NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced on Thursday that the league will start using the Rooney Rule to ensure women are interviewed for open executive positions.
The NFL’s Rooney Rule was designed so teams would interview one minority candidate for each open coaching position. It went into affect in 2003 after only a very small percentage of minority candidates were named to head-coaching positions.
Goodell made his remarks at the opening of the NFL Women’s Summit, where roughly 250 men and women associated with the league gathered to talk about issues affecting women in sports.
There were a few big firsts for women in the NFL over the current season. Last month, the Bills hired Kathryn Smith as a special teams assistant coach, making her the first full-time female coach in the NFL.
The NFL also recently hired its first female official in Sarah Thomas.
There is also an increasing number of women who serve in VP roles, mostly in marketing and public relations.
The league says 30% of employees in its front office are women.
Goodell also said the summit will likely become an annual event around Super Bowl time.