Annual Report 2023


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Embedding Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion into our Culture


adidas has a dedicated Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) team with DEI leaders in each market, led by the Global Senior Vice President DEI. We strongly believe that DEI 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, we ensure that 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, develop leaders for our diverse markets and connect with our consumers.

In 2022, we launched a new DEI strategy, ‘Creating an Equal Playing Field for All,’ which is 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, LGBTQIA+, race and ethnicity, and disability). In October 2023, we shared the progress and impact we have delivered against our strategy during our annual ‘Global Week of Inclusion’ with many activities across the regions, where our theme was: ’From Dialogue to Impact: Advancing the Playing Field for All.’ During this week, we also launched our goals for gender balance within the adidas leadership team. The achievement of these targets will be supported by sponsorship and other pipeline development programs for women.  

In addition, we held multiple panel discussions sharing the impact of our yearlong ’Leading with Inclusion’ program to develop a collective competency among our senior leaders. We also shared the impact of our new ‘Employee Resource Groups (ERG) Framework’ to provide governance, recognition, and upskilling to adidas ERGs. Finally, we launched a ‘Belonging’ workout and hosted multiple live webinars for all employees to learn how to enable belonging in teams.

To execute on our DEI strategy ‘Creating an Equal Playing Field for All,’ we are continuing to progress on our aspirations and commitments:

  • Leading with inclusion: As a key enabler of the ‘Accountability’ pillar, our Executive Board members and core leaders have taken a three-step development program to develop a collective competency for inclusive leadership within adidas. The three steps include self-assessments, confidential coaching, and a peer-to-peer experiential learning. The ‘Leading with Inclusion’ program is now cascaded to all Board-minus-one leaders and will continue to cascade to all senior management as well as middle management layers in 2024.

Women in management positions


  • Women in leadership: adidas has established a measurable, aspirational goal to help us realize our DEI ambitions for gender balance. We are committed to increasing female representation in management positions (Director level and above) globally to achieve a gender balance of 50% by 2033. With 40% female representation in management positions in 2023, our women-in-leadership aspirations reflect our commitment to gender balance and equity as well as our consumer focus, where women are a priority. In addition, we have reached a female representation of combined 48% in the middle and lower management as well as in senior professional levels. For all entry levels, total female representation was 52% at the end of 2023. This serves as a robust foundation to achieve our targets for higher management levels. Equity also plays an important role when it comes to women’s promotions, and we achieved 52% in 2023. Moreover, for the Executive Board and the first two levels below in Germany, adidas has clear statutory targets regarding female representation. In 2024, adidas will continue to mentor and develop females for leadership roles and will design new initiatives such as female sponsorship programs to focus on enhancing female representation across all leadership levels. SEE DECLARATION ON CORPORATE GOVERNANCE
  • Global racial equity: Our 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 underrepresented and marginalized groups. We commit to promoting inclusivity across all diversity dimensions and across different intersectionalities.
  • ‘Employee Resource Groups’ (‘ERGs’): Throughout the company, we continued to support and grow our ERGs through the development of a new ERG Framework and operating model to provide governance, oversight, recognition, and upskilling to our ERG members. ERGs 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, LGBTQIA+, experienced generation, faith, disability, and mental health. Participation in these groups is voluntary and inclusive to all 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 US $ 120 million in the US toward ending racism and supporting Black communities through to 2025 as well as funding for 55 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 2023, we are well on track to meet our goal.
  • DEI learning and development: In collaboration with our Global Talent team, adidas continues to offer DEI learning fundamentals and essentials for all levels of employees to learn about DEI terminology. Throughout 2024, employees will be enabled further to take a self-learning approach and create team workouts to help drive an inclusive culture at adidas. Our learning team also offers mandatory anti-discrimination and anti‑harassment training for all employees, including anti-sexual-harassment training. 
  • DEI Executive Council: Our DEI Executive Council, made up of a diverse group across the organization, including all members of the Executive Board and leaders from each market, continued its work in 2023 to increase accountability for global DEI initiatives, address emerging DEI issues impacting our brand, and drive the execution of our DEI strategy. Within their individual functions and markets, Council members have committed to providing solutions to DEI challenges as well as identifying and removing cross-functional and market barriers. In 2023, the DEI Executive Council invited employees with different DEI dimensions and intersectionalities to provide feedback to senior leadership. 
This Group Management Report is a combined management report. It contains the Group Management Report of the adidas Group and the Management Report of adidas AG.
The Declaration on Corporate Governance is part of the Annual Report.
Declaration on Corporate Governance