“Rooney Rule”

NFL establishes rule to interview women for executive positions

Line Judge Sarah Thomas in action during the game between the Houston Texans and the New Orleans Saints. (Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

On Thursday, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced that, in an effort to create more opportunities for women, he would extend the “Rooney Rule” — which requires the League to interview one minority candidate for executive positions — to include women as well. “We believe in diversity,” he said. “We believe we’re better as an organization when we have good people at the table. We have great people at the table. We’re also seeing it on the field.”

Goodell said at the League’s first-ever Women’s Summit in San Francisco, as he announced the new measure, “Again, we’re going to keep making progress here and make a difference.” Currently, 30 percent of employees in the NFL’s front office are female, and several women serve as VP on the league level. “You have to have a rule that starts it,” said Michelle McKenna-Doyle, a senior VP and CIO for the league. “You still pick the best candidate, but it’s just being in consideration, it shows a big vote of confidence. It will change the face of the NFL.”

In recent month, women have started breaking barriers in the league: last season, Sarah Thomas was hired as the first female official in the NFL, and last month the Bills hired Kathryn Smith as a special-teams assistant coach — the first full-time female coach in the league.

Read the full story at ESPN.

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