A year on from the EFL’s launch of the ‘Together’ strategy, the EFL's Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, David McCardle, has provided an update on the strategy and the impact it is having across the EFL and its Clubs.
Twelve months ago, the EFL launched its new Equality, Diversity and Inclusion strategy to aid Clubs in taking steps on their EDI journey.
This month, we mark the one-year anniversary with the launch of a new short film highlighting the diverse nature of supporters across the League with the key message that we are Together for the love of the game. In addition, we have highlighted the good practice which has been undertaken by EFL Clubs throughout the 2022/23 season in conjunction with the Together Strategy.
‘Together’ set out a clear five-year vision for the EFL and its Clubs to reflect and represent the communities they serve.
Following the launch of the EFL Together strategy in August 2022, all 72 Clubs have made a contribution to breaking down barriers and improved their processes and outlooks, leading to sustainable change, which will allow greater diversity.
Involving 100 hours of consultations with Equality Stakeholders and 100 hours of Club Development meetings, the strategy has seen great success during the 2022/23 season.
Together comprises five pillars: Support, Educate, Communicate, Embed and Listen – all of which have been covered over the course of last campaign.
Last term saw the refreshed EFL Equality Code of Practice which was a key deliverable within the Together Strategy and will allow the opportunity for EFL Clubs to have a continued EDI journey.
Clubs throughout the EFL undertake the Code’s which assesses work, learning, development and commitment to EDI and provides a grade of Bronze, Silver or Gold after review. Throughout season 2022/23 the EFL supported each of its Clubs during the development phase in preparation for every Club being assessed during the 2023/24 season.
To support the creation of a League-wide diverse workforce, the EFL has also launched I-Recruit which is an anonymised recruitment tool for Clubs.
Across the EFL there are over 65 diverse fan groups, some of which have been established with support of Fans for Diversity. In addition, Clubs have also been supported in the establishment of a new Discrimination Reporting mechanism.
The EFL’s Inclusion Team – along with Stakeholders, EFL Clubs and Football Bodies – delivered 48 online webinars for EFL Clubs and EFL Staff to attend during the 2022/23 season. Clubs have completed over 6,500 collective hours of EDI Education, which exceeded the initial target of 1,000 collective hours each season for the next five seasons.
And in May 2023, a number of conferences to help support Clubs and to share best practice were held. All three conferences hosted over 100 delegates with guest speakers, Club and fan experiences in focus.
More recently, the EFL Together Advisory Panel has set progress in motion for a new panel which will act as a forum for advice, guiding the work of the EFL by providing advice of the highest possible quality on issues relating to Equality Diversity and Inclusion.
And the EFL and our Clubs are not finished in this journey. The hard work continues into the new season when all of the aforementioned tools and services will continue to support Clubs to make an impact and drive change.