Considering football can be seen as very male-dominated and I’m
a four-foot 11 female, I’ve never felt uncomfortable
paying the players and you hear of staff who love the
club so people assume pay doesn’t matter as much
Consistency around pay is also an issue, she adds:
“In the past when people moved from other clubs
there was no continuity, so you had staff and
coaches all on different pay. We needed governance.”
So Healey set about creating a reward and
recognition strategy for the first time. A seven-grade
pay structure was introduced for all staff, and
Healey committed to paying all permanent and
casual staff the Living Wage. This meant that by
2016 Everton had become only the second Premier
League club accredited as a living wage employer by
the Living Wage Foundation (today it is still only
one of four).
This commitment means encouraging suppliers,
such as those employing car park attendants,
cleaners and caterers, to pay the living wage as well.
“If they want to do business with Everton they have
to follow suit,” says Healey.
Now a principal partner of the Living Wage
Foundation, the Club is involved in policy-making
around the living wage and sharing its expertise
with other sports organisations and local employers.
“I love a first step and a challenge – to be able to
introduce something that benefits staff, the Club,
the local community and now helping other
organisations do this is a fantastic feeling,”
“If we want to be the people’s club and attract and
retain the best talent we must be paying a good
wage,” she adds.
This “best talent” could be football fans; but it
also might not be. Healey confesses that before
joining the industry she sat in the latter camp.
“When I went to Blackburn people said ‘why
are you going into football?’ But I didn’t see it
like that; I was like: ‘I’m doing an HR job’,”
Healey feels she still doesn’t fit the mould of a
typical “football person”. But in this way she’s a great
example of how powerful bringing different sorts of
people into the industry can be, and how passionate
all sorts of people will become about the Club, given
“When you’re working in a football club, because
you know you’re working for that 90 minutes on the
pitch and that’s what your job is for, you can’t not be
passionate about it,” she enthuses. “I must be the
biggest Everton fan going now. You don’t go home
and watch Sainsbury’s versus Morrisons on the TV.
But here you go home and see your job on the telly
and look where we are on the rankings, so it
becomes part of your life.”
She adds: “I don’t know if it’s my personality or
what, but considering football can be seen as very
male-dominated and I’m a four-foot 11 female, I’ve
never felt uncomfortable to sit in a room with
managers and coaches or felt I’ve been overlooked.
My style wouldn’t suit a lot of industries but I’ve
been able to take people on the journey with me.
“Perhaps because I’d just stand on the table until
they’d listen to me,” she laughs.
It’s this personal journey that drives Healey’s
commitment to making Everton’s workforce more
diverse and ensuring an inclusive environment. The
club launched its All Together Now D&I campaign
last December to ensure staff, fans and people in the
wider community feel welcome.
It has also launched autism awareness training so
staff can provide support to fans. And Everton is the
first Premier League club to become a Disability
Confident Employer, a registered breastfeedingfriendly
club, and to use its women’s team to launch
Strategic HR Profile
St Helen’s College
and Halton College
2018 – Present
2015 – 2018
Head of HR
2012 – 2015
2004 – 2012
2002 – 2004
2000 – 2002
1992 – 2000
training offi cer/
training offi cer
Focus Do It All
1990 – 1992
26 HR November 2019 hrmagazine.co.uk