Washington Football Team hires consultancy to advise on diversity and inclusion

08 June 2021 Consulting.us 2 min. read
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The Washington Football Team has hired consulting firm Vestry Laight to help the organization advance a “culture of genuine diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)," according to a release from the football team.

The New York-based, boutique consultancy will conduct a review of the team’s updated HR policies and practices, benchmark the organization against best-in-class DEI organizations, and deliver ongoing consulting to the organization to ensure its DEI program is “meaningful, enduring, and measurable.”

Following nationwide anti-racism protests, Washington Football Team finally dropped its “Redskins” name in 2020. The team also hired Ron Rivera as the team’s first Latino head coach and Jason Wright, a former McKinsey partner, as the first Black team president in the NFL.

The team was forced to launch an investigation in July 2020 after 15 female former employees and two journalists accused the team’s staff of sexual harassment and verbal abuse. Additionally, a December 2020 report from The Washington Post revealed the team paid a former employee $1.6 million in 2009 to settle a sexual misconduct claim against majority owner Dan Snyder.

Washington Football Team hires consultancy to advise on diversity and inclusion

According to Vestry Laight’s website, the firm specializes in conducting sexual misconduct investigations. The firm’s four consultants deliver workplace assessments, litigation consulting, culture change advisory, and executive coaching in workplace boundaries and inclusive leadership.

"Bringing in a team like Vestry Laight will give us an objective look at the progress we've made and – more importantly – expert advice on how to sustain the rate of progress over the long-term. We want to be sure we are doing all we can to go above and beyond the expectations of diversity, equity, and inclusion to become a best practice organization for our employees, players, fans and the entire DMV community," said team owners Dan and Tanya Snyder in a press release.

Brande Stellings, principal at Vestry Laight, will lead the engagement, which begins immediately. The firm’s team will be “fully integrated” into the Washington Football Team’s DEI internal personnel and resources.

“We look forward to working with the Washington Football Team to continue to build a culture of inclusion and respect,” Stellings said. “Vestry Laight will provide a strategic focus to help the organization achieve its goal of setting the highest standard for equity in sports."