“The events of the past two weeks have caused all of us to reflect on what we can do to confront the cultural and systemic forces that sustain racism,” Adidas CEO Kasper Rorsted said in Tuesday’s statement.
“We have had to look inward to ourselves as individuals and our organization and reflect on systems that disadvantage and silence Black individuals and communities,” he said. “While we have talked about the importance of inclusion, we must do more to create an environment in which all of our employees feel safe, heard and have equal opportunity to advance their careers.”
On top of the 30% new hiring minimum, Adidas said it plans to announce an additional “target aimed at increasing representation of Black and Latinx people within our workforce in North America.” Adidas declined to say what percentage of its workforce in the US or North America is currently composed of black employees.
Adidas will also donate $20 million over the next four years in three initiatives it says support black communities: Adidas Legacy, the company’s grassroots basketball platform for underserved communities; the Adidas School for Experiential Education in Design, which helps people create careers in footwear design; and Honoring Black Excellence, which the company describes as “an initiative honoring and supporting the Black community through sport.”
Adidas said it also plans to finance 50 scholarships per year for black employees at “partner” universities, but didn’t provide further details.
“We recognize the immense contribution of the Black community to our success and that of others,” the company said. “We promise to improve our company culture to ensure equity, diversity and opportunity. We understand that the fight against racism is one that must be fought continually and actively. We must and will do better.”