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Diversity, Equity 
and Inclusion at SWB

Soccer Without Borders was founded to build a more inclusive and equitable world through soccer (see our Theory of Change visual on “Our Methods” page). We build spaces where young people develop a sense of belonging, a belief that they can contribute, and have agency. By fostering a healthy identity and social capital, the communities where we work will experience greater gender, racial and ethnic equity, and community cohesion over time. Or, simply put: a more inclusive and equitable world.


Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) is the overarching lens through which we view and approach our work at Soccer Without Borders. To create spaces where all people truly feel like they belong, can contribute, and have agency, Soccer Without Borders applies a lens of DEI to everything that we do. Soccer Without Borders’ DEI committee provides accountability and support for the leader of each area of the organization to model and foster a culture of DEI at SWB. 


Soccer Without Borders believes in the power of representation to foster belonging. We strive to be authentic in all we do and by ensuring that our coaches and program leaders understand, represent, and reflect the communities we serve.

Watch our statement to the SWB community on Black Lives Matter.

Creating a More Inclusive & Equitable World

Baltimore Director Nick poses with a girl on his shoulders in front of a Black Lives Matter mural.

Soccer Without Borders commits to reflecting the inclusive and equitable world we envision, not the inequitable world that exists today. We recognize that this commitment often means taking the harder path. We view challenges and mistakes as inevitable parts of the process; in fact, the spirit of our commitment is not about avoiding challenges or preventing mistakes, but rather how we respond to these challenges and channel what we learn into action to advance equity in ourselves, our systems, our partners, our communities.


***Hover over a category below to see how we are creating a more inclusive and equitable world.

Access & Opportunity

Ensure equitable access to programming, to positions of employment, to advancement, to resources, to decision-making, and to equitable opportunities for learning, for mobility, for speaking, and for unique contributions to the mission through different roles, etc.

What we strive for:

What we strive for:

Did you know:

  • Every year we employ an average of 30 program alumni.

  • We invest in staff development to promote internal mobility: on average, 17% of full-time employees are promoted or hired internally each year

What we strive for:


What we strive for:

Did you know:

Allocate resources (financial, time, attention, etc) equitably across locations, positions, and programs, with accountability through segmentation and benchmarking of data.

  • As part of our compensation benchmarking process, done every 3 years, cost of living ratios are used to maintain internal compensation equity across the organization.

  • Our DEI Committee provides accountability across the organization, including how we invest our resources across the organization; equity became instituted as a core value as a result of a racial justice conversation series organized by the DEI Committee.

Power & Voice

What we strive for:

Did you know:

Distribute influence and “seats at the table” in order to elevate the voices of those closest to the work, valuing contributions between program altitudes, between types of leadership and contribution, and between continents & countries.

  • Participants are included in Hub staff interviews to get their input during the hiring process and to give candidates insight into the priorities of the people we serve.

  • Direct-service staff are included in the budgeting process to make recommendations for resources that directly affect their work.


What we strive for:

Did you know:

Hold an intention of reflecting the communities we serve through diverse voices and cultures, including in boards, in staffing & coaching, in media & content, in positions of leadership.

  • We invest in leadership development and proactive recruitment to provide representation for girls in our programs: year to year on average, ≥50% of SWB staff and coaches identify as female.

  • To promote representation of less visible identities, we encourage our coaches to embody our core value "whole person" and bring their whole selves to SWB to provide more opportunities for youth to see themselves in our coaches.

Impact by the Numbers

Most Recent Year

Gender Equity Image
Coach Image.png
People Circle Image.png


of full-time staff members

at SWB identify

as women

Learn more about 

Gender Equity 


participants had a paid employment opportunity at an SWB program

Learn more about

Leadership Pathways


maximum wage difference between the highest paid employee to average full time employee

Learn about SWB's

Compensation Guidelines


per year, the DEI committee meets to ensure a DEI lens is applied across the entire organization


of participants feel a sense of belonging at SWB, where they feel safe and connected to the program

Learn more about

Youth Development

Impact Highlights

Learn More

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SWB Equity Report

For more than a decade, three core values – Authenticity, Process-Orientation, and a focus on the Whole Person – have grounded our work in the communities we serve. In 2021, Equity was officially added as a fourth organizational core value. 

When you seek equity and justice you are stepping on the toes of the people who have power and privilege.

Martha Saavedra, Board of Directors, DEI Committee Member

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