We Are West Ham.United
As a club we are dedicated to listening, educating, influencing and raising awareness. Equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) sits firmly on the Board’s agenda and it is our desire to continually test our Equality Action Plan and, most importantly, its progress in line with our objectives to become an equity leader.
We will continue to push forward with our robust and effective community work to promote equality and are recognised as one of the Premier League Clubs leading the charge in this area. Our approach is an inclusive one and we focus on integration and cohesion and, as a result, in December 2020 the Club were awarded with the Advanced level of the Premier League’s Equality Standard (PLES) – the highest level which can be achieved, recognising our ongoing commitment to EDI.
West Ham United fully support a range of ethnically-diverse schemes in football, from grassroots through to elite level, and is part of the art of the PL/EFL’s BAME coaching and Coach Inclusion & Diversity placement schemes, aimed at increasing the number of ethnically-diverse and female coaches within the professional game.
In addition to the work with the Premier League, the Club was also a founding member of the FA Football Leadership Diversity Code (FLDC) which commits to tackling inequality across senior leadership positions, broader team operations and coaching roles. The Code focuses on increasing equality of opportunity with hiring targets – rather than quotas – to encourage recruitment from across society. As a result, the Club’s hiring will be based on merit, to find the best person for the job from diverse talent pipelines and the aim is to move away from recruitment practices focused on personal networks, which is a longstanding challenge across football and has limited the diversity in leadership across the game.
We are always evolving our EDI strategy based on feedback from internal and external stakeholders, including the recently launched Staff EDI Forum and supporter groups such as Inclusive Irons, Disabled Supporters’ Board, Pride of Irons and both the Women and Fan Equality forums. The Club engages in a number of EDI initiatives and is accredited as a London Living Wage employer, Disability Confident Leader and part of the Valuable 500. We continue to be in regular contact, and have strong relationships with, external campaign organisations such as Stonewall, Show Racism the Red Card (SRtRC), and Kick It Out.
The Club’s work is focused in some of the country’s most diverse areas, such as Newham, where 74% of residents are from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds.In 2019 the Club announced the launch of its ‘Stop the Hate’ programme in partnership with the West Ham United Foundation, London Borough of Barking and Dagenham and SRtRC. The programme is available to schools across east London and Essex - pupils are supported to think critically about the information that they receive and understand the harm caused by division and hatred. In addition, a key aspect of the programme includes providing teachers and youth leaders with a better understanding of the issues among the young people they work with and provides them with tools to continue to tackle race inequalities among their pupils.
Between November 2018 and November 2019, the Club’s significant socio-economic contribution to East London, Essex and beyond was valued at £300million, including £1.4million of annual savings to the NHS delivered through diabetes prevention, the 281 school and educational partnerships, or the fact that there have been 50,000 participants in Club Foundation led initiatives per year (see attached).
A total of £28million will have been invested into the Club’s award-winning Players’ Project by the end of 2021, delivering over 30 programmes across eleven strands that span health, education, community initiatives and football development.
Throughout the COVID pandemic, the Club continued to support the local area and communities, with Club Captain Mark Noble partnering with East London’s NHS and Joint-Chairmen David Sullivan and David Gold making regular donations to Newham Foodbank and also funding a new delivery van for the charity. Our Foundation launched their Hammers at Home initiative, which offered support, assistance and regular interaction with the Club’s fans during the unprecedented time.
We Are West Ham.United.