Study: MLS posts more gains in hiring women for 2022 season

Jan 11, 2023, 11:54 PM | Updated: Jan 12, 2023, 2:12 pm
Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber speaks during a MLS Season Pass and Apple TV talent ann...

Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber speaks during a MLS Season Pass and Apple TV talent announcement at MLS soccer media day in San Jose, Calif., Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

A diversity report examining racial and gender hiring in Major League Soccer reported another boost in scores for the hiring of women, marking a second straight year of significant gains after four years of declines.

Thursday’s report card from The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES) at Central Florida assigned an overall B-plus grade, with an A for racial hiring and a B for gender hiring. The report examined a range of positions at the league headquarters and within franchises using data from August that covered the 2022 season.

The overall and racial-hiring grades were similar to 2021, but the gender-hiring data stood out for the second straight year.

MLS earned a 69.9 score in that category for 2020, the league’s lowest gender score since 2007. But the league jumped to 74.7 points in 2021 (a C letter grade), then jumped another 6.8 percentage points to an 81.2 for this year’s report card to extend that positive trajectory another year.

“They had as big of a gain in a particular category as we’ve seen almost in any of the Racial and Gender Report Cards in their gender grade,” TIDES director and lead report Richard Lapchick said in an interview with The Associated Press, adding: “They’ve really moved into very positive territory this time.”

The league posted an A-minus for gender hiring at its league office in New York, with women filling 40.5% of all positions and women of color filling 19.1%.

At the team level, the league posted C grades and gains in women working as both vice presidents (28.7%) and in senior administration positions (28.2%) such as assistant general manager or chief legal counsel. The league earned a B grade for gender in professional administration positions, with women filling 37.1% for a gain of 6.5 percentage points.

TIDES also evaluated C-suite executive positions – such as chief financial or operating officers — in a separate category that didn’t factor into the league’s overall score. MLS earned a B there, with women filling 34.6% of positions for a gain of 5.8 percentage points.

Among the racial-hiring categories, the league posted an A for head coaches with people of color filling 35.7% of those positions and an A-minus for assistant coaches (32.1%), though both scores dropped from last year. The league also received an A-plus in league-office positions (43.4%) and players (61.9%).

The league also received an A-plus for its diversity initiatives under Commissioner Don Garber.

“Most of the notes across the board were really positive,” Lapchick said.

In a statement to the AP, Sola Winley – MLS executive vice president and chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer – said those efforts represent “a core value and operating principle” for MLS.

“The progress that our league and clubs are making in racial and gender hiring is intentional and rooted in our aspiration to be a league of choice for a new North America,” Winley said. “Sustaining progress is only possible because we have committed leadership and ownership with unequivocal expectations to be among the best leagues in the world.

“As an enterprise our inclusion and impact efforts are focused on effective policy enhancements, a commitment to equitable representation, developing the best talent on and off the pitch, and collaborating with our partners to deepen and broaden the connection with our fans and diverse communities that we call home.”


Follow Aaron Beard on Twitter at


More AP soccer: and

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Brooklyn Nets guard Edmond Sumner, right, drives to the basket against Washington Wizards forward K...
Associated Press

Thomas helps Nets rally from 23 down to beat Wizards 125-123

NEW YORK (AP) — Cam Thomas scored a career-high 44 points off the bench and the short-handed Brooklyn Nets rallied from a 23-point deficit to stun the Washington Wizards 125-123 on Saturday night. Edmond Sumner also set a personal best with 29 points and Nic Claxton had 15 points and 13 rebounds for the Nets, […]
18 hours ago
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) pulls down a rebound against New Orleans Pelicans cente...
Associated Press

James closes in on NBA record, Lakers falls to Pelicans

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — LeBron James moved 36 points away from breaking the NBA career scoring record in the Los Angeles Lakers’ 131-126 loss to New Orleans on Saturday night that ended the Pelicans’ losing streak at 10 games. James had 27 points to go with nine rebounds and six assists as he continued to […]
18 hours ago
Brooklyn Nets guard Seth Curry, left, drives to the basket against Washington Wizards guard Monte M...
Associated Press

Already short-handed Nets lose Curry, Morris to injuries

NEW YORK (AP) — The short-handed Brooklyn Nets lost guard Seth Curry and forward/center Markieff Morris to injuries during their game against the Washington Wizards on Saturday night. Curry suffered a left adductor injury during the third quarter, and Morris had a sore left knee. The Nets announced neither would return to the game. Curry […]
18 hours ago
NASCAR Cup Series driver Joey Logano (22) speaks to reporters ahead of practice sessions before a N...
Associated Press

New-look Logano leads NASCAR back to the L.A. Coliseum

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Joey Logano arrived at the first event of the season with a jet black shock of thick hair and a banner in the grandstands advertising the company that treated NASCAR’s reigning champion for alopecia and early baldness. “Ask Joey!” the company Hairclub urged on a banner draped in the lower bowl […]
18 hours ago
Keith Mitchell prepares to hit a drive on the 7th tee of the Pebble Beach Golf Links during the thi...
Associated Press

Strong wind suspends third round at Pebble Beach

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (AP) — A strong wind was more than just a menace at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. It brought the tournament to a halt Saturday because of two holes on one of the courses, and set up a Monday finish without the amateurs. Keith Mitchell made it through the worst stretch of […]
18 hours ago
Indiana's Trayce Jackson-Davis, left, reacts with Miller Kopp (12) after Jackson-Davis hit a basket...
Associated Press

Jackson-Davis, No. 21 Indiana beat Edey, No. 1 Purdue 79-74

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — Trayce Jackson-Davis scored 25 points and Jalen Hood-Schifino delivered the clinching basket on a dunk with 2 seconds left as No. 21 Indiana beat No. 1 Purdue 79-74 on Saturday. Zach Edey finished with 33 points and 18 rebounds for Purdue. The Hoosiers (16-7, 7-5 Big Ten) have won both of […]
18 hours ago
Study: MLS posts more gains in hiring women for 2022 season