New recruitment initiative at Adidas aims to increase the proportion of colored people in the company’s American workforce.
Adidas plans to fill at least 30% of new jobs with blacks or Hispanics, the company announced on Tuesday, taking some other action along the way in response to recent death protests. George Floyd in the name of racial justice.
Last week, dozens of major corporations, including Adidas, issued statements of solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. At the same time, companies have faced calls to address unequal representation and systemic racism within their ranks..
In recent days, hundreds of Adidas employees have come out to demonstrate outside the company’s North American headquarters in Portland, Oregon, demanding that Adidas better support black employees, the Portland Business Journal said in a report. Adidas, like other sportswear companies, has profited from sponsorship deals with black athletes and celebrities, and by using African American culture as inspiration for design and marketing schemes..
«The events of the past two weeks have made us all wonder what we can do to counter the cultural and systemic forces that support racism.», – said the CEO of Adidas Kasper Rorsted on Tuesday.
«We had to look inside ourselves, both as individuals and as our organization, and think about systems that disadvantage and silence black people and communities, ”he said. – While we talked about the importance of integration, we must do more to create an environment in which all of our employees feel safe, hear and have an equal opportunity to move up the career ladder».
In addition to the 30% new hiring minimum, Adidas said it plans to announce an additional «a goal to increase the representation of blacks and Hispanics in our workforce in North America». Adidas declined to reveal what percentage of its U.S. or North American workforce is currently black workers.
Adidas will also donate $ 20 million over the next four years to three initiatives it says support black communities: Adidas Legacy, the company’s massive basketball platform for disadvantaged communities; Adidas Design School, which helps people build careers in shoe design; and Honoring Black Excellence, which the company calls «an initiative to develop and support the African American community through sports».
Adidas also plans to fund 50 scholarships per year for black employees in «partner» universities, but the company did not provide additional information on this point.
«We recognize the enormous contribution of the African American community to our success and the success of others, ”the company said. “We promise to improve our company culture to ensure fairness, diversity and opportunity. We understand that the fight against racism must be ongoing and proactive. We must and will do more».
Adidas’ pledge follows the announcement of its competitor Nike, which said it would donate $ 40 million over four years. «organizations that put social justice, education, and racial inequality at the fore in America». Previously, the sportswear manufacturer has already promised $ 100 million over 10 years to similar groups, although no specific organizations have been identified..