HR Chief at Nike Says Company Failed with Minorities and Women

Nike did not gain traction when it came to hiring and promoting more minorities and women to positions that were senior-level according to a memo from the HR Chief at Nike that was sent to the company’s employees Wednesday.

The announcement arrived only a few weeks a former employee made allegations of inappropriate behavior in the workplace that led the company to make changes in its executive ranks.

The memo from HR Chief Monique Matheson said that while the company has spoken of it many times, and attempted different ways of achieving change, it has failed to gain any traction, and the hiring and promotion decisions have not changed senior level representation as quickly as had been anticipated or wanted.

Efforts at Nike to increase the representation of minorities and women will begin at the vice president level as a way to spur an effect of trickle down, said the memo.

At this time, 29% of the vice presidents at Nike are female and in the U.S. 16% are people of color. Nike only keeps track of ethnicity and race information in the United States.

Nike revealed the gender pay gap it has for employees in the UK, which is data that companies with 250 or more employees in the UK must disclose by law.

Nike discovered that on average, men in the UK earn 10% more per hour compared to women who work for the wholesale division. In retail, men earn an average of 3% higher in earnings than women.

Nike attributes this disparity in average pay to having fewer women in the UK at higher-paying positions at the senior level. In addition, the difference in bonus pay between men and women in the UK is 37% for wholesale and 15% for retail.

The memo circulated a few weeks after Mark Parker the CEO at Nike sent out a memo to company employees regarding the allegations of inappropriate behavior in the workplace, and a shakeup that followed in the executive ranks.

The memo detailed the restructuring of management that allows for placing a sharper focus on the culture of the workplace.

It also revealed that Trevor Edwards the Nike Brand president would resign and retire in August following 25 years at the company, though Edwards was not linked directly to the allegations of inappropriate behavior.

Edwards had been viewed by many as a possible successor to Parker, though Parker said he would commit to extending his tenure at Nike, remaining the CEO and chairman beyond 2020.