RFL become Stonewall Diversity Champions
As part of its ongoing strong commitment to equality and diversity, the RFL has become the first national governing body of a major sport to sign up to the Diversity Champions programme operated by the Stonewall organisation.
In doing so the RFL is making a clear public statement that it will constantly strive to ensure that its workplace culture, policies, procedures and practices are fully inclusive of lesbian, gay and bisexual staff.
The move also represents an important step forward in the RFL’s commitment to addressing all areas of inequality, ensuring all employees are treated with dignity and respect and creating a workplace culture where diversity is celebrated and valued.
Stonewall is renowned for campaigning and lobbying to address the rights and needs of lesbian, gay and bisexual communities. The Diversity Champions programme is Britain's good practice forum in which employers can work with Stonewall, as well as each other, to promote lesbian, gay and bisexual equality in the workplace.
Commenting on the partnership, the RFL’s Equality and Diversity Manger, Sarah Williams said “The RFL’s partnership with Stonewall is another step towards achieving a fully inclusive organisation which welcomes and values the unique skills and experiences of employees that are drawn from all backgrounds whatever their sexuality, race, gender, disability religion faith, age or other visible or non visible difference.
“I am very proud to be a part of an organisation that has a genuine commitment to equality and diversity. I am confident that the RFL as an organisation and the wider Rugby League family will rise to the challenge and look forward working with Stonewall to make a real difference.”
‘We’re delighted at the vision being shown by the RFL,’ said Ben Summerskill, Chief Executive of Stonewall.
‘Homophobia still deters far too many gay people from being both fans and participants in sport. We hope that we’ll soon see a British Ian Roberts, an iconic Rugby League player able both to come out as gay and play world class Rugby League at the same time.”
The RFL will be holding an official launch of the Stonewall Diversity Champions programme early in the 2009 season and will also be celebrating and acknowledging the creative projects that involve the lesbian gay and bisexual community organised by Rugby League clubs
All clubs in the engage Super League and Co-operative Championship will also be sent information and resource packs from Stonewall.
For more information on the RFL’s activities in the area of equality and diversity click http://www.therfl.co.uk/inleaguetogether