The Scottish FA has established a new Equality and Diversity Advisory Board (EDAB), designed to enhance inclusivity and ensure Scottish football moves towards a better representation of Scotland.

As a core component of the ‘Scotland United: 2020 Vision’ strategy, the Scottish FA has made a commitment to progressing and embedding equality within Scottish football at all levels, of which the EDAB is a fundamental initiative. 

The newly-formed EDAB convened for its first meeting at Hampden last week and will subsequently meet quarterly. It aims to serve as a senior supporting group to provide guidance and ensure that the Scottish FA’s commitment to inclusion, equality and diversity is embedded throughout the Scottish FA´s structures, plans and activities.

Chaired by Ralph Topping, a member of the Scottish FA Board, the EDAB consists of six independent members with expertise in different aspects of equality and diversity, the Scottish FA’s Chief Executive, Head of Human Resources, and Diversity and Inclusion Manager. 

At the initial meeting EDAB members were presented with an introduction to the Scottish FA structure, an overview of equality initiatives already undertaken and a review of the new grassroots Disability Strategy due to be launched later this year.

Ralph Topping said: “We are proud of the Scottish FA’s work towards equality and the strides we have made. Appointing this Advisory Board will support our aim of being fully representative and inclusive within all areas and levels of our work.”

Grant Jarvie, EDAB member and Professor and Director, Academy of Sport at Edinburgh University said: “I have been committed to fighting inequality and creating opportunity all of my working life and recognise that football is a great social tool around which you can build other things. It has been and continues to be a resource of hope in many parts of the world.

Helen Webster, EDAB member and Chief Executive of Aberdeen Life said: “Aberdeen Asset Management has a good record in promoting equality and diversity, both in our own workplace and the wider financial services industry, and I look forward to using that experience in the work of the EDAB going forward.”

The Scottish FA last year appointed Hala Ousta as the organisation’s first Diversity and Inclusion Manager, whose remit is to ensure the association meets its objectives towards being progressive, representative and inclusive of all in Scotland.

Hala has been invited to speak at the #FIFA4Equality Conference at FIFA’s headquarters next week, where she will discuss and share the Scottish FA’s approach towards embedding equality and diversity throughout the organisation.

“The Scottish FA has taken a proactive and progressive approach with equality and diversity and continues to strive to ensure that equality is embedded across all areas of our work,” said Hala.

“We are committed to creating equal opportunities for all and welcome the appointment to the Equality and Diversity Advisory Board of such experienced members to support us in our journey.”

View the biographies of the Equality and Diversity Advisory Board members here.