All Red All Equal.

Reds reaffirm commitment to diversity

Wednesday 10 November 2021 12:00

Manchester United has reiterated its commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion across the club as the FA announced a progress report on its Football Leadership Diversity Code (FLDC).

The FLDC was launched by the FA last year as a set of voluntary principles and targets for increasing the diversity of leadership and coaching teams across English football. Manchester United was among the first of over 50 clubs to sign up to the code, which includes commitments to increase the proportion of black, Asian, mixed-heritage, and women candidates hired to senior leadership and backroom football roles.

Reporting the first set of annual recruitment data on Wednesday, the FA said many clubs had made positive progress against the code’s targets, while acknowledging that more hard work was needed to close continued gaps in diversity across the game.

This was reflected in Manchester United’s data, which showed the club exceeding its target for the hiring of black, Asian or mixed-heritage (BAMH) candidates to senior coaching roles, while nearing its targets for BAMH hires to senior leadership positions and female hires to our operations team.

In other areas, the club either fell short of its targets or there was a lack of data due to no hires having taken place during the year.

The results were affected by low levels of recruitment during the pandemic and the absence of longer-term data meant progress made in prior years was not captured.

For example, Manchester United has a relatively high level of female representation among its senior leadership, but fell below its target for female recruitment in the past 12 months.

Collette Roche, Manchester United chief operating officer, said: “This report shows us making significant progress towards increasing diversity in some important areas of the club, while highlighting other areas where more work is needed.

“It will take additional years of data to show consistent trends given the relatively low number of hires typically made each year in some of the job categories monitored. However, this first report is a useful starting point for measuring progress against the crucial goal of making our workforce more representative of the diverse talent available to us.”

The FLDC was designed to ensure that clubs are removing obstacles to the recruitment of women and people from ethically and culturally diverse communities, while recognising that hiring decisions will continue to be made on merit. Manchester United has a range of initiatives under way or planned to nurture and create opportunities for diverse talent, including various apprenticeship and training programmes.

There are also diversity networks and training for employees to ensure the club is a welcoming environment for people regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and other protected characteristics.

Roche added: “At Manchester United, we see diversity as a source of strength and remain strongly committed to creating an inclusive workplace for the best people we can attract from all backgrounds.”

Reviewing data from all the signatories to the Code, the FA said clubs had made a positive start in challenging circumstances created by the pandemic.

Edleen John, the FA’s co-partner for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, said: “The commitment shown towards the Football Leadership Diversity Code shows that there is a strong, collective desire to create long-term change and ensure the representation we see on the pitch is reflected off it.”

The FA announced on Wednesday that it was launching a version of the Code tailored for the National League system, Women’s pyramid and grassroots football , aiming to tackle inequality and improve representation of diverse groups at all levels of the game.