In response to internal pressure from black employees, Adidas said it would hire black and Latino people for at least 30% of new U.S. jobs and invest $20 million in black communities . Black employees experiences with discrimination at companies like Adidas and Refinery29 clash with public anti-racist messaging. Neither Adidas’ six-person executive team nor its 16-person board of directors includes a black member. None of the 10 executives currently listed on Nike’s executive leadership website are people of color. Employees want that to change.
Adidas AG said it is increasing the number of black employees and investing $20 million in black communities after some U.S. employees complained the company was profiting off black culture without doing enough to help them.
The sportswear giant said a minimum of 30% of all new positions in the U.S. at Adidas and Reebok will be filled with black and Latino people and that it would finance 50 university scholarships for black students each year over five years.
Adidas has issued a statement regarding its employees protesting today against their “racist work environments,” . “Adidas has always been and will always be against discrimination in all forms and stands against racism,” the brand tells Sole Collector. “We are deeply saddened by what we see happening to our Black community in America. Racism is an issue that exists not only in the U.S. but in all countries. We all want to see justice, action, peace, and most importantly, progress. As a global sports company, Adidas is committed to creating change.”
“Throughout the week we have communicated with our employees to listen and understand and respect the range of emotions we are all going through and have provided support and resources. All leaders in North America and in our Global HQ attended educational sessions to understand and learn how to lead through this crisis. Our online donation platform, DEED, provides the opportunity for 200% matching of employee donations to support organizations that are working on the frontlines of anti-racism and actively working to support our Black communities.”
“We’re listening. We recognize that we have not done enough, and we are dedicated to doing more. We are close to finalizing our commitments to ensure our people, most importantly our Black employees, are heard, supported and involved in solutions. We are working very closely with our employee resource group Progressive Soles and a coalition of Black leaders, and we are united in making progress. Together we’re establishing quantifiable goals focused on immediate action and long-term impact, internally and externally. We will hold ourselves accountable for change. We firmly believe that together is the only way to move forward.”
Adidas will be sharing its commitments with its employees first before a public statement is made next week.