How We Are Creating Lasting Change Now: An Update On Our Commitments
In June, we shared our promise to do better in supporting our Black employees and Black communities by creating meaningful and lasting change first and foremost within our brand and further across sport culture.
We want to be transparent about our journey and the efforts we are taking, so we are sharing our first update against those commitments.
Change at this scale can’t just be driven by leadership. It requires collective action. The early progress we’ve outlined here is the result of adidas employees, community partners, athletes and ambassadors working together. Their efforts make us confident about what we can achieve.
This is a global effort, and we have global programs in place to support BIPOC communities. Many of our early commitments were made in the U.S., but that’s only the beginning. We are working to introduce similar programs in all of our markets, informed and developed by our employees. As we go forward, we will continue to strive for better, for those at the heart of our brand.
We’re making promising strides, but we’re only getting started.
CREATING AN INCLUSIVE CULTURE
Strengthened our Anti-Discrimination and Non-Retaliation PolicyOur leadership team have had a series of training sessions on Creating Accountability for Inclusive, Responsive Leadership, including the Executive BoardWe conducted a series of listening sessions that included more than 700 employees led by nearly 40 leaders from the Committee to Accelerate Inclusion & Equality, Executive Board and Senior Leadership Team – so that all of our actions are informed by this dialogueSigned The Juneteenth Pledge, led by our partner Pharrell Williams, which means we will make June 19, Juneteenth, a paid holiday for all adidas and Reebok employees in the U.S. We’ll also identify a relevant day in other offices to reflect on the value of diversity and inclusion. The company’s first Global Day of Inclusion will take place virtually around the world on September 15.
We have started reforming our global hiring and career development processes to ensure fair and equitable hiring across adidas – removing hiring bias, increasing representation and creating more accountability and oversight. Our new pilot Champions Hiring program in the U.S. aims to ensure best-in-class hiring practices are in place by January 2021.
It’s early days but we are hitting above our hiring targets in the U.S. for Black and LatinX people within our workforce at both adidas and Reebok. We set a target to fill 30% of all new positions with Black and LatinX employees and a target of 50% of all positions with diverse talent of all categories (e.g. gender, disability). We are also targeting 20% to 23% Black and LatinX employees in corporate roles by 2025, and 12% in leadership positions in the U.S. by that time.
Globally we have started to increase our support for BIPOC communities through investment in diverse businesses and startups, greater supplier diversity and working with employee groups in local markets to grow our community outreach. One of our first initiatives is Close the Gap, a program built in partnership with Impact Hub, the world’s largest network of social ventures and entrepreneurs, which will give our employees in North America and our headquarters in Herzogenaurach, Germany, a chance to work with BIPOC-led social ventures to create change.
We are matching employee donations by 200% through DEED, our online donation platform, to support nonprofit organizations driving racial justice and human rights for underrepresented communities. This currently benefits the NAACP, the National Urban League, Campaign Zero, ACLU, The Innocence Project, Transgender Law Center and the Minnesota Freedom Fund). Employees can also volunteer with these organizations and use DEED to find ways to get involved.
We are investing $120 million to support and empower Black communities in the U.S. through 2025 in addition to our existing grassroots initiatives. Our first programs include:A scholarship program through which adidas and Reebok will support Black and LatinX students. In the first year of the program, we’ll provide debt relief for 50 Black and LatinX students at HBCUs, each receiving a grant of $10,000, and then fund 50 university scholarships a year for Black and LatinX students at HBCUs over the next 5 years.Our Cornerstone initiative, which is focused on removing racial disparity in the industry by actively seeking to support and develop Black- and LatinX-owned businesses in the sportswear and fashion industry. As part of this initiative, we will increase the diversity of our supplier base, invest time, expertise and funding to boost their digital presence, and partner with them to identify and address needs in their local communities. adidas has committed $10 million over the next three years to fund BeyGOOD partner social programs, organizations, and/or initiatives that help bring equity to those disproportionately impacted by social and racial injustice. As an immediate first step, adidas has matched Beyoncé’s recent $1 million contribution to NAACP for BeyGOOD‘s Black-Owned Small Business Impact Fund.
Reebok has also made the following commitments:An investment of $15 million over the next five years into Black and LatinX communities and organizations focused on ending racial injustice.To re-launch the Reebok Human Rights Award to support and honor activists who are working to dismantle systemic racism.Increasing the focus on its non-profit school exercise program, BOKS, to Black and LatinX communities, including a new $200,000 grant program that will support its efforts to provide equal access to physical activity and play to more children in these communities.
These new initiatives will build from adidas and Reebok’s long-standing expertise in running grassroots initiatives with employees, partner schools and brand partners working to impact change on the ground in collaboration with the community.
adidas community programs are focused on increasing access to sport (through adidas Legacy), increasing access to education (through SEED), and increasing access to creative pursuits (through Sound Labs and Makers Lab), as well as a holistic sports, academic and social mentoring program, Beyond. Reebok’s programs are focused on community building (through the investment in Black and LatinX communities), supporting activists who are working to dismantle systemic racism (through the Human Rights Award), and to providing access to fitness for underserved communities (through BOKS).
The Global Committee to Accelerate Inclusion and Equality, which is comprised of a group of diverse leaders – provides regular updates to the Board and creates transparency to all employees via internal communications.
We created the U.S. United Against Racism Accountability Council to hold us accountable to the change we’ve committed to by providing oversight and acceleration for all UAR targets, policies and commitments in the U.S.
The Council is comprised of a group of 12 elected employees from diverse backgrounds – representing Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), retail, distribution centers and key cities. It also includes a team of Black and Latinx athletes, creators and entertainers. This Council will hold us accountable to the wave of change we’ve committed to by providing oversight and acceleration for all UAR targets, policies and commitments in the U.S.