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    Diversity, Inclusion, and Gender Equity Initiatives in Football Workplaces: A Cross-National Comparison

    Salomon, Gabrielle A (2021) Diversity, Inclusion, and Gender Equity Initiatives in Football Workplaces: A Cross-National Comparison. Doctoral thesis (PhD), Manchester Metropolitan University.


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    Literature on gender issues has highlighted that industries, such as sport, are to be considered highly male-prevalent. Acknowledging these inequitable practices, a number of decisions and programmes have been established in favour of both the involvement and development of gender equity in sport. Nevertheless, the impacts of these initiatives are not supported by a cross-comparative analysis to understand their potential overlap, and their actual efficiency. The formation of this study is based on the suggestion that future research needs to investigate the evolution of gender equity in sport from managerial and business perspectives. There already is a great deal of literature about women who have broken the glass ceiling in sport. Thus, the main aim of this study is to investigate the perspectives of those who hold entry and middle management roles (positions held prior to management opportunities). The purpose is to explore if current diversity initiatives are perceived as effective by those in the leadership pipeline within professional football clubs. This research employs a sequential explanatory mixed-method design (survey then interviews) to examine whether sport policies, funding incentives, organisational initiatives, and employment legislation impact diversity, equity, and inclusion in the football management workplace. A cross-national study (England, Scotland, USA, Canada) involves interpreting institutional processes, in which national cultural characteristics play a major role, that are directly focused on gender equity in the football workplace. From the data collected, an evaluation on individuals’ perceptions around gender equity efforts within football club workplaces can occur. A total of 488 participants engaged with the survey in this study, with 14 of these participants taking part in interviews during phase two. The key findings in this study indicated that participants do not perceive diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts to address gender equity as appropriate, and that work needs to be done to include more marginalised groups voices during strategic diversity planning. This cross-national comparison helps identify best practices and reflects on transferability in varying geographical and cultural contexts. It enables the identification of 11 practical recommendations in the conclusion of this PhD thesis.

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