Embedding Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion into our Culture
We strongly believe that embedding ‘Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion’ into our culture gives us a real competitive edge and we embrace it as we work to be the best sports brand in the world. 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 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.
In 2022, we launched a new DEI strategy to ‘Create an Equal Playing Field for All,’ based on three key pillars: People, Culture, and Accountability. The strategy was informed by adidas’ first anonymous and voluntary diversity dimensions survey on four key dimensions of diversity (Gender, LGBTQ+, Race & Ethnicity, and Disability). The survey participation of 42% of employees exceeded the benchmarks for a survey of this type. We integrated the launch of the strategy into our multi-market ‘Global Week of Inclusion’ in October 2022, during which we held multiple panel discussions and learning webinars. Various elements of diversity were addressed during this week, including cognitive diversity, ageism, disability, and mental health.
To support our DEI strategy and initiatives, we are continuing to progress on our aspirations and commitments:
- 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% in 2022 (2021: 37%) reflects our commitment to equity as well as our consumer focus, where women are a priority. Moreover, for the Executive Board and the first two levels below, adidas has clear statutory targets regarding female representation. see declaration on corporate governance
Women in management positions
- 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.
- ‘Employee Resource Groups’ (‘ERGs’): Throughout the company, we continue to support and grow our ERGs. These are employee-led networks that give employees with differing backgrounds and perspectives communities of belonging and togetherness. We have more than 30 ERGs around the globe, as well as Diversity Ambassador teams that focus on diversity dimensions, such as ethnicity, gender, LGBTQ+, experienced generation, faith, disability, and mental health. Participation in these groups is voluntary and inclusive to all employees. In 2022, an ERG task force was formed to create a new operating model, structure, and guideline to reward, recognize, and develop contributing employees.
- 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 through to 2025 as well as funding for 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, aiming to fill at least 30% of all new positions in the US with Black and LatinX people by 2025. With 23% in 2022, we are well on track to meet our goal.
- DEI Executive Council: Our DEI Executive Council, made up of a diverse group across the organization, including all members of the Management Board and leaders from each market, has continued its work in 2022 to increase accountability on global DEI initiatives and to drive the execution of our DEI strategy. Within their individual functions and markets, Council members have committed to identifying and removing cross-functional and market-based barriers. In this way, the values of adidas are anchored and exemplified at management level. The termination of the Yeezy partnership in October 2022 should also be seen in this context.