Aluko backs 30pc black target for boardrooms
Eniola Aluko, the former mer England forward, has signalled ignalled support for the Rooney ey Rule across the British sporting sector after a investigation laid bare re the scarcity of black represensentation in boardrooms.
Aluko and Paul Cleal, eal, an adviser on improving ng diversity at executive ve level, also said clear ar targets for governing ng bodies were needed ed to tackle the dearth in positions of real power. Just three ree per cent of board members of taxpayerfunded national governing rning bodies are black.
During questioning ng by the Digital, Culture, Media a and Sport select committee, Aluko, uko, who is now Aston Villa Women’s sporting director, suggeste suggested a target of 30 per cent sh should be set to increase blac black, Asian and minority ethni ethnic inclusion. Such a goal goa would bring sport broa broadly in line with ambitio ambitions set out for footba football by Kick It Out, the anti-discrimi crimination campaign group.
A Aluko also said foo football should be aim aiming to “find a bla black Pep Guardiola or a black Jur Jurgen Klopp”. S Signalling her support for the Rooney Rule, pion pioneered in American football to ensure teams interview ethnic-minority candidates for head coaching and senior football operation jobs, Aluko added that “mandatory BAME interviewees for jobs” would help ensure equal opportunity. “If it’s not in front of you, you’re not going to choose it,” she said.
In 2017, Aluko, who has 102 England caps, received a public apology from the Football Association after giving evidence to the same committee of MPs surrounding race remarks made by former international coach Mark Sampson.
Yesterday, she said that committee hearing had been a positive step, but explained “there has to be something intentional about change” when asked about lingering issues with representation.
“When you rely on self-regulation, people tend to just fall back into a comfort zone; what they’ve always done,” the 33-year-old said.
A 30 per cent target suggested by campaigners is “a good one in terms of it being something that you can always strive and achieve towards”.
Mandatory rules elsewhere in sport, such as home-grown player quotas, have shown that reform “can instinctively change investment behaviour” and mandatory change is needed “whether owners or directors like it or not”.
Aluko expressed some support for transgender rights in football. She also said she hoped an elite male footballer would soon feel emboldened to come out as gay, which would be a “game-changer”.
The former Birmingham City, Chelsea and Juventus player said she supported Premier League plans to take control of the top two tiers of the women’s game.
Equal opportunity: Eniola Aluko supports Rooney Rule