The Canadian Football League has launched its Diversity in Football Program as a step towards greater inclusivity, diversity and equity across the league and in its business.
Created with the help of resources provided by the CFL’s employer partner, the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion, the program will see each of the CFL’s nine member clubs welcome an additional individual from a diverse cultural background to join its football operations or business administration departments.
Participants will spend approximately four weeks in the program, gaining experience over the course of training camp, which is slated to open on May 15 and end on June 4.
“We often say that, on and off the field, diversity is strength,” said CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie in a statement. “We are taking real, practical steps to practicing inclusion and embracing diversity in our league and workplace.”
“Organizations that reflect their communities by promoting diversity and fostering inclusivity have been shown to be more successful and innovative,” said Susan Jones Bouk, the league’s chief people officer and head of office operations.
“This program is not only an opportunity for participants to gain practical work experience and to make new contacts, but it also allows them to better understand and proudly use the strengths and insights they have gained through their individual backgrounds.
“Our clubs will in turn, be able to engage and learn from these individuals and their unique and personal experiences. As a league, we have more to learn and more to do, but this is a step in the right direction.”
“The CFL has a history of welcoming diverse players and personnel,” added Greg Dick, the league’s head of football operations. “But as we look ahead and plan for the future of our game, the Diversity in Football Program is one of a number of initiatives to help ensure Canadians of all backgrounds can help shape professional football in our country.”
The application process for the program opens on April 12 and closes on April 20.