Under Armour Reveals New Diversity & Inclusion Initiatives

In an effort to enact lasting change and greater accountability, Under Armour today revealed a series of new diversity and inclusion actions related to hiring, compensation and workplace culture.

In addition to the company’s existing commitment to have 30% of director and above positions represented by Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC), it is committed to filling 12% of those roles with Black talent specifically by 2023. (The percentages currently stand at 20% and 7%, respectively.)

Also, the company stated it is committing to 30% of its executive team succession slates to be filled by BIPOC, with 12% to be filled by Black talent by 2023.

Other hiring and promotions goals include further tying executive annual incentive pay to meeting these goals, tripling its investment in professional development for underrepresented employees and doubling its investment in finding diverse talent, which includes Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic-Serving Institutions and other BIPOC organizations.

In an effort to make the environment at Under Armour more inclusive, the company said it has launched a virtual series designed to encourage meaningful conversations on anti-racism and racial justice issues. Next month, it will launch mandatory cultural competency and inclusive environment training for its leadership.

Also, Under Armour said it will examine its product creation cycle and marketing processes to make sure BIPOC voices are represented and participate in reviews with its board of directors to assess its D & I progress. The company is recognizing Juneteenth as a paid company holiday beginning in 2021.

From a philanthropic standpoint, Under Armour stated it will invest in organizations supporting social justice and racial equity, increase volunteer service benefits to 40 hours available each year and launch a non-partisan global educational voting campaign. Also, the brand stated it will look to advance supplier diversity and create business partnerships with diverse suppliers and partners.

Aside from listing the new and existing initiatives in a release and on its site, Under Armour revealed the goals across its social media accounts.

Although Under Armour is the latest athletic brand to bolster its diversity and inclusion efforts, other market leaders have also enacted their own plans to create change.

Foot Locker Inc., for instance, revealed in early June that it will invest $200 million over the next five years to support the Black community through economic development and education initiatives.

Under Armour competitor Nike announced in early June a $40 million commitment over the next four years to “support the Black community in the U.S. on behalf of the Nike, Jordan and Converse brands.” The funds will be targeted toward organizations focused on social justice, education and addressing racial inequality in America, the company added.

And in late June, Lululemon stated it was expanding its Diversity, Equity and Action team by hiring a head of global diversity equity and inclusion and committing $5 million annually to fund internal efforts. Additionally, the brand said all employees will participate in anti-racism and anti-discrimination training by September, and voluntary employee-led resource groups will be developed, along with an advisory committee comprised of ambassadors with “diverse knowledge and skill.”

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