In an article recently published in The New York Times, an anonymous survey by Nike employees revealed an unfair and sexist atmosphere at the brand’s Oregon headquarters, which then prompted Nike CEO, Mark Parker to address the controversy with a formal apology.
Now, according to Business of Fashion, the Swoosh will be implementing new measures to improve workplace diversity, following the departure of nearly a dozen senior executives due to allegations of gender discrimination and inappropriate behavior.
By emphasizing leadership accountability and create hiring opportunities for women and minorities, the new guidelines will be outlined in the brand’s upcoming sustainability report, which highlights the company’s progress on environmental and cultural issues, including its status in reducing its carbon footprint.
“In early 2018, we became aware of reports of behaviour within our organisation that did not reflect our core values of inclusivity, respect, and empowerment,” Nike said. “We now recognise this is not only about culture and leadership, but also about institutional bias and practices that haven’t kept pace.”
Nike also revealed that a new diversity talent acquisition team will ensure there are diverse candidates for open positions, and requiring 10,000 managers worldwide to undergo mandatory diversity training, as well as unconscious bias awareness training for all employees. Additionally, the company is establishing a leadership training program to help employees enroll in business school, and provide mentorship programs for women and minorities.
Furthermore, Nike will be evaluating its promotion, pay and performance results to pinpoint how women and minorities are unfairly represented in the process, as the company’s overall workforce is 48 percent female.
Chief sustainability officer, Hannah Jones told BoF that the money to be invested in the new diversity initiatives will be “significant,” adding, “We’re taking it very seriously… This is about a fundamental mindset shift and it comes from senior management,” she said. For the full story, head on over to Business of Fashion.
If you have been sexually harassed or assaulted, there are resources to help you.
Donate to Rape Crisis here (UK) or RAINN here (U.S.).
In other Swoosh news, Nike is experimenting with putting treadmills in sneakers.