.