Today there was big news from Salford Red Devils, Wakefield Trinity and Huddersfield Giants.
The three are part of an initiative to make Rugby League boardrooms become more diverse, thanks to a ground-breaking partnership between the Rugby Football League (RFL) and executive search firm Inclusive Boards.
Inclusive Boards specialises in supporting organisations to become more inclusive, through greater board diversity and stronger governance structures. Through the Rugby League Club Board Diversity Project, an initial 10 professional clubs will work with the RFL and Inclusive Boards to broaden and strengthen the skills, knowledge and expertise within their boardrooms.
Huddersfield Giants announced earlier in the year that, 24-year old Rebecca Wood had joined the board of directors, making her the youngest ever member and taking a huge stride in allowing opportunities for younger members to join the board.
As well as the Huddersfield Giants there are 9 other clubs involved with the partnership: Barrow Raiders; Halifax Panthers; Hunslet; Midland Hurricanes; Salford Red Devils; Sheffield Eagles; Swinton Lions; Wakefield Trinity; Widnes Vikings. Each club will develop inclusive leadership and recruitment processes to ensure that the sport is able to attract and choose from the best possible candidates.
RFL Inclusion Lead, Ben Abberstein, explains:
“Rugby League is a sport that takes great pride in its history of diversity and representation at the highest level. The Club Board Diversity Project aims to ensure that this is present at leadership levels. This project is another important part of our TACKLE IT inclusion strategy and a massive step forward for the game – a step that is only made possible by the clubs’ commitment to being representative of their communities.”
Samuel Kasumu, Co-Founder of Inclusive Boards adds:
“We’re proud to work with Rugby Football League and to be at the forefront of positive change in the sports sector. We firmly believe that this programme will encourage more people to get involved with sport, both recreationally and professionally.”
Now Huddersfield Giants Managing Director Richard Thewlis has responded to this with the following statement:
“To be involved with an initiative like this is a positive step forward for the club and the sport in general. I’m looking forward to the input that Inclusive Boards will have on guiding us in the right direction and making positive recommendations that reflect the community we live in and work with.”