We strongly believe that embedding ‘Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion’ into our culture and talent processes gives our employees a sense of belonging and gives our brand a real competitive advantage.
By creating a level playing field for everyone, every individual has an equal opportunity to achieve betterment, maximize their leadership potential and unleash high performance. By recruiting the best talent and developing our people to reflect the rich diversity of our consumers and communities, we foster a culture of inclusion where we value and leverage differences to engage our employees and connect with our consumers.
"WE CAN ONLY MEET OUR MISSION TO BE THE “BEST SPORTS BRAND IN THE WORLD” BY EMBRACING DIVERSITY, EQUITY & INCLUSION. AS A SPORTS ROMANTIC AND FORMER ATHLETE, I AM OBSESSED WITH FOSTERING A WELCOMING CULTURE THAT ENABLES OUR PEOPLE TO CREATE THE MOST INNOVATIVE AND HIGH PERFORMING PRODUCTS."
Bjørn Gulden, Chief Executive Officer
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) have always been a competitive differentiator in adidas, particularly in our support and partnerships with diverse athletes and marginalized communities.
Today, we embrace DEI to “Create An Equal Playing Field for all” within three key pillars – People, Culture and Accountability.
To support our DEI strategy and initiatives, we are continuing to progress on our aspirations and commitments in the following ways:
Women in leadership: As part of our people strategy, adidas has established a measurable, aspirational goal to help us realize our DEI ambitions. We are committed to increasing female representation in management positions (Director level and above) globally to more than 40% by 2025. Having achieved our target of 39.1% as of Q1 2023, adidas is expanding its goals to achieve gender balance over the next ten years reflecting the available talent in our global markets. Continuing to expand our goals and developing our female talents, reflect our commitment to equity as well as our consumer focus, where women are a key consumer for our brand.
Global racial equity: Our new DEI strategy aspires to global racial equity through the broadening of our data collection and talent initiatives to identify and support high-performing talent from under-represented and marginalized groups. We commit to promoting inclusivity across all diversity dimensions and across different intersectionalities.
United Against Racism: adidas implemented United Against Racism in June 2020 to support the social justice movement and to promote racial equity within our US business and communities. This initiative involves a multi-factored level of commitment across hiring, talent development, and community engagement with the goal of creating lasting change. The commitments include, among others, an investment of $120 million in the US toward ending racism and supporting Black communities by 2025, as well as funding for 50 university scholarships in the US each year for Black and LatinX students. In an effort to reflect the talent in the communities where we live and work, we announced our ambition to increase the representation of Black and LatinX employees in the U.S. by 2025, ranging from 20-23% representation of qualified talent in corporate roles, of which 12% in leadership positions (Director level and above). In 2020, Black and LatinX employees represented 12% in corporate roles and 7% in leadership positions. As of the end of Q1 2023, we progressed to 17% (+5pp) in corporate roles and 10% (+3pp) in leadership positions.
Employee Resource Groups (ERGs): Voluntary, self-organized employee-led groups that create communities of belonging and foster inclusion by connecting employees with shared identities, diversity dimensions and interests.
At adidas, we have 33 ERGs, and they represent seven Diversity Dimensions: Gender Identity, Race & Ethnicity, Faith & Culture, Sexual Orientation, Abilities, Generations, Life & Experience, and Veteran Status.
Through these dimensions, our adidas communities act as advocates and champions for our DEI efforts within the organization. ERGs also help to drive employee engagement, provide insights, and address challenges and barriers for marginalized groups.
Leading With Inclusion: Our Board and leadership groups take part in a 12-month Leading with Inclusion program to drive accountability by building a collective competency for inclusive leadership and exploring how to leverage inclusion for transformation.
DEI Executive Council: Our DEI Executive Council is made up of a diverse group from across the organization, including all members of the Management Board and leaders from each market, and works to increase accountability for global DEI initiatives and to drive the execution of our DEI strategy. Within their individual functions and markets, Council members identify and remove cross-functional and market-based barriers. In this way, the values of adidas are anchored and exemplified at management level.