Tag Archive: Arun Kang

Diversifying the boardroom

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PROMOTION: Arun Kang said it was encouraging to see so many people come together to tackle the diversification issue.

PROMOTION: Arun Kang said it was encouraging to see so many people come together to tackle the diversification issue.

Sporting bodies come together to tackle under-representation

One hundred and fifty people from across the sports sector and BME professionals, gathered at the House of Lords last month in an attempt to ‘diversify the boardroom’.

Currently in Britain, only three per cent of people serving on the boards of the nation’s sporting bodies are from BME communities, whilst 30 sports have no senior BME representation on any level.

Other data presented at the meeting included just one national sporting body with two BME board trustees and only seven of 216 management positions are held by the same demographic.

This information, plus more, was highlighted in Sporting Equals’ latest report, ‘Who’s on Board?’, and was obtained from an audit of 45 national governing bodies of sport conducted by Sport England.

Arun Kang, the Chief Executive of Sporting Equals, said: “The fact that so many people from sport and BME professionals have come together at a major event to help diversify boards is very encouraging and shows the passion and interest that there is in this issue.”

A key recommendation from the event was to set up a national steering group to help national governing bodies of sport diversify their boardrooms.

It will be looking at a wide range of options including co-options, shadowing opportunities, advisory roles and promoting Board vacancies more widely.

Likewise, another recommendation was to develop a database of candidates, empower potential BME candidates through training opportunities and develop an annual plan of action.

Edward Lord, Chairman of the Amateur Swimming Association, was present at the meeting and said he was delighted to have been approached on behalf of the ASA, to make the sporting body a member of the proposed national steering group.

He said: “The ASA is in full support of this agenda and I very much look forward to working in partnership with them to help attract, welcome and benefit from the development of a more representative and diverse board membership across our sporting nation.”

Mr Kang added: “Diversifying boards makes good business sense. Research shows they make for better decision making and are more profitable. Sport already contributes significantly to the English economy.

“Diversifying the top positions in sport will therefore be a win-win, meaning more people will participate and sport will make a substantially greater financial contribution to our country.”

There is growing evidence to support the economic case for diversifying sport – which already contributes over £20 billion to the English economy.

Research conducted by global management consultant McKinsey and Company in 2012 found that for companies ranked in the top 25% for executive-board diversity, the return on equity was 53 percent higher, on average, than it was for those in the bottom 25 per cent.

At the same time, earnings before income tax at the most diverse companies were 14 percent higher, on average, than those of the least diverse companies.

A lesson in sport

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Sporting Equals CEO, Arun Kang, will be educating delegates on the effect of cultural differences on participation in sport, later this month at the ‘Gathering of All Leaders in Sport Forum’ in Doha.

At the invite of the Emir of Qatar, Mr Kang hopes to take global sports leaders beyond the legal and ethical benefits of inclusion, to create social progress through promoting the business case to diversity, utilising the Sporting Equals equality and diversity model: Inclusive Club.

Speaking before the meet, Mr Kang said: “Clubs have been trying to address race and equality issues for some time, but they haven’t worked out how to do it effectively and to the advantage of the business.

“Presently clubs respond to issues by adjusting systems and procedures, but for a club to invest and fully commit to equality and diversity, it needs to see that this agenda will support its business development.

“Sporting Equals can show them how to embed diversity within the culture of the organisation to their advantage.”

Mr Kang will discuss the importance of empathy, understanding, knowledge and commitment to assess and bring diversity into any sports organisation in order to increase participation and reduce prejudice.

He will also go on to talk economics in his quest to move the global sports industry away from simple risk mitigation towards also chasing the positives that come from embracing diversity.

Sporting Equals Ambassador, and Great Britain Hockey International, Darren Cheesman, will also partake in the speech and explained the issues he hopes to raise, saying: “Prejudices still exist and I have felt the effects throughout my career. As a young boy new into the sport, as a convert to Islam, and through 'banter' in the changing room, I have often felt I didn’t belong.

“It’s vital to create a culture that welcomes difference and variety, whilst maintaining the standards that are required to ensure we are successful.”

DIVERSITY: Sporting Equals CEO, Arun Kang, wants to see more done to ensure every sports club is inclusive

DIVERSITY: Sporting Equals CEO, Arun Kang, wants to see more done to ensure every sports club is inclusive

Mr Kang added: “Understanding and influencing the culture of the organisation and believing in the business case of diversity are paramount to the success of any equality measures and Inclusive Club embeds this principal at the heart of the model.”

Inclusive Club is a model that takes sport beyond the legal and ethical benefits of inclusion, to identify the commercial benefits to each unique organisation. It supports organisations to gain the maximum business impact from being equal and diverse, as well as help to mitigate against risk.

Mr Kang is hoping to persuade global sports leaders to take urgent and widespread action to create an inclusive and diverse culture within the global sports industry.