Baroness Young criticises lack of BAME representation on new Women's Super League board

Baroness Young of Hornsey's comments follow the publication earlier this month of an All-Party Parliamentary Group report on Sport, Modern Slavery and Human Rights, which conducted a review into human rights issues in English football and Premier League clubs.

The report found that ethnic discrimination was a key inequality that still exists in sport. It also criticised UK Sport's Code for Sports Governance, which sport organisations must meet in order to secure government funding. The code, the review claimed, places BAME diversity within the context of “greater diversity”, reinforcing the notion that ethnic diversity is an “other” or “additional” category.

Research conducted by Sporting Equals, shows there are only 4% of BAME board members on national governing bodies of sport in the UK, a time when 14% of the population is BAME.

Arun Kang, Sporting Equals CEO claimed the new board was a reflection of the women's game not being representative of BAME communities, particularly women.

“After such a successful Women's World Cup that should inspire the whole nation, the new board may need insight into the challenges and motivation of women from some key ethnic groups to continue the growth of women's football, particularly south Asian women,” said Kang.

“Without proper representation on boards, BAME communities can easily be excluded from having an equal opportunity in talent pathways. If we are not careful, we may hinder the prospects of south Asian women similar to south Asian men who have never been able to establish themselves in elite football with only 10 professional players out of 3000.”

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