Katherine Grainger: UK Sport chair says now is time for ‘real change’ in ethnic diversity – BBC News

UK Sport chair Granger says gender diversity targets have been met, but ethic representation remains an issue

There will never be a better time to “create real change” in ethnic diversity at boardroom level, UK Sport chair Dame Katherine Grainger says.

Black Lives Matters protests in the UK have attracted thousands of people, and several sporting figures have spoken out, after the death of George Floyd.

The 46-year-old American died in police custody in Minneapolis in May.

Grainger says ethnic representation across UK sports bodies is an issue that “needs to be looked into”.

The 44-year-old told BBC Scotland’s Fair Play: Women in Sport Show: “I definitely think change needs to happen.

“The gender side of things at board level was put in as targets and have been achieved. You can see real change is happening there.

“With ethnic diversity, the targets weren’t put in at that point and it was almost, ‘we need to roll out the governance code for a year to see where it’s needed’. That’s going to be looked at.

“What is stopping people coming into these roles or opportunities? What are the blockers – whether they are real or perceived – and which ones can we eliminate?

“Every conversation I’ve had in the last few weeks, everyone is very committed to this and agrees that, with the momentum now behind it, it’s the best time we’re ever going to have to create real change.”

Former rower Grainger – Great Britain’s most decorated female Olympian – has been head of the national funding body for the last three years. She says steps have been taken to improve ethnic diversity but that more needs to be done.

“We put in money last year to help develop people who might want to come into board or executive leadership from very different diverse backgrounds, who need the support and help to get the right level of entry to come into those roles,” she added.

“So some of it is short-term easier fixes and some is longer term because it takes time to change things.”

This week’s podcast with Katherine Grainger on Fair Play: Women in Sport Show will be available from Thursday 9 July. You can listen on BBC Sounds or on the BBC website HERE.

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