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BU students take part in EDI focus group with AFC Bournemouth


AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

Students from Bournemouth University Business School (BUBS) recently engaged with AFC Bournemouth for a focus group on equality, diversity and inclusion.

As a part of the visit, students also had the opportunity to visit Vitality Stadium for a tour.

The purpose was to take part in an equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) focus group with the EDI and engagement and human resources departments at the club.

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, the Cherries asked students to contribute towards the development of several policies in this area.

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 and engagement 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 EDI 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’m 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 added: “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."

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