Survey reveals lack of women in Scottish football boardrooms
Only three out of 70 directors at Scotland’s top football clubs are women, the Daily Record has revealed.
A survey of Scotland’s 12 Ladbrokes Premiership clubs reveals the huge gender imbalance at a time when women lead all three main political parties at Holyrood and Britain has a new female Prime Minister.
And, with only one director from an ethnic minority, the boardrooms of Scotland’s top-flight clubs lack diversity.
The three women are Ann Budge at Hearts, Motherwell’s Leanne Thomas and Jacqui Low at Partick Thistle.
Budge is also the owner, while Thomas is the daughter of Motherwell majority shareholder Les Hutchison.
Low is the only one of the three who had no other link to the club before being invited on to the Firhill board.
The only Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) board member is Ajay Chopra at Partick Thistle. Neither Celtic nor Rangers has ever had a woman director.
Former solicitor general Lesley Thomson was appointed to the board of Scottish Rugby in 2013 and Scottish Golf chairman Eleanor Cannon is one of three women on that board.
But the Scottish Football Association (SFA), the game’s governing body, have never had a woman director in 143 years.
The Scottish Professional Football League now have three females on their nine-member board.
Karyn McCluskey was appointed as an independent non-executive director in February, while Budge was elected as one of the three Premiership representatives on Wednesday.
Leeann Dempster, the Hibs chief executive, was also voted on as one of the two Championship representatives.
An SFA spokesman hinted this might soon be rectified, saying: “We are ever mindful of the need to have greater diversity across Scottish football.”
Dempster, who joined the Easter Road club after six years in the hot seat at Motherwell, said yesterday she had never experienced negative reactions.
Previously working in media and advertising, she was persuaded into football by then Motherwell chairman John Boyle.
Dempster said: “Maybe I’ve been lucky in my career that the people I work with have engaged me for the work I do rather than gender or any other element. I have an expectation on how I want to be treated and I wouldn’t accept anything else.
“Genuinely, I haven’t experienced anything negative. Undoubtedly we’re beginning to see more diversity in the game and that, for me, can only be a good thing.”
From: Daily Record