By Jonathan Davies
The man behind the 'Rooney Rule' , which requires American football teams to interview at least one black of ethnic minority candidate for head coach positions, has called for it to be used in British football.
There are currently only two black or ethnic minority managers in the Football League, which consists of 92 clubs.
Dan Rooney, 82, told BBC Radio 5 live: "I would tell British clubs that if they would look at this openly they will find this is a positive thing."
"The plus side of this is you're increasing your list of people to look at and it would really work. I couldn't recommend it enough for the teams in Britain," he said.
In a statement, the Premier League said in response to Mr Rooney's comments: "The situation that brought about the introduction of the 'Rooney Rule' in the NFL is markedly different to football. But our ultimate goal is the same.
"What we want to achieve, by working with the FA, Football League, managers and coaches, is more and better coaches coming through the English system who can progress to the highest levels of the game on merit and regardless of race, ethnicity, gender or background."
Should it be used in business?
Equality in business have grown in awareness in recent years. But the focus has not just on black and ethnic minority people; women in business has also become a hot topic in recently.
A simple search on Google brings about countless articles questioning whether quotas should be imposed on the businesses to boost the number of women in boardrooms. Germany is one of the countries to have brought in quotas; 30% of German boardrooms will have to be female from 2016.
BBC Dragon's Den star, Piers Linney, was yesterday named Entrepreneur Leader of the Year at the Black British Business Awards. After winning the award, Mr Linney said: “It is crucial that the considerable talents of these black professionals and business leaders are recognised. The black community continues to have a major impact on the future growth of the UK."
Julia Meighan is Chief Executive at VMA Group, and a strong believer that quotas are not the answer. Referring specifically to women in the boardroom, Julia said: “The solution to the challenge of getting more women into the boardroom isn’t through quotas in my view. Instead we simply need to recognise what is really holding female professionals back. That’s not to say that providing childcare or flexible working hours — as many have suggested — is the way forward either. In fact I don’t believe this is what women need at all.”
“If we were to assess the actual challenge that is stopping many women from progressing to this level I would suggest it is perhaps a lack of the requisite skills to speak the language of the board. Yes, many corporate boards are dominated by men and are, as a result, very masculine in nature. The solution is not to throw a woman into this environment and hope for the best. Instead, females need to be equipped with the confidence to go into the boardroom with the possibly bullish nature that their peers possess and really drive conversations.”
Eleanor Bradley, COO at Nominet, said: "Boards need to have the best people for the roles, and quotas can enforce artificial criteria for selection that are unrelated to a candidate’s ability to fulfil the role well, which has to be the top priority in business.
"The focus needs to be on encouraging to progression at all levels of an organisation, to increase the pool of qualified and experienced candidates for board positions when the time comes."
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