Factsheet: Progress on Creating Lasting Change Now

HerzogenaurachJune 2, 2021

adidas today provided its latest update on its Creating Lasting Change Now commitments, which are focused on driving greater diversity, equity and inclusion within the company and in communities.


adidas is working with urgency to move its culture forward for present and future generations, ensuring equity, inclusion and opportunity for all employees.

  • Launched the global Creating a Culture of Inclusion training, in which employees explore critical topics including diversity dimensions, unconscious biases, privilege and microaggressions. All teams are required to demonstrate their personal commitment by agreeing and managing 5 commitments on how to create a more inclusive workplace. All corporate employees have now completed the training and the majority of retail employees have completed it, with a goal to be finished by the end of June 2021. 
  • Strengthened and reinforced the global Anti-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy. Created global and local policies, including the consequences guidelines which are complemented by the new Corrective Action Matrix in the U.S., that provide clear guidance on how the company will respond to harassment, discrimination, disrespectful conduct and retaliation. Employees also completed an online Anti-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment course.
  • Forming an Employee Relations function within the organization to build a more consistent approach to managing employee concerns and drive greater accountability within the company’s culture.
  • Upskilled nominated HR Business Partners across different markets through a Workplace Investigations Training facilitated by a third-party consultant.
  • Revamped the U.S. Employee Handbook to reflect the company’s United Against Racism commitments to create a more inclusive culture. Revisions include gender-neutral pronouns throughout. Annually, adidas will review the Employee Handbook to ensure it continues to move its culture forward.
  • 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.
  • Signed The Juneteenth Pledge, led by adidas partner Pharrell Williams, which means June 19, Juneteenth, will be a paid holiday for all adidas employees in North America. Since June 19 falls on a Saturday this year, employees will observe the holiday on Friday, June 18.
  • Created the Global Day of Inclusion, a companywide event highlighting adidas’ progress toward creating a culture of true belonging. The first event took place virtually on September 15, 2020 and the company is preparing for a Global Week of Inclusion in September 2021.


adidas is reforming its global hiring and career development processes to ensure fair and equitable hiring across adidas – removing potential hiring bias, increasing representation and creating more accountability and oversight.

  • Launched The Champions Program in North America, comprised of employees across the business who are highly trained to drive consistency, address blind spots and ensure a fair and equitable hiring experience.
  • Conducted a global Inclusive Recruitment Series for all Talent Acquisition team members across the organization focused on identifying, attracting and assessing top diverse talent by strengthening the company’s inclusive processes and opportunities. Additionally, the Talent Acquisition team is currently developing a training to support all Line Managers and the HR community in conducting a fair and inclusive hiring process.
  • Launched a voluntary Inclusion Survey available to job candidates in North America. This survey allows us to understand the representation of candidates as they progress through interview processes, as well as inform where we can be making better connections with marginalized communities.
  • Revamped the adidas Mentoring Program (amP), bringing together employees with diverse backgrounds and experiences in fulfilling, two-way partnerships. aMP empowers employees around the globe to embrace different perspectives and unlock new paths of professional development.
  • Piloted Ten Thousand Coffees, a new global networking tool that unites employees across functions, job levels and geographies.
  • Increased inclusion within People Leader Essentials (PLE), an interactive series of virtual workshops that equips employees with the skills they need to ignite a winning team culture. PLE is now open to all employees around the world at all levels, including existing people leaders and those who aspire to be.
  • Brought adidas Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) together under 6 diversity dimensions: Race, Faith & Culture, Women’s, LGBTQI+, Ability, and Life. The ERGs are receiving a strong framework, including Board sponsorship and increased resources to make an even bigger impact for adidas employees.
  • Continuing to make good progress against new hiring targets for Black and LatinX people within the U.S. workforce at adidas and Reebok. The company is on track and close to the targeted 30% of all open positions filled with Black or LatinX talent. Additionally, the company is targeting at least 50% of new hires for all open positions to be filled with diverse talent inclusive of all diverse categories (gender, sexual orientation, disability, veteran, etc), which we are achieving. The company is targeting 20% to 23% Black and LatinX employee representation in corporate roles by 2025, and 12% in leadership positions in the U.S. by that time.


adidas is investing $120 million to support and empower Black communities in the U.S. through 2025 in addition to its existing grassroots initiatives.

  • Increasing global support for Black and LatinX communities by upping investment in diverse businesses and startups, expanding supplier diversity and working with employee groups in local markets to grow community outreach. One of the first initiatives is Close the Gap, a program built in partnership with Impact Hub, the world’s largest network of social ventures and entrepreneurs. Through this initiative, adidas employees will mentor Black and LatinX-led social ventures to create change.
  • Co-creating programming with Appetite for Change including a virtual wellness retreat to support youth healing following recent trauma in Minneapolis communities. Appetite for Change is a Minneapolis organization dedicated to removing barriers to fresh food.
  • Partnering with Blavity.org, a community for Black creativity and news, on a new Growth Fellowship program which empowers Black entrepreneurs.
  • Continued the relationship with OMEK, an Amsterdam-based organization designed to connect with African diaspora professionals and their allies, on the topic of collaboration and its importance for personal and professional development.
  • Expanded the initial scholarship commitment for Black and LatinX students, with contributions to date totaling $500,000 in debt relief grants to students at adidas’ HBCU partner schools. 
  • Launched the adidas Black & LatinX Community Scholarship and Legacy Scholarship programs in partnership with the United Negro College Fund to contribute $3 million in scholarship funds by 2025. 
  • Advanced the Cornerstone initiative, focused on removing racial disparity in the industry by actively seeking to support sportswear and fashion businesses in Black and LatinX communities. As part of this initiative, adidas will increase the diversity of its 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.  
  • Helped found Pharrell Williams’ Black Ambition, a program that provides a bridge to success for Black and LatinX entrepreneurs who are launching tech, design, healthcare and consumer products/services start-ups. Black Ambition aims to elevate Black and LatinX entrepreneurs through two prize competitions culminating in a national event.  
  • 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. In 2020, adidas contributed $2 million to the Black-Owned Small Business Impact Fund created by BeyGOOD and the NAACP.

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.


In collaboration with employees and external partners, adidas is setting new standards to ensure it is delivering on its commitments.

  • Launched the Global Committee to Accelerate Inclusion and Equality, comprised of a group of diverse leaders. This Committee provides regular updates to the Board and aims to create transparency for all employees via internal communication. This will now evolve into the adidas Global DEI Council bringing together functional leaders responsible for strategic initiatives focused on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in adidas’ workforce, workplace and marketplace.
  • Created the United Against Racism Accountability Councils in the U.S. and Canada to provide oversight and acceleration for all UAR targets, policies and commitments.