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message from the chair on the diversity action plan 

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As the largest Olympic and Paralympic Sport and one of a very few truly global sports, diversity is core to our world wide appeal, one we are proud to champion at every opportunity.
 
Athletics embraces diversity in so many ways. It is a gender-equal sport with a wide range of event disciplines celebrating sporting achievements in their purest sense; running, jumping and throwing.
 
Many nationalities, physiologies, genders, races and religions are celebrated within the sport, and it is our aim that UK Athletics continues to reflect this diversity in every way possible.
 
We have often gone beyond the minimum requirements of governance, however; it would be wrong to consider we have done enough so we will always continue to lead and strive to improve at every step. For instance, 10 years ago there were no women on the UKA Board. We currently have 33% representation, but we will not set any limits on representation based upon us having achieved a minimum requirement, therefore we will continue to work towards gender parity on our Board. I would like to push this beyond gender and address our current diversity profile at all levels, to include disability and ethnicity, to ensure greater diversity and that we are reflective the sport and fans we serve.  
 
We have continued to work to deliver across a range of other areas. In the last 18 months for instance we have seen equality, diversity and inclusion become a bedrock of our processes. We now have E&D policies brought to life through engagement packs provided to employees that are fully aligned to our target, now achieved, of becoming a Disability Confident Leader.  Staff Cultural Awareness programmes are being delivered as was the first ever Black History Month project celebrating black and Asian athletics coaches.
 
We have embedded E & D and our values into our training programmes and processes. By widening the scope of our recruitment policies we have created opportunities for young adults with special needs or a disability to undertake work placements as part of our commitment as a Disability Confident Leader.
 
On a personal level, I have had the privilege of working in a number of very different industries. However, the one constant feature that unites all is that a genuine and embedded commitment to diversity will make a significant impact on the productivity and culture of any environment. In sport, where every competitive advantage is sought, there can be no more motivation than to realise this could help athletics in the UK be even more successful.
 
Richard Bowker
Chair, UK Athletics

The Diversity Action Plan can now be viewed here.