Education

Bournemouth Uni business students talk equality, diversity and inclusion with AFC Bournemouth

By Sam Pither [email protected]

Published: February 21, 2024 | Updated: 21st February 2024

Students from Bournemouth University Business School (BUBS) took part in a focus group on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) with AFC Bournemouth.

As well as taking part in the focus group with the club’s EDI and Engagement and Human Resources departments, the students were given a tour of the stadium, including visiting the dressing rooms and taking a seat in the dugout.

In 2021 the Premier League launched the Premier League Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Standard (PLEDIS), which provides a framework for clubs to drive changes in EDI. Clubs are now developing this aspect of their work across all areas of their organisation and as part of this move AFC Bournemouth asked students to contribute towards the development of several of their policies in this area.

Students were drawn from both undergraduate and postgraduate programmes across the Business School in areas such as Management with Human Resources, Sport Management, Business and Management our Senior Leader Apprenticeship.

Following a presentation from staff, students examined a number of draft policy documents and then provided feedback on these policies. The students represent a wide range of backgrounds and nations and their personal experiences, coupled with what they have learned as part of their studies, offered unique insights that will help the club moving forward.

Hannah Powis, Head of EDI & Engagement at AFC Bournemouth, said: “We thoroughly enjoyed having the group of students participate in this workshop, they were engaged, professional and gave some really interesting insights into how we can better improve some of our HR policies. We very much look forward to doing something like this again in the future.”

This activity, led by Dr Parisa Gilani and involving Dr Keith Parry, Dr Deborah Taylor and Dr Emma Kavanagh, not only provided the students with insights into the working of a professional sports club, but it also allowed them to shape real-world practices and to positively impact the experiences of employees at the club.

The activity is an example of the BUBS mission to inspire people and organisations to grow in a responsible and empathetic way in order to make a difference.

Oluwaseun Awogbenle studies an MSc in Sustainable Economic Development and said: “It was a huge honour to have been a part of the AFC Bournemouth Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Focus Group and to have had a rare opportunity to review the Club’s onboarding and induction process to deepen inclusion for all groups.

“I am delighted by the opportunity to contribute ideas, make input and share experiences from the lens of an ethnic minority, to make the overall process more diverse.

“I am deeply encouraged to see the commitment of AFC Bournemouth to leverage the power of the badge to make change, encourage love and support for everyone. I am confident that with efforts like this, no one will be left behind”.

Senior Leader Apprenticeship student Alfie Hernandez Sanchez said, “I was thrilled for the opportunity BU provided to collaborate with AFC Bournemouth.

“Helping shape EDI practices in recruitment for a Premier League club was incredible and a great opportunity for networking and paving the way for a fairer future.”

Bournemouth University and AFC Bournemouth have a long-standing partnership, which is now in its 11th year. The partnership works to provide benefits for staff, students, supporters, and the local community. For more information, visit www.bournemouth.ac.uk/afc-bournemouth.

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