BAME Board members and senior leadership roles in sport within the UK
This report produced by the International Sports Convention aims to highlight the current situation of BAME representation at Board Level and Senior Leadership (Management) in Sport within the United Kingdom. Its other aim is to confront the situation with bare facts illustrated only with figures and to hold organisations accountable. The final objective of this report is to ensure change happens. I need to be clear that the change that needed to happen should have occurred already.
For example our national game is led by the Football Association, who in 2019 produced their year one review in pursuit of progress THE FA’S equality, diversity and inclusion plan 2018-21 . It is an excellent example of a well put-together brochure which gives the impression that substantial progress is being made. It reported that in 2018 the leadership roles occupied by the BAME community were 5% and in 2019 this increased to 6% with a 2021 aim of 11%. The Football Association leadership definition is very broad and appears to be a great example of window dressing.
Our report will deal with the facts. For some like the Football Association this will be uncomfortable reading. The current senior leadership of BAME representation is zero/0%. Who are we kidding if organisations like the Football Association with substantial public money cannot be trusted to showcase the real facts?
This report does not aim to deal with the causes or solutions across sport and society but to provide Members of Parliament, the media, the public and sports governing bodies a true reflection that progress has not been made. This will be an annual benchmarking report to showcase where we are on this very important subject matter, which has a huge influence on society and that by having better BAME representation on boards and within senior leadership, they would further enhance society, community and sporting performance.
We distinguish between Main Board and Senior Leadership, which is very important to acknowledge. It is the Senior Leadership who are in control on a day-to-day basis and this forms much of the culture of the organisation. It also gives BAME employees within organisations hope that reaching the highest management level is possible. Main Board directorships have been used in a way to show that diversity is improving and everything is well. What we find is that numbers are manipulated and that diversity also includes female representation. This is why our report will focus solely on BAME representation. A separate report on Women in Sport (Leadership and Main Board) will be issued later in the year.
Let this report be a catalyst.
Yours in Sport
International Sports Convention