GOING FOR THE GOLD
U.S. OLYMPIC COMMITTEE EMBRACING CHANGE
With Profiles in Diversity Journal number one ranking for innovations in diversity, the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) is going for the gold!
The USOC is shining the light on diversity in a public platform using a D&I Scorecard Program that is demonstrating full accountability to internal and external stakeholders. The scorecard is a public assessment of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic family’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. It is embracing differences for optimal athletic performance and achieving better business results.
Jason Thompson, director of diversity and inclusion at the USOC, joined the organization five years ago to help directly impact the 53 National Governing Bodies and High Performance Management Organizations within the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic family. Collectively, these sport organizations are comprised of 53 CEOs; 1,028 board directors; 251 executive committee members; 4,240 standing committee members; 2,283 employees; a combined membership of nearly 4 million; and thousands of up-and-coming athletes and coaches in development pipelines.
REFLECTING CHANGING FACES OF THE NATION
“The Olympic and Paralympic movements can thrive in the United States only if the entire U.S. Olympic and Paralympic family strives to reflect the changing faces of the nation,” said USOC CEO Scott Blackmun.
Fully recognizing that demographics across the United States have become more racially and ethnically diverse, the USOC’s D&I Scorecard Program identifies opportunities to become more diverse and inclusive as it relates to athletes, coaches, staff, board of directors and membership. The program also measures the inclusion of persons with disabilities and military veterans at every level of the organization and the 52 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic NGBs and HPMOs in a manner that respects the uniqueness of each sport and its resources.
ACCOUNTABILITY TO STAKEHOLDERS
By publishing D&I scorecards on TeamUSA.org, the USOC and its member organizations are publicly reaffirming a commitment to diversity and a full level of transparency. This public platform holds the USOC, NGBs and HPMOs accountable to both internal and external stakeholders of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic movements.
Under the program, each scorecard is tailored by sport to reflect the diversity of the team. For example, the benchmark for the percentage of female coaches in a particular sport is based on the percentage of U.S. Women’s National Team athletes for that sport.
The scorecard measures the diversity of the USOC, NGB and HPMO’s board of directors, standing committees, staff, membership, national team coaches, athletes, and developmental team coaches and athletes. It also measures the participation of women, people of color (African American/Black, Asian, Latino(a), Native American, Pacific Islander and two or more races), persons with disabilities and veterans. The benchmarks are designed to provide an assessment and comparison of the NGBs and/or HPMOs while considering the uniqueness of each organization.
As part of the scorecard program, a benchmark is derived from a combination of the U.S. Census, NCAA, and the specific NGB or HPMO’s data. The benchmarks are tailored to each NGB and HPMO to adjust for their staff size, financial resources and uniqueness of their sport.
DIVERSITY BEST PRACTICES
The program has directly impacted how participating organizations plan diversity and inclusion initiatives. Over the last two years, NGBs have created and implemented nearly 30 diversity best practices for their organizations. For example, USA Shooting created a women’s coaching council to develop a pipeline plan to retain and advance women in the sport. Other NGBs, like USA Archery and USA Synchronized Swimming, have also used the scorecards to increase participation of women and people of color by roughly eight percent over one year.
Since the inception of the scorecards, the committee has seen more targeted NGB diversity plans impacting areas of their scorecard with lower representation. Each NGB is required to develop a four-year plan aimed at increasing diversity, ranging from creating more diverse candidate pools to increasing awareness and participation in adaptive and Paralympic sports. The scorecards are a direct indicator of the effectiveness of these D&I strategies and programs.
“The USOC is committed to creating a more diverse and inclusive workplace and sports infrastructure – not only because it’s the right thing to do, but because it’s effective and the success of our organization depends on it,” Blackmun said.
Founded in 1894, the USOC is responsible for supporting, entering and overseeing U.S. teams for the Olympic Games, Paralympic Games, Youth Olympic Games, Pan American Games and Parapan American Games and serves as the steward of the Olympic and Paralympic Movements in the Unites States.