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READ | Millers sign up to FA's new Football Leadership Diversity Code initiative

10 March 2021

Rotherham United are incredibly proud to be one of the many clubs across the footballing landscape to have signed up to the FA’s new Football Leadership Diversity Code – an initiative which has been launched as part of the continued efforts to have a positive impact on the game’s recruitment practices.

The FA has launched the Football Leadership Diversity Code to drive diversity and inclusion across English football, with 51 clubs across the Premier League, English Football League, Barclays FA Women’s Super League and FA Women’s Championship committing to tackle inequality across senior leadership positions, broader team operations and coaching roles.

The Millers have joined clubs across the country in supporting the initiative which 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.

Here at Rotherham United, we pride ourselves on being an equal opportunities employer and always ensure that all applicants for employment are regarded equally and are given equal opportunities irrespective of sex, age, race, religion or belief, marriage or civil partnership, disability, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, pregnancy or maternity, ethnic or national origin.

We welcome this new code from the FA which focuses on increasing equality of opportunity with hiring targets – rather than quotas – to encourage recruitment from across society. Hiring should and will always 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.

Rotherham United’s Chief Operating Officer Paul Douglas was delighted at the chance for the club to pledge their support to an initiative he believes will play a huge role in ensuring equal opportunities for all across the sport.

“We take great pride in the work that we have already done here at Rotherham United to make sure that the football club is accessible to people from any background, but we also recognise that there is still more that can be done across football,” he told www.themillers.co.uk.

“The FA’s Football Leadership Diversity Code gives ourselves and others an opportunity to set the standard and, in doing so, reiterate the message that football is a game for everyone."

Paul Douglas, Chief Operating Officer

“Clubs have worked closely with both the FA and the EFL in recent years to improve practices and I genuinely believe that as a sport, we are doing a fantastic job in tackling issues surrounding inequality.

“There is great diversity in the population of our town and we are always looking to reach out to the people in the area who may not have been to the club to see what we offer.

“Football is an international language and we have seen so much good come from people of all different backgrounds playing the game.

“It is up to us to continue to provide the education to our employees, players and supporters that is needed to ensure that Rotherham United sets the bar when it comes to equal opportunities.”

Paul Douglas, Chief Operating Officer

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