“The events of the last two weeks have caused us all to think about what we can do to counter the cultural and systemic forces that support racism,” Adidas CEO Kasper Rorsted said in a statement on Tuesday.
“We had to look at ourselves as individuals and our organization and think of systems that belittle and silence black individuals and communities,” he said. “As we discuss the importance of inclusion, we need to do more to create an environment where all of our employees will feel safe, heard and have equal opportunities for career advancement.”
In addition to the 30% new minimum employment, Adidas said it plans to announce an additional “goal aimed at increasing the representation of blacks and Latinos in our North American workforce.” Adidas declined to say what percentage of its workforce in the U.S. or North America is currently made up of blacks.
Adidas will also donate $ 20 million over the next four years for three initiatives it says support black communities: Adidas Legacy, the company’s core basketball platform for underrated communities; Adidas School of Design Education Experience that helps people create careers in footwear design; and Honor Black Excellence, which the company describes as “an initiative that respects and supports the Black Community through sport”.
Adidas said it also plans to fund 50 scholarships a year for undeclared employees at “partner” universities, but did not provide additional details.
“We recognize the huge contribution of the black community to our success and the success of others,” the company said in a statement. “We promise to improve our company’s culture to ensure equality, diversity and opportunity. We understand that the fight against racism is a fight that must be waged continuously and actively. We must and will do even better.”
Correction: A previous version of this article misrepresented the timeline for which Nike plans to donate funds.
Correction: A previous version of this article misrepresented the amount Nike intends to donate over four years.