Diversity Equity & Inclusion
The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic community exemplifies its strength through the intersectionality of its athlete population, which showcases a total diversity of human characteristics and perspectives. In support of its community, the USOPC remains committed to building a better, more inclusive world through sport by championing diversity, equity and inclusion throughout the Movement.
To focus its efforts, the USOPC restructured its business practice and hired a director of DE&I. In turn, the team launched new DE&I initiatives to provide opportunities to learn how to be more inclusive and foster belonging, to collaborate, identify and share practices, and to meaningfully engage and drive impact across the Movement.
Diversity Scorecard Program
The USOPC successfully implemented the eighth edition of its award-winning annual Diversity Scorecard Program, in accordance with the Ted Stevens Act. The Scorecards collect diversity data related to race, ethnicity, gender, disability and military veteran status from the USOPC, National Governing Bodies and High Performance Management Organizations. In 2020, the USOPC added new data elements to the Scorecards, including the six internally managed Paralympic NGBs, as well as USOPC interns and part-time workers to provide additional transparency. The NGB and HPMO scorecards were also included in the NGB audit process and DE&I information was integrated into the NGB and HPMO application and recertification process.
For the USOPC, the number of people of color in the workforce remained at 17%, while the number of veterans decreased by 1.6 percentage points across the organization. The percentage of women in the organization increased to 59% and people with disabilities increased to 2.3%. The USOPC also implemented additional processes and initiatives to allow the organization to achieve more sustainable diversity workforce progress in 2021 and beyond. Visit TeamUSA.org/Inclusion to view the full report and learn more.
Additionally, the 2020 NGB and HPMO scorecard data indicated a 5% increase in female executive and senior-level officials from the previous year. There was also 11% growth in minority executives and senior-level officials. Among the NGBs and HPMOs, there was also a 143% growth in persons with disabilities and a 46% increase in veterans in executive, senior-level, professional staff and standing committee positions.
Key Programs and Initiatives
The USOPC also reviewed and revised guiding principles for its Community Resource Groups to promote more active participation across the Movement. In addition to the three existing CRGs, the USOPC also facilitated the creation of two new groups for people of color and people with disabilities and their allies. A position of NGB co-chair was also created within each CRG to further promote NGB inclusion and participation. Each CRG will kick off its operation under new leadership and structure in 2021.
During Pride Month, the USOPC created the Gender Pronoun Project to promote gender inclusivity. The project included education on the importance of gender pronouns and providing personal pronouns in communications.
Additionally, the USOPC launched the Educate, Enact and Engage conversation series in response to the racial justice protests in 2020, with goals of amplifying marginalized voices, providing knowledge and promoting allyship. The discussion series hosted five sessions that covered psychological safety, unconscious bias, representation, intersectionality and disability inclusion. After creating a solid foundation, the series will continue with a focus on collaboration with CRGs, NGBs and other internal groups.
Each year, the USOPC recognizes two NGBs or High Performance Management Organizations for their outstanding DE&I work through the DE&I Choice Award and the Advancing DE&I Award. The DE&I Choice Award recognizes an NGB or HPMO for a single or series of diversity, equity and inclusion best practices conducted in the previous year, while the Advancing DE&I award recognizes the NGB that has shown the most improvement on their DE&I scorecard from year to year. The winner for each award receives $5,000 to aid in the continuation of their work. In 2020, USA Volleyball won the DE&I Choice Award and the Advancing DE&I Award went to USA Basketball.
Team USA Council on Racial and Social Justice
In August, the USOPC, Athletes’ Advisory Council, National Governing Bodies and the U.S. Olympians & Paralympians Association convened the Council on Racial and Social Justice. This athlete-led group comprised of over 40 Team USA athletes, alumni, NGB representatives, and industry thought leaders committed to representing Team USA in advocating for fair and equitable policy and practices within the Olympic and Paralympic movements, both within the U.S. and globally. The Council was founded in response to the societal unrest calling for racial equity and social justice.
When the Council was formed, many Team USA athletes shared their deep desire to speak on these issues, and to lead as a positive force for change in the community. The Council aims to create pathways for dialogue, advocate for action and work toward implementing impactful change across the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic movements in four key areas:
- The right to protest and demonstrate
- Athlete expression and advocacy
- Institutional awareness and cultural change
- Acts of racism and discrimination
The desired outcomes for the council’s work include:
- Unified U.S. athlete recommendations to the International Olympic Committee, International Paralympic Committee and both the global and U.S. Olympic and Paralympic communities on the right to protest and demonstrate.
- A comprehensive repository of existing measures addressing social injustice, racism and discrimination in both the global and U.S. Olympic and Paralympic communities, and identity areas for improvement.
- Community-wide commitment to eradicating social injustice through athlete advocacy and amplification.
- Recommended action items and steps for athletes, the USOPC, NGBs, and both the global and U.S. Olympic and Paralympic communities to implement and cultivate systematic change.
With support of the USOPC and Athletes’ Advisory Council, the Council released several recommendations to update Rule 50 of the International Olympic Committee’s Olympic Charter and the International Paralympic Committee’s Handbook section 1, chapter 3, subsection 2.2 to address athletes’ human rights to ethically and peacefully protest and demonstrate at the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The Council continues to work and put forth additional recommendations relating to racial and social justice reforms within the movements.
The USOPC looks forward to continued partnership with Team USA athletes and other key stakeholders to foster belonging by learning and increasing diversity, championing inclusivity and operating equitably throughout the organization.