28 April 2021 – Wasps Group commit to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion through new programme and partnership (UK)

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Work to measure current ED&I position will drive long-term strategy and future plans.

Today, Wasps Group announces a new programme which reinforces the club and venue’s commitment to Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (ED&I) and will inform work on an update to their values and ED&I strategy.

Since his appointment last year, Wasps Group CEO, Stephen Vaughan, has talked publicly about both the importance of ED&I to the business and improvements needed across sport. Although, as with most other sporting clubs and businesses, Wasps Group has been hit by the global pandemic and saw cuts being made over the past year, ED&I has been a key focus for the business and is an area that it feels it can lead, with the hope others will follow suit.

Wasps Group has organically built a strong, inclusive culture and already has a diverse group of players across its rugby and netball teams. Now, having partnered with an ED&I Consultancy, In Diverse Company (IDC), Wasps Group are progressing plans that will produce significant improvements in Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion over the next few years and beyond.

The first piece of work that is currently underway is IDC’s Culture Audit, which measures the cultural maturity of an organisation based on the attitudes and behaviours of current employees, the organisations systems in place, data and insight and executive and employee engagement. The Culture Audit will enable Wasps Group to benchmark their current ED&I position, understand their culture across different areas of the business, and learn what must be done to improve. This piece of work will be carried out through a series of surveys and focus groups, involving everybody that is part of the club and business – players, coaches, employees, leadership teams, supporters, customers, and partners.

Following this, Wasps will use the insights gained to embark on a piece of work to refresh the club’s brand and values – with the aim of creating a renewed mission that everybody involved in Wasps is aligned to.

Finally, the outcomes of the audit will be used to define Wasps Group’s ED&I strategy and focus for the next three years, with initial results published later this year. The business is particularly focused on ensuring external stakeholders and community engagement play a big part in the strategy and that it drives diversity not just through representation but through diversity of thought.

Stephen Vaughan said: “Sport has a vital role to play in tackling inequality, and we strongly believe that by putting equality, diversity and inclusion at the heart of this club’s strategy, we will better reflect the community in which we live.

“There has been a lot of coverage recently about the ongoing effects of racism and sexism in sport, without any real commitment to change. The impact that issues of inequality have on individuals and society are enormous, which is why we are proud to be launching a comprehensive ED&I strategy.

“We strive to be a business that represents the community irrespective of age, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, disability, marital status, religion or belief. Although I am proud of the culture already in place, we have to be open and honest about how much more can be done and by looking at what action needs to take place to be truly outstanding in this area, we can ensure we are following up positive thoughts with positive action.

“We want to be a great business and club to work for, work with and support and building a truly diverse and inclusive culture for everyone involved is key to making that happen.”

Johanna Beresford, Chief Executive Officer at In Diverse, added: “This is a pivotal piece of work. Wasps are leading in the area of ED&I, the commitment they are making to understand the different lived experiences of players, staff, fans, community, and wider stakeholders will ensure they create a strategy that delivers an ED&I strategy that allows everyone to perform at their best and be able to be their full self. The focus on equality, inclusion, diversity and engagement – is not a box ticking exercise or tokenism, but deep work to foster a culture of inclusion for all.”

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