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“Diversity and inclusion is a hugely important topic for FIFA” says Joyce Cook CBE

When decided to highlight key women in their organisation as part of this year’s International Women’s Day celebrations, the decision to speak with Joyce Cook CBE was an obvious one.

A board member of Women in Football until 2016, when she took up a new role at FIFA, Joyce has since taken up the position of Chief Education and Social Responsibility Officer.

She remains a leading voice for the LGBTIQ+ and disabled community, as is as a passionate an advocate for equal rights in sport and wider society as ever before.

As part of her interview, which can be viewed in full here, Joyce spoke about how FIFA value Diversity and Inclusion and their approach to making football truly a sport for all.

“Diversity and inclusion is a hugely important topic for FIFA,” Joyce said. “We are firmly committed to encouraging dialogue and recognise the unique platform that football has to reach people.

“In particular, we deliver programmes that not only aim to raise awareness and promote better understanding on key social issues, but also use the unique influence and reach of football to engage people in a positive way.

“One recent example was the #SafeHome campaign to end domestic violence campaigns. FIFA also develops specific promotional initiatives and advocacy campaigns for FIFA tournaments with host countries too.

“Our ongoing work together with the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SCDL) to protect workers rights’, as well as anti-discrimination training programmes, and a range of diversity and inclusion initiatives for the FIFA World Cup in Qatar next year, are further examples.

“More broadly, as part of its overall vision, FIFA is continuing to support a range of development and leadership programmes for women in football, as well as running various internal initiatives, such as the FIFA Women’s Network to support and mentor staff.

“We are very aware that there are challenges in football and that it isn’t immune from issues affecting wider society. A major part of my role is to develop programmes and initiatives to help address these issues. FIFA is open and committed to listening and engaging with key stakeholders, and other experts, to see how we can support awareness-raising more broadly.”

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