Administrator, United Kingdom
Dr Rimla Akhtar MBE is a businesswoman and sports administrator, who champions inclusivity in sport. She was the first person who publicly identified themselves as an Asian, Muslim woman on the Football Association Council. She has spoken many times on the need for sports to adapt to accommodate Muslim athletes and has called for an increase in diversity within sports and football. In 2014, she became the first Muslim and Asian woman on the FA Council in addition to her role on the Inclusion Advisory Board at the FA and in 2015 was awarded an MBE for her contribution to equality and diversity in sport. She holds a portfolio of additional strategic and boardroom roles, including as an Independent Director of the Rugby Football League (the first BAME person to be appointed in its 125-year history), the Sports Ground Safety Authority and Council member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland. Rimla has over 18 years’ experience in the sports industry across the UK, Middle East and Asia. She is a developer, communicator and strategist best known for her work as an Inclusion and Diversity specialist in sport, which led to her being ranked 14th in the 2018 Forbes global list of the Most Powerful Women in Sport. Rimla also captained Britain in Futsal competitions. She is Founder of the leading global sport development consultancy, RimJhim Consulting, and, as Chair of the Muslim Women’s Sport Foundation until December 2018, she led the organisation to one with a distinct reputation nationally and internationally for its extensive work in the field of women’s sport. She is also co-founder of the global Muslim Women in Sport Network.