[MUSIC] Hello everyone, my name is Jacco Sterkenburg, I work at Erasmus University Rotterdam in the Netherlands and I work amongst other things on the topic of race, inclusion and football leadership. This video today is part of a wider series of educational videos on the topic of racial and gender diversity in football leadership. And this is important to discuss, and I have someone with me today, who is an expert on this topic. She is Anika Leslie-Walker, from the University of Bolton, England. And this video that's also good to mention, is part of a wider project, the so called iFlip project. This is a European project, the project leader of this project is the Fare network, and this is made possible by the European union, within the framework of the Erasmus+ scheme. Anika welcome, I'm very glad to have you here as an academic who has much expertise on this topic of racial and gender diversity football leadership, but you're also experienced in the football industry yourself. So, I'm really glad that you're here and we're going to do a brief interview. I'm really curious to what you can say on this topic, maybe first of all, let me just ask you to briefly introduce yourself first. >> Hello Jacco, great to be here today, so thank you very much. So I'm currently a lecturer at the University of Bolton and I teach on the sports development and coaching program. I also do research around gender, race inclusion, but I do have a keen interest in football. So I used to play football, I don't currently play, but following university, I worked with a Bedfordshire Football Association and I was a football development officer there. So that allowed me to work both within the grassroots game and also the elite level. So I coached, I enabled people to become officials, the referees. But I also worked with a lot of young women who wanted to either participate in the game or work within the administration area. >> That's really good, I mean, in the sense that you combine these different things, it's quite unique. You have experience as an academic, working on the topic of race and sports and you have experience actually from the football industry. As you know, we are doing educational videos on the topic of racial and gender diversity and football leadership. May I ask you what, what what do you think is the relevance of such educational videos? Can you reflect a little bit on that from your expertise? >> Yes, I think just to start with, everybody should have the opportunity to play football no matter their gender, their race, their backgrounds. So, there are many women globally who participate in football. However, the conversation around sometimes the barriers for women to work in kind of senior leadership positions or to gain experience in senior positions generally can be a problem. So, I think this type of educational videos is important. Because it gives a space for women and men to understand the experiences of women from ethnic minority backgrounds. But it also will probably, the educational videos should highlight areas of development which are required and also allow people to ask questions throughout the journey of the educational Video. >> One of the educational videos, Anika is exactly about showing figures and showing percentages from research. And they show that within Europe women, but also minority ethnic groups are really underrepresented in leadership positions within the football industry. What do you think is the reason for that? Why is this the case you think, from what you know, from your expertise? >> Yes, I've looked at quite a few academic papers, governance reports within the UK specifically, but also around Europe, which do show that there is a disparity between white men, white females. But when we're going to ethnicity, the ratio of ethnic minority women in these senior positions is very low. So, from my experience, I think there's a few things that I could discuss here. Sometimes access to these types of positions is a problem. So by that, I mean, potentially some women would have the qualifications, but for some reason they've been pushed back in terms of when applying for the roles and not being successful. So the qualifications are there, but if they are unable to gain experience at the kind of entry level roles, then obviously that doesn't allow them to succeed into the senior position roles. Also, generally it can be very for anybody, it can be very hard to get work experience, but I think some ethnic minority women feel that it's even harder for those to gain work experience. And then that just translates translates onto the continuum of getting those senior positions again. Also networks, sometimes networks are not very inclusive, so if they are unable to access certain networks or again they're unaware of how to access these networks that can also allow them not to apply for roles. Because they're unaware of positions that might be coming up or they're unaware of where these positions may be advertised. And on a personal reflection, I'm currently a member of a charitable organization, I'm a trustee. And without somebody kind of suggesting that this role was coming up, I wouldn't have had that knowledge to apply and it wasn't widely advertised, it was very locally advertised. >> I do recognize some of the elements that you're mentioning also from my own research on this issue. You have worked yourself and you still work within the football industry. You are, for instance, football development officer, if I understood correctly, have you had yourself experiences of discrimination based on race and gender? And can you reflect on that a little bit? >> Yes, sure, so when I was working as a football development officer, generally it was a very good experience. The national manager was excellent, she was very encouraging and very supportive. However, at local level I was faced with discrimination to some sense. So, I don't want to go into too much detail, but it was more around tokenism. So, kind of that questioning of should I be in that role? Do I have the qualifications and the experience to be in that role? And obviously an interviewed, I expressed I expressed that I previously worked with the organization and I just I was just graduated. So, I had a degree but constantly by a particular member of staff I was questioned quite a lot. And I did feel that that was down to my gender, but also down to my race and ethnicity. >> And what in your view can then organizations themselves do like football clubs, football organizations, what can they do to make football leadership more inclusive. And also to make you feel more included in such situations. What can they do on this aspect to become more inclusive? >> Yeah, I think in reflection to the situation that I just mentioned, where did feel discriminated against, that happened probably about 12 years ago now. So it was in the past and what I can definitely say is that the Football Association has done a lot of work around equality diversion and inclusion as a whole. Which I think is important, because, as academics, we understand there's there's key intersectionality is which are happening. So, it's important to identify the intersections and to work upon those. But I think education, so this educational video is really important, being able to speak about our experiences, but also people going on short workshop sessions. So identifying what is potentially as termed in the UK as banter or is yeah, banter, there's a fine line between banter and professionalism, what you can say, what you shouldn't say. Also, microaggressions, at times that's often seen within organizations. So I guess just to confirm having, an environment where anybody within the organization feels comfortable. But if there is a problem, then being able to potentially anonymously say what's happened and sharing that with your colleagues and being able to find a way to work through that. So, the scenario that I mentioned that was dealt with in a very positive way. I had an excellent manager in place, he was a white male and was very supportive of what happened in my sense. So, I guess workshops are very important, The Football Association have various staff now from different ethnic minority communities. They do have more male, I would personally say, we need more females from an ethnic minority background in those senior positions. Because another key thing here is role models, having a role model, somebody that looks like you, somebody potentially that you can see yourself being in that position is also very important. >> Thanks a lot for this, Anika, this is really insightful. I mean, based on your experiences within the football industry, thanks a lot for sharing this with us, but also sharing your expertise on this topic as an academic. I think for those of you, participants who listen to this video, thanks a lot and I hope you also learned a lot from this interview. And in the next videos, in the next modules, there are more videos, educational videos, as I said before, we will even go more in-depth on some of the issues that Anika mentioned. Thanks a lot for Anika, thanks a lot Anika for this for this moment, thank you.