Adidas claims that at least 30% of the new positions in the United States will be occupied by blacks or Latins

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The company plans to occupy at least 30% of the new positions with black or Latin people, Adidas announced Tuesday, along with many other actions it is taking in response to recent protests over the death of George Floyd and calling for racial justice.
In recent days, hundreds of Adidas employees have quit their job to demonstrate outside the company’s North American headquarters in Portland, Oregon, asking Adidas to better support black employees, according to a report from the Portland Business Journal. Adidas, like other sportswear companies, has profited from sponsorship deals with black athletes and celebrities, and using black culture as inspiration for marketing projects and schemes.

“The events of the past two weeks have prompted all of us to reflect on what we can do to deal with the cultural and systemic forces that support racism,” said Adidas CEO Kasper Rorsted in Tuesday’s statement.

“We had to look within ourselves as individuals and as our organization and reflect on systems that disadvantage and silence black individuals and communities,” he said. “While we talked about the importance of inclusion, we need to do more to create an environment in which all our employees feel safe, listened to and have equal opportunities to advance in their careers.”

In addition to the new hiring minimum of 30%, Adidas has said it wants to announce a further “target aimed at increasing the representation of blacks and Latins in our workforce in North America”. Adidas declined to say what percentage of its workforce in the United States or North America is currently made up of black employees.

Adidas will also donate $ 20 million over the next four years to three initiatives that support black communities: Adidas Legacy, the company’s basic basketball platform for disadvantaged communities; the Adidas School for Experiential Education in Design, which helps people create careers in footwear design; and to honor black excellence, which the company calls “an initiative to honor and support the black community through sport”.

Adidas said it plans to fund 50 scholarships per year for black employees in “partner” universities, but has not provided any further details.

“We recognize the immense contribution of the black community to our success and that of others,” said the company. “We promise to improve our corporate culture to ensure fairness, diversity and opportunity. We understand that the fight against racism is a struggle that must be fought continuously and actively. We must and we will do better. “

Adidas’ commitment followed an announcement from its competitor, Nike (NKE), who said he would donate $ 140 million over four years to “organizations that put social justice, education and the fight against racial inequality in America at the center of their work,” although he has not named any specific organization.

Correction: an earlier version of this article incorrectly reported the amount that Nike intends to donate for four years.



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