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League announces enhancements, updates to diversity, equity, inclusion efforts

The NFL on Tuesday at the Fall League Meeting announced a host of enhancements and updates to hiring practices and diversity initiatives. 

During the meeting, the league reported progress made in diversity across all 32 clubs and the league office. The Diversity Advisory Committee (DAC) also met with ownership during the meetings to discuss their consistent, ongoing work with the clubs and the league office.

Below are a list of updates and initiatives:


Hiring Process Changes

  1. Inclusive Training: Key decisionmakers in a head coach or general manager search, including owners, required to participate in inclusive hiring training prior to HC or GM search.
  2. Third-Party Expert: Recommend clubs' decisionmakers work with a third-party coach or consultant with expertise in inclusive hiring practices when conducting a HC or GM search to assist with the hiring process.

Hiring Best Practices Guidebook

  • The league office is launching a comprehensive hiring best practices guidebook for club owners and executives. The guide consists of videos and a written framework, including a checklist that details best practices for how to conduct a search to foster more equity and inclusivity.

Diverse Offensive Assistants

  • In March 2022, the membership unanimously adopted a resolution requiring all 32 clubs to employ a diverse offensive assistant (women and/or person of color) to further strengthen the pipeline of diverse coaches on the offensive side of the ball. At this time, all 32 clubs have employed a diverse offensive assistant.


Diversity Advisory Committee

  • The DAC was formed in March of 2022 to review the league's overall diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) policies and procedures, which is an ongoing process.

Over the last several months, the committee has conducted a comprehensive examination of diversity data, reviewed key policies and procedures and met with the commissioner and DEI Committee. The DAC is now engaging directly with league staff, club owners, front office executives and coaches to discuss recent DEI efforts, the hiring process and other DEI related matters. All interviews with the DAC are confidential.

The DAC will be updating ownership over the next few months and at the December League meeting.

Data Collection

  • Club and League Diversity Data

We have collected and analyzed diversity demographic data at the league office and all 32 clubs for the third consecutive season, including race, ethnicity, gender and generational diversity. We retained a third party to aggregate and analyze the data and provide customized diversity reports to each club and each major business unit at the league office.

  • Club and League Office Reports

The club diversity reports will allow each team to examine its diverse representation as compared to other clubs. A top-level summary of the club data shows that clubs have increased diversity in several key areas over the last three seasons. The league office diversity reports examine diverse representation within all major business units.

Networking, Programming and Development

  • Accelerator: Continued Development

At the May 2022 meeting, 61 diverse prospective head coach and general manager candidates (nominated by the clubs) participated in two days of programming focused on:

  1. Networking and gaining exposure to club owners and senior staff
  2. Education about the business of football
  3. Leadership development, particularly how to take the next step to HC or GM

The participants also spent significant time with club owners and key executives networking and developing vital relationships, a critical component to the program's success.

To build on the success of the accelerator program and continue to support the growth and advancement of the participants, we have provided development programming and individual support over the summer and throughout the season.

The league office will also provide more networking and development opportunities for Accelerator front office participants during the Winter League Meeting.

Women in Coaching Positions

  • We continue to increase the number of women in coaching positions. In training camp, the NFL had 15 women (40% women of color) in coaching positions, which is the largest number in league history, and a greater representation than is seen in any other male professional sport. This represents a 25% increase from last year (12 women). The Women's Careers in Football Forum continues to play a major role in this growth. The forum will continue to provide additional opportunities for women working towards a career as a professional football coach or front office executive.