West Ham United have welcomed today’s publication of the FA’s Football Leadership Diversity Code annual report for the 2021/22 season.
The landmark Code was introduced in October 2020 to ensure English football better represents our modern society, focusing on increasing equality of opportunity to encourage recruitment of diverse talent across senior leadership teams, team operations and coaching setups.
The Code now has over 60 signatories, including all Premier League clubs, 32 EFL clubs, The FA, Premier League, EFL, Barclays Women’s Super League and Barclays Women’s Championship, which are all committed to tackling inequality and embedding greater diversity in the long term.
West Ham United are pleased with the progress we are making as we continue to actively recruit more women and more individuals of Black, Asian or of Mixed-Heritage.
It is also a huge positive to see genuine progress is being made in this area in football across the country.
However, we know that there is still more hard work that needs to be done. The club has therefore set ambitious targets to help us achieve our goals, and ensure we remain a true equity leader in English football.
Through our ongoing work across our community in East London and Essex, the club is proud to operate in one of the most diverse parts of the country as we continue to make a positive impact on and off the pitch for the benefit of our people.
During the second season of the Code, some progress was made, with football collectively exceeding targets in hiring Black, Asian and Mixed Heritage senior coaches in the men’s game and coaches in women’s football. There was an uplift in the number of recruitment shortlists which had Black, Asian and Mixed Heritage female candidates, while the number of diverse male candidates increased again.
However, while some clubs are showing that positive change is possible, it is clear that more needs to be done across the game to meet the Code’s targets. Disappointingly, the 2021/22 season saw a decrease in the number of senior management hires for both female and Black, Asian and Mixed Heritage candidates. The recruitment of non-senior diverse coaches in the men’s game, as well as female coaches in women’s football, also fell below the targets during the season.
Some signatories had more success than others, which may be because they have more diverse communities from which to recruit, but it is also likely that variations are due to some clubs having more mature equality, diversity and inclusion [EDI] and recruitment frameworks.
With the Premier League’s EDI Standard updated in 2021, and the EFL’s Together strategy launched this autumn, all clubs should soon have the tools to ensure they are recruiting the best talent from diverse shortlists.
The three governing bodies of English football which are signed up to the Code collectively exceeded seven of the eight targets this season. The full report, which includes updates from all signatories, can be found here.