FA launches football leadership diversity code

Wolves are joining over 40 other clubs across English football in signing up to the FA's Football Leadership Diversity Code to tackle inequality across senior leadership positions, broader team operations and coaching roles.

The Football Leadership Diversity Code has been developed in collaboration with club executives, 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.

The Premier League and multiple clubs from across the Premier League, English Football League, Barclays FA Women’s Super League and FA Women’s Championship have committed to embedding the Code within its own practices. While not mandatory, The FA is encouraging all clubs across the men’s and women’s games to sign up to the voluntary Code, with a version following the same principles and adapted for the National League System and grassroots clubs to follow in Spring 2021.

Wolves HR director, Zoe Brough, said: “At Wolves, we are proud of what we have done to promote equality and diversity throughout the club in recent years. Upon our promotion to the Premier League in 2018, we achieved our Preliminary PL Equality Standard and have clear aspirations which drive us forward for the future.

“We already have in place an equality working group, which meets monthly, and a group of ambassadors who represent all areas of the club. We have a dedicated area on our staff intranet and wolves.co.uk for relevant information and hold an equality action plan, which is in place until 2022.

“As a club, we are showing progression in terms of employment, in keeping with our club values, by promoting equality of opportunity to reach a wider talent pool of candidates. We are sending out a clear message that a diverse staff and squad are the norm and should be accepted, without question.”

For more information on the FA's Football Leadership Diversity Code, click here.