Statement from the Chairman of Commonwealth Games England, Ian Metcalfe
I am very proud to introduce our first formal Diversity Action Plan. Equality and diversity are at the heart of everything we do at Commonwealth Games England. Indeed on the Gold Coast men and women will compete for equal medal opportunities alongside the largest ever para programme across seven sports: athletics, swimming, para-powerlifting, bowls, table tennis, cycling and triathlon.
Commonwealth Games England has made some progress in making our board more diverse but we still have more to do before we achieve the gender parity, BAME diversity and disability representation to which we aspire. Our recruitment plans are already well underway and we look forward to announcing new non-executive directors in due course, in succession to the three directors who will be retiring in 2018.
We’ve worked hard to communicate our commitment to diversity both internally and externally. We really value our strong relationships with our member National Governing Bodies and will increasingly use this platform to get our commitment to diversity across. We’ll use the spotlight of the Commonwealth Games to highlight the diversity of Team England.
I’m particularly pleased to see more diverse talent progressing at every level – from athletes and coaches to our volunteers, staff and board. In the future we will be aiming to create more opportunities for this to happen on an even larger scale. In which regard I suspect we might be one of the few governing bodies which needs more men at executive level to meet the gender equity requirements!
As part of our Action Plan, I’m delighted to announce that one of our Non-Executive Directors, Dawn Newbery, has taken on the newly created role of Diversity Champion for the organisation. Dawn has been our para-sports representative on the board since 2015 and has a wealth of experience, particularly in the disability sports arena. Thank you to Dawn for her efforts in helping the board to produce this action plan.
I want to underline my absolute and personal commitment to leading the board to achieve a minimum of 30 per cent of each gender on our board, and the other diversity requirements of the Code for Sports Governance. This plan sets out the actions we will be taking to meet the requirements and we will monitor our progress in delivering the plan at every board meeting.
We are not doing this because the code requires us to do so. We are doing it because we firmly believe it is the right thing to do, and that a more diverse Commonwealth Games England will be an even better and stronger organisation. Delivering this plan will give us the diversity of skills, experience and knowledge we need to become a more effective and representative organisation in the future.
Chairman, Commonwealth Games England