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How Nike Is Faring With Its Bold Diversity Commitments — And the ‘Aggressive’ Plans It Will Pursue Next

Following a year marked by a global health crisis and nationwide civil unrest, Nike Inc. said it is embracing its “unique opportunity” to lead the way.

The sportswear giant unveiled today its 2020 Impact Report and ambitious targets for 2025 as it seeks to promote and advance opportunities for women and people of color within its workforce. It also announced a partnership with National Urban League, a nonprofit that advocates on behalf of economic and social justice for the Black community.

According to the Swoosh, women now make up 49.5% of its total employee base, while the representation of women around the world at the VP level has increased by two percentage points year over year to 41.1%. It also shared that the representation of racial and ethnic communities at the VP level in the United States has risen by eight percentage points to 29%.

Overall, Nike said its 2020 intern class was its “most diverse yet,” with 55% of its 310 interns being women and 49% coming from racial and ethnic communities.

In addition, the Beaverton, Ore.-based company revealed a $1 million investment in two National Urban League’s programs: the Urban Reentry Jobs Program, which provides formerly incarcerated adults with skills and training to reenter the labor force; and Home Is Where the Wealth Is, a campaign for first-time homebuyers that offers financial education and coaching from certified housing counselors.

What’s more, Nike is infusing $2.75 million in local organizations — centered on economic empowerment and education as well as social justice — across seven cities: Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Memphis and St. Louis, while grantees were previously announced in New York City and the brand’s home city of Portland.

Over the next five years, Nike plans to act on a set of nearly 30 ambitious DE&I targets, including achieving 35% representation of racial and ethnic communities in its U.S. corporate workforce and investing $10 million in historically black colleges and universities (or HBCUs) and Hispanic-serving institutions to increase intern and direct hires. It also aims to have 50% representation of women in its global corporate workforce and increased access to career opportunities for all women in its supply chain.

“The targets are aggressive but achievable,” the brand explained. “Nike is committed to clear action plans with clear goals, clear measures and clear accountability. Above all, Nike is committed to helping shape a better future, across our company and around the world.”

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