The FA have today launched a new version of the Football Leadership Diversity Code (FLDC) tailored for the National League System, Women’s pyramid and grassroots football and at the same time announced the results from the first year of the FLDC for professional clubs. Brentford FC was one of the first voluntary signatories of the code, launched last October to drive diversity and inclusion across English football. There were 40 clubs that signed up and committed to tackle the lack of diversity across senior leadership positions, broader team operations and coaching roles and 50 organisations are now signatories including The FA, Premier League and EFL.
The code was developed to ensure English football better represents today’s society, which aligns with the ethos and aims of Brentford FC. The code has ambitious hiring targets rather than quotas, while always hiring the best person for the job. In finding the best person for any job, clubs should welcome, reach out and encourage applications from much broader, diverse communities, challenging the traditional approach via personal networks. More on the code can be seen at brentfordfc.com/news/2020/october/football-leadership-diversity-code/. The full FA report, including details on Brentford and other clubs can be found on the FA website here.
Brentford FC have made a public commitment to putting inclusion at the heart of all we do and have revamped our recruitment systems to be more inclusive and ambitious. Anecdotally, this has already yielded results with more diverse people being hired by the Club in recent times and, as an example, we now have one of the most ethnically diverse Boards of Directors in sport.
Jon Varney, Brentford FC’s Chief Executive, said: “Signing up to this Code is an important part of our three-year equality, diversity and inclusion plan. By setting targets and publishing annual results in a transparent way will drive us, and the game in general, forward.
“These results show that we made good progress with our interview shortlists being more diverse both in terms of gender and ethnicity. We have cast the net more widely to attract more diverse talent, but we still have a lot of work to do. We now have a baseline to build from, to learn from and to measure ourselves against.
“It is worth underlining that these results cover part of, but not all of, our work in this area. We are committing funds to improving our systems so we can better analyse the ways in which we recruit, and this will feed in to the 2022 report. This work will sit alongside the inclusion work we do with our fans, local communities, Community Trust and stadium so this is truly a whole club effort.”
“We firmly believe that diverse teams make better decisions. We want our people to be representative of the communities we serve but we are also interested in diversity of thought. We want our staff to think differently, to challenge and to be creative. All of this starts at the top and we have a very diverse Board with recent appointments, Preeti Shetty and Deji Davies, enriching it even further. We have demonstrated our commitment to diversity at Board level and this will help ensure that this is replicated throughout the club.”