People of Color Make Up 85% of Foot Locker’s U.S. Workforce + How the Retailer Stacks Up on Diversity at Executive Levels

As a racial reckoning continues across America, more companies are taking a close look at representation within their workforces — and Foot Locker has revealed that people of color accounted for 85% of its U.S. team in 2020.

That’s about 1% higher than the previous year and the figure, unveiled as part of the company’s Impact Report, illustrates how important diverse communities are to the success of Foot Locker — which has been cited by a number of groups for its industry-leading position.

Like most companies, Foot Locker — which counts more than 40,000 employees in North America — still has work to do when it comes to diversifying its executive ranks. The report notes that 20% of executives in the region are people of color. (The figures include all persons who have not self-identified as white. Information on Foot Locker’s team member race and ethnicity is only requested and retained for its U.S. workforce, the company said.)

Gender equity has also been a key priority for the company, which said women made up 49% of its global workforce for 2020, up from 46% a year earlier. That’s a critical stat, given the increased focus — both at Foot Locker and across the broader athletic community — on female consumers.

When it comes to its board, Foot Locker noted that 70% of its independent directors are ethnically diverse or female.

As part of its commitment to diversity, Foot Locker launched its “Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging” (DIBs) strategy that emphasizes a workplace culture in which team members feel valued and engaged. In 2020, the retailer launched a DIBs goal in 2020 for VPs and above as part of its performance management process.

Outside of the intense focus on diversity within its own ranks, the company also said last year it would invest $200 million over the next five years toward economic development and educational initiatives, to help counteract the stark disparities in opportunity for Black young people and entrepreneurs. (For more on how it’s doing on those efforts, go here.)

Alongside the deep dive into diversity, the company also devoted much of the report to measuring its environmental impact and sustainability efforts across the supply chain — and also addressed its priority to operate ethically and transparently.

On the operations front, Foot Locker upgraded 228 of its North American and European stores with LED lighting, which resulted in an estimated 2.48 million kilowatt-hour annual savings. Since then, the company stated more than 1,600 locations in North America and 100 in Europe have been converted, and 100% of its stores in Asia use LED lighting.

It also examined emissions, noting that electricity and fuel used to operate its stores generates the majority of the greenhouse gas emissions that the retailer can control directly. Foot Locker also studied its logistic practices and recycling advancements.

Looking ahead, Foot Locker said it will continue to gauge and report on its growth and improvements in key areas through these reports.

“Corporate social responsibility is not a separate mandate for our business, but, instead, as a purpose-driven organization, it is embedded in our ability to achieve our strategic imperatives,” Foot Locker chairman and CEO Dick Johnson said in a statement. “Our impact report highlights our ongoing commitment to advancing corporate social responsibility and building a more sustainable future while delivering meaningful impact for all our stakeholders.”

The full report can be accessed here.

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