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Equality and diversity

We stand for everybody, from every background, in every place, having an equal chance to be active and benefit from it.

Our aim is for a sporting system that's truly inclusive and properly reflective of UK society.

These are our four broad ambitions:

Participation levels
Closing the race gap in levels of participation in sport and physical activity for specific Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups that are behind national participation levels – similar to the focus we’ve had on closing the gender gap in recent years.
Talented athletes
Supporting the identification and development of talented athletes, including those from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds.
Leadership and workforce
Transforming both the executive and non-executive leadership and workforce within sport and physical activity, to make it representative of the population.
Our organisation
Ensuring that, by 2026, our own organisation is representative of the population and the people it serves, at all levels within the organisation, by setting a new target to double the proportion of Black, Asian and minority ethnic background staff in Sport England.

This means a minimum of 20% of staff to come from a Black, Asian or minority ethnic background by halfway through our 10-year strategy, Uniting the Movement. Although historically we've had had low staff turnover, we believe this is a realistic and ambitious target and we're committed to meeting it.

Focus areas

With these broad ambitions in mind, we're focusing work in four areas:

Governance code review

In July 2020, along with UK Sport, we announced the Code for Sports Governance was to undergo a formal review to look at areas where it would benefit from further development, including around equality, diversity and inclusion.

This review process has involved a wide and inclusive consultation to ensure the experiences of both current partners and other organisations involved in improving governance, diversity and inclusion contributed to the shaping of the revised code.

In July 2021, we and UK Sport announced changes to strengthen the Code, including ensuring bodies in receipt of substantial public funding from either organisation have a detailed and ambitious diversity and inclusion action plan to increase diversity on their boards and senior leadership teams, as well as across their wider organisations.

Find out more about the Code

Race in sport review

We’ve carried out a detailed, independent review in collaboration with the other home country Sports Councils and UK Sport.

There were two major pieces of work – the first involved bringing together existing data on race and ethnicity in sport to identify gaps and make recommendations, while the second involved creating an opportunity to hear lived experiences of racial inequalities and racism in sport by offering people a safe space to tell their stories

Full reports for both the #TellYourStory campaign and existing data audit were published in June 2021, identifying where there are gaps as well as common themes, with recommendations on how to make meaningful progress.

The Councils have agreed initial overarching commitments that all five will work on together. Each Council will also work at pace to develop their own specific action plans to further deliver on these commitments.

Read the reports and common themes

Our organisation

We're looking at how diverse and inclusive we are internally, in terms of our staff, our policies and procedures, and the specific work we undertake – ensuring each have a strong focus on equality, diversity and inclusion from the start.

As part of this, in January 2021 we announced the appointment of our first director of equality, diversity and inclusion, are updating our Diversity Action Plan for 2021-24 and have formed a terminology task group, to examine how our use of language can help us to be more inclusive.

Our commitment to diversity

Our Uniting the Movement strategy

In order to take these three areas of focus further, in Uniting the Movement we’ve used the principles that emerged from the consultation period to take a holistic view of the sector and how it works and interlinks with others, to understand more about the complex causes of structural inequality.

We’re now taking ownership of delivering a range of responses that create sustained systematic change, and the first of these steps were outlined in our Year 1 implementation plan - part of which includes a further £20 million commitment for our Tackling Inequalities Fund.

Read more about Uniting the Movement

Read more about our equality and diversity work as an employer, including our accreditations.

More on our equality and diversity work

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