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    We explore the progress that has been made so far with improving diversity and inclusion of the sports industry, especially those that work in the industry. There of course remain key challenges that need to be addressed in order to achieve greater diversity in all areas of the sports industry in the UK and we explore these and the opportunities for the future. 

    Over the years, diversity and inclusion have become increasingly important in all areas of society, and the sports industry is no exception. In the UK, efforts to increase diversity in the sports industry have gained momentum in recent years, with many organisations recognising the importance of promoting diversity and equality in all areas from employment to participation. From increasing representation in leadership positions to creating more inclusive environments for fans and participants, there is a growing awareness of the need to create a more diverse and inclusive sports industry in the UK to support its future and reflect the society it represents.

    Organisations across the sports industry are ever increasing their focus on delivering diversity and inclusivity strategies and programmes, from the boardroom to the pitch. This drive is recognised as essential to ensure the industries future success and its ability to deliver positive growth and impact on lives, careers and society. It's not only good for business and for the sport as a whole!

    Representation of Athletes

    One area where diversity is becoming increasingly important is in the representation of athletes. In recent years, there has been a concerted effort to increase diversity in sports such as football and cricket, where historically there has been a lack of representation of ethnic minority players. The Football Association's "Football Leadership Diversity Code" aims to increase the representation of Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups (BAME) and women in leadership positions in English football, and a similar initiative has been launched in cricket. These efforts are helping to ensure that talented athletes from all backgrounds have the opportunity to compete and succeed in their chosen sport.

    FLDC Careers Platform

    The FDLC careers platform is a great example of how governing bodies in sport are helping shape the future agenda of Diversity & Inclusion. The platform is focused on helping football organisations and clubs across the UK reach a larger and more diverse candidate audience for their job vacancies. For individuals, it provides a centralised platform and transparent process for career opportunities available across English clubs, who have signed up to the FLDC code. The platform for FLDC Careers is an initiatives delivered by The FA and developed by the team at Global Sports. We are proud to have played our part in supporting the initiative to drive greater diversity and transparency across English football.

    Coaching and Management

    In addition to athlete representation, there is also a growing push for diversity in coaching and management positions. The "Rooney Rule," inspired by a similar initiative in the NFL, was introduced in 2018 for English football clubs to ensure that at least one BAME candidate is interviewed for all coaching and management roles. While this is just one step towards increased diversity, it is an important one in ensuring that qualified candidates from all backgrounds are considered for these key roles.

    Gender and Sexuality

    The push for diversity is not limited to just race and ethnicity, but also includes gender and sexuality. The Women in Sport organisation has been working to increase the representation of women in all areas of sport, from playing fields to boardrooms. They have launched several initiatives to increase opportunities for women in sport, including the "Beyond 30%" campaign, which aims to ensure that women hold at least 30% of leadership positions in sport by 2020. While progress has been made, there is still a long way to go to achieve true gender equality in the sports industry.

    Sports and Media

    There is also a growing recognition of the importance of diversity in the sports media. In the UK, there has been a longstanding lack of diversity in sports journalism, with the majority of sports journalists being white and male. However, initiatives such as the "Football Black List," which recognises the contributions of Black individuals in football, and the "Women in Football Leadership Programme," which aims to develop the next generation of female leaders in the sport, are helping to address this imbalance and increase diversity in the sports media.

    Science and Medicine

    Finally, an increase of diversity in sports science and medicine. Historically, sports science and medicine has been dominated by men, but there is now a growing number of women and BAME individuals entering the field. This is important because diversity in sports science and medicine can lead to better outcomes for athletes, as diverse perspectives and experiences can help identify and address issues that may not have been considered otherwise.

    In conclusion, the sports industry in the UK is increasingly recognising the importance of diversity and inclusivity in all areas, from athlete representation to leadership positions and the media. While there is still a long way to go to achieve true diversity, the growing push towards increased representation of underrepresented groups is a step in the right direction. By promoting diversity and inclusivity, the sports industry can ensure that it is reflective of the society it serves and can maximise the potential of all individuals, regardless of their background.

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