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NHL's First Diversity and Inclusion Report Finds 84% ​​of Employees Are White

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NEW YORK — The NHL released its first-ever comprehensive diversity and inclusion report at Tuesday’s board meeting, providing a snapshot of demographic challenges while highlighting efforts to foster social change.

The 24-page report, entitled Accelerating Diversity & Inclusion, details the work of the NHL’s Executive Inclusion Council and three subcommittees over the past two years. level.

“We need to better understand and engage all layers of diversity – nationality, race, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability and religion –” said NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman in the report. “Every day, we work to ensure that inclusion becomes ‘who we are’ rather than ‘what we do.'”

Much of the report focuses on employment practices around the NHL, assessed through focused workplace demographic surveys.

According to reports, there have been positive steps. The league has partnered with diversity hiring startup Jopwell to expand its talent pool and hire a full-time recruiting director in the second half of 2021, with a focus on attracting more diverse talent. The NHL Coaches Association has created a coaching program for the woman and her BIPOC candidates, and her 10 women are included in the AHL’s 2021-22 roster of on-ice officials. Now in the NHL she has five female assistant general managers, and San Jose’s Mike Her Greer became the first black GM in league history.

“This is a good start, but no one is taking the winning lap.” I did this because I wanted to keep my feet on the ground, and being transparent and being accountable isn’t as scary as it felt three years ago. [the governors] Please understand that their leadership is important. Going back to talk to management about this made a difference. ”

However, the NHL still has large demographic inequalities. According to the report, 83.6% of employees across the NHL and its teams are White, 4.17% Asian, 3.74% Black, 3.71% Hispanic/Latino, 0.5% Indigenous, and 2.48% of employees has chosen not to respond. The report found that 65.44% of NHL interns and fellowships are white, and 69.6% of personnel departments are white.

The report found that 61.86% of NHL employees are male and 36.81% are female. These numbers change dramatically when it comes to marketing, branding and content employees, identifying 52.72% as male and 46.2% as female.

Four out of 10 NHL fans in the United States are women, according to a study cited in the report.

According to the report, 93.14% of NHL employees identify as straight or straight, 1.52% bisexual, 1.12% gay and 0.81% lesbian.

Davis said more work needs to be done to make the NHL more attractive to applicants from underrepresented groups.

“When you’re talking about hiring an underrepresented audience, [people are] Like, “OK, I just woke up and I’m going to hire someone.” The question is how those markets view you. How do they experience your brand?” he said. It’s like, ‘I know I can get there, but will I survive and thrive? ”

Part of that marketing is a new Fan Code of Conduct developed in collaboration with Sports Innovation Lab, a sports marketing company co-founded by Hockey Hall of Famer Angela Ruggiero. The aim is to create a welcoming environment for all fans by covering aspects such as security and promoting a better experience for people with health conditions and disabilities.

“If you hear bad reception in the stadium, you probably don’t want to work for us, do you?” Davis said. “Everything is related to everything else.”

This Code of Conduct is one of two major recommendations developed by the NHL’s Fan Inclusion Commission. The other is a “pod” structure that brings together the NHL, its teams, minority viewers and experts to learn how best to build genuine relationships with these communities. The first Club Marketing Pod centered around the South Asian community started meeting in his June.

This report focuses on seven “dimensions” that tie together the NHL’s diversity efforts. Leadership, Education, Hiring, Marketing, Partnerships, Participation and Community Engagement.

Davis said education is the NHL’s strongest growth area. The league began doing a good chunk of its third-party education work during his COVID-19 pandemic, when revenues were down and staff were away. But Davis said he spent more than $500,000 to help the NHL promote Zoom-based “focused learning” for all league employees.

“There’s an old saying, ‘If you know it well, you can do it well.’ That kind of focus on this kind of work helps people get used to the things that are often uncomfortable. “Some people are embarrassed to say it. In the past two years, in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, we’ve all become more open and vulnerable about what we don’t know.” I think I was able to do the job.”

The death of Floyd, a black man in Minneapolis police custody in May 2020, became the catalyst for a racial and social justice movement that has swept the sports world. NHL teams and players issued statements and calls to action addressing racial injustice in the wake of Floyd’s killing.

Since then, the league as a whole has faced criticism for not speaking out or actively addressing racial issues in public. I believe there is. She cites the NHL’s Player Engagement Committee as an example.

“They made some specific recommendations beyond locker room training on how they want to be involved as players.” No, it shouldn’t be public, there’s a lot of work that has to be done behind the scenes.”

For example, Davis said there will be communication with the team regarding how they will approach law enforcement appreciation nights and how some of their fans will view them.

“This is a blind spot for many of us as to how one part of the community admires the group and another part fears the group, both of which are true depending on their point of view. “We’ve talked to clubs about this and they’ve listened and a lot of clubs have learned how to do it better. It’s a complicated issue.” [issue]But people are open to listening and understanding how perception can become a reality for those of us who are trying to feel comfortable and welcome in our sport. ”

There is still more work to be done behind the scenes. The 27-year-old NHL team has established or is seeking to establish a D&I council or working group, according to reports, four more than Davis’ group. Davis said some teams that haven’t established them are grappling with pandemic-related staffing challenges, and he’s only 14 teams that have hired D&I specialists. Some team owners have these experts in other aspects of the corporate structure, Davis said, while other teams have no idea what individuals to look for to fill the role. I am still learning.

The report notes several future initiatives, including the relaunch of the NHL and NHLPA’s “Hockey Is For All” campaign and a broad coalition of partners “using sport as a force for empowerment and inclusion.” I’m here. The NHL Street Ball Hockey program will be further expanded. The league also plans to conduct another labor demographic survey to assess progress in diversity hiring practices.