Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion


Together with our employees, partners, communities, and consumers, we act on our company purpose by fostering a culture of inclusion, impact, and shared opportunity. To maximize impact, we leverage brand moments to raise awareness and create opportunities for our people to engage and get involved, such as by providing volunteering and donation opportunities.

Volunteering: In 2021, our ‘Community Impact Team’ organized global volunteering opportunities programmed around key cultural moments such as International Women’s Day and ‘Pride Month.’ Different virtual volunteering activations allowed employees around the world to take collective ownership in fostering ‘DEI,’ role modelling our values and bringing our purpose to life. Throughout the volunteering programs organized by the Community Impact Team, we achieved the following:

  • adidas employees collectively delivered 1,084 volunteering hours.1
  • 14 non-profit organizations or social ventures received support through volunteering.

Employee donations: Using the community impact platform ‘DEED,’ whose reach we continued to extend to our global employees in 2021, the Community Impact Team launches and executes fundraising campaigns allowing employee contributions to selected non-profits aligned to key cultural moments. This further demonstrates our collective support as one adidas family.


‘Equity’ has been newly added to our diversity and inclusion commitment in 2021. At adidas, we recognize that, historically, we live in a society that has generated an unequal playing field, which we do not want to replicate or sustain. We want to give each of our employees, irrespective of their diversity and intersectionality, the opportunity to be able to perform at their best, be consistently and fairly developed, recognized, and rewarded for their efforts.

We strongly believe that ‘Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion’ (‘DEI’) are key to the success of our company. To be the best sports brand in the world, we need the best diverse talent that reflects the diversity of our customers and consumers. We celebrate this diversity as it helps us better serve the communities we work in, while also providing a competitive business advantage. Through embedding ‘DEI’ across all pillars of our people strategy, we aim to create the most inclusive workplace and ensure that everyone has the same career opportunities by helping to eliminate barriers.


In the fourth quarter of 2021, adidas launched the ‘Global DEI Council.’ The Council drives the increase of representation, retention, and advancement of diverse talents within our global workforce. It is responsible for business ownership and accountability on global ‘DEI’ initiatives and leads, advocates, and drives the strategic implementation of adidas’ ‘DEI’ mission.

The Council members will drive ‘DEI’ change initiatives within their functions and markets and identify, escalate, and remove cross-functional and market-based barriers, while providing the necessary resources for successful ‘DEI’ strategy implementation. The Council is made up of a diverse group across the organization, including all of the Management Board members and strategic ‘DEI’ representatives across functions and regions; employee representatives will also actively participate through elected representatives of the ‘Global ERG Council’ and representatives of the ‘Works Council’ taking a rotating seat on the ‘DEI Council.’


We have always been and will always be against discrimination in all forms and stand united against racism. To emphasize this principle, we shared a list of global commitments in June 2020. They describe how we aim to contribute to creating lasting change. The commitments include, among others, investing $ 120 million in the US toward ending racism and supporting Black communities through to 2025, and funding 50 university scholarships in the US each year for Black and LatinX students. We also set new targets for increased representation of Black and LatinX people within our US workforce. Our aim is to fill at least 30% of all new positions in the US with Black and LatinX people.

In 2021, we have made further strides in strengthening our inclusive culture with an increased ownership across our global business functions. This has included:

  • Company-wide completion of the nearly 30 hours per employee, team-led ‘Creating a Culture of Inclusivity’ development program, including expanding it to our Retail and DC employees. This created a level set in our organization to ensure a consistent understanding of ‘DEI’ terms, concepts, and principles, and the impact they have on workplace culture and individual employee experiences.
  • Creation of key learning programs and e-learning modules for new and existing employees. These encompassed, among others, training on what ‘DEI’ means at adidas, and on our anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policy.
  • Formation of the ‘United Against Racism Accountability Council’ in North America to implement and inform our targets and policy, that hold us accountable and adhere to our financial commitments, and fast-track programs aimed at increasing representation and support of Black and LatinX communities, who represent the consumers we serve.
  • Formation of our ‘Global DEI Council’ to provide strategic ‘DEI’ direction and ensure Board, functional, and market-level accountability to strengthen our inclusive culture.
  • Expansion upon our 2020 Global Day of Inclusion with a Global Week of Inclusion in 2021 that was complemented through the year by other diversity moments, to celebrate and educate our employees on diversity. This included recognizing and supporting employees through Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr, managing mental health and well-being, LGBTQ+ Pride Month activations, International Day of People with Disabilities, Black History Month (US and UK), and International Women’s Day.
  • Analysis of our overarching strategic approach to supplier diversity including setting targets for diverse supplier representation.
  • Establishing at our headquarters in Herzogenaurach a Refugee Employment Program to provide employment pathways for political and war-affected refugees.
  • Increasing our focus on delivering ‘DEI’ change through market-led initiatives. Local ‘DEI’ market leads are charged with the responsibility of understanding, adapting, and implementing global initiatives into their regional areas, along with supporting the local implementation of DEI activations.
  • Implementation of global and local Cultural Review Teams with an adidas Cultural Guidance Playbook for all branded content creation to ensure we live our values through our partnerships, product, imagery, and messaging.

Throughout the company, we continue to support and grow our Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) – these are specific networks that give employees from various walks of life a voice and serve members by fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace. We now have more than 40 ERGs around the globe, as well as Diversity Ambassador teams, with different focuses on diversity dimensions such as Ethnicity, Gender, LGBTQ+, Experienced Generation, Faith, and Disability and Mental Health. Participation in the groups is voluntary and open to all employees. This year we launched our ERG Framework. Through these guidelines, we assist our ERGs and business leads to understand the important role ERGs play in creating an inclusive culture.

To assist with global coordination and sponsorship of ERGs and to optimize potential for cross-market communication and education, adidas will introduce the ERG Global Council in early 2022.


As part of our people strategy, adidas has established a concrete and measurable goal to assist in realizing our DEI ambitions. We have committed to increase the share of women in management positions (Director level and above) globally to more than 40% by 2025. At the end of 2021, that number was 37% for adidas. This new goal also reflects our consumer focus, where women are a priority.

Women in management positions


While we have a clear target for female representation in management positions, we commit to supporting inclusivity across all diversity dimensions and across different intersectionalities, both in our brand offerings and internally. We also plan to significantly increase the diversity of our leadership groups, such as our CLG and ELG. To assist us in understanding the demographics and diversity of our talent across our organization, we will launch a ‘Diversity Dimension Data Collection’ project in 2022. For adidas AG, we also have legally required target figures for the percentage of female representation on the Executive Board, including corresponding deadlines for their achievement, as well as for the first two management levels below the Executive Board. See Declaration on Corporate Governance

1 This does not include local, ‘ERG’ or individual volunteering hours.