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As the National Governing Body for the sport of Rugby League, we exist to govern, protect and promote the sport.
We recognise that the best ideas for Rugby League can come from anyone and that diversity in teams, and within organisations, is proven to contribute to enhanced performance and commercial success.
We aim to encourage and support diversity and inclusion in all we do as an employer and a partner organisation.
We want to ensure that we are supporting the best ideas and the most talented innovators within sport.
The Rugby Football League is a mature, values-led organisation and now is the right time to formalise the principles of diversity and inclusion by which we will strive to work and to examine where there are further opportunities for us to improve working practices, both internal and external, to fully reflect our aims and values.
We will publish a new strategy and action plan for Diversity and Inclusion by Summer 2017.
Prior to this, there are a number of actions we need to take to ensure that the strategy we develop and deliver against is evidence based and will have maximum impact.
As a National Governing Body, we are improving our data collection so we can build a better understanding of who all our customers are.
We are an active supporter of Sporting Equals and we will build on this relationship and take expert advice to use best in sector approaches to recruitment, retention and promotion.
We will ensure that the Rugby Football League continues to make evidence-based decisions about future activity. We are building on strong work to date but also recognise that the new Code for Sports Governance drives new standards, which we embrace.
The new strategy will be informed by research and we will use this to inform future actions.
We are reviewing our processes for recruitment and exploring where there are ways to improve diversity. We will not engage in positive discrimination, but seek to support the best opportunities and the very best candidates.
Our focus will be to identify underrepresented groups in Rugby League and to encourage them to come forward to engage in our sport at all levels; seeking to understand any specific barriers that might exist and helping interested parties to overcome them.
We will champion diversity in our communications and outreach activity by building on the momentum gathered and lessons learned from a strong tradition of diversity and inclusion campaigning in Rugby League and recent work other sports, and in other sectors.
As a leading sports employer, we will review the impacts of activities initiated to encourage diversity and inclusion to date; identify steps to ensure that our values and the principles in the New Code for Sports Governance are embedded in our recruitment, training and working practices.
Where appropriate and possible, we will develop preferred scenarios for increased diversity and inclusion across the organisation and governance structures including the Board, the Council, the Community
Board and the management groups which support and service the sport. The new strategy will include options for future action, looking at all of the protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2014 and other groups who are underrepresented in Rugby League.
We will make decisions on where to focus our efforts based on where the available evidence shows us we can make the most difference for the benefit of the whole sport.