Nike Updates Its DEI Progress in Latest Impact Report

Four years after revealing a series of targets to hit by 2025, Nike Inc. delivered its latest Impact Report on Tuesday, offering a look at the progress it made in fiscal 2023, with a spotlight on its diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts.

In the fiscal 2023 report report, Nike said it has continued to make gains with representation of U.S. racial and ethnic minorities at the director level and above, as well as within its broader corporate workforce.

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Nike previously defined racial and ethnic minorities as American Indian or Alaskan Native, Asian, Black or African American, Hispanic/Latino, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander. Also, the report in 2021 defined its U.S. corporate workforce as all U.S.-based full-time employees who do not work in its retail stores, distribution centers and Nike Air manufacturing innovation.

These increases were 7.6 and 9 percent, respectively, from 2020. With its fiscal 2023 gains, Nike surpassed its fiscal 2025 targets of 35 percent representation within its corporate workforce — and 30 percent at both the director level and above.

For fiscal 2023, the corporate workforce percentage was 41 percent, and the director level and above tally came in at 34 percent. (In fiscal 2022, representation in the U.S. corporate workforce was 39 percent. At director level and above, it was 33 percent.)

Nike detailed that its DEI efforts were supported by employee-focused programs such as the Serena Williams Design Crew, employee resource groups such as NikeUNITED and ConverseUNITED Networks, and more.

Nike’s release of this internal DEI data comes a month after the company confirmed it is laying off 2 percent of its workforce. “Nike’s always at our best when we’re on the offense. The actions that we’re taking put us in the position to right-size our organization to get after our biggest growth opportunities as interest in sport, health and wellness have never been stronger,” Nike told FN in a statement mid-February.

When asked via email interview about how the Impact Report stats would shift following its restructuring, the brand responded via statement: “The content in the FY23 Nike Impact Report covers our financial year ending May 31, 2023. We remain committed to DEI efforts as a company as well as continuing our progress toward meeting our FY25 targets.”

The Impact Report was revealed as some companies scale back on DEI efforts amid backlash after the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 2023 affirmative action ruling.

In the past, Nike has faced pressure to ramp up its diversity, equity and inclusion disclosures. For instance, in its annual proxy statement filed in August 2021 with the Securities and Exchange Commission, it was revealed that a group requested that Nike publish an annual report assessing its progress on certain DEI initiatives. This report would include, at minimum, details on how the board measures the effectiveness of DEI programs and metrics related to the promotion, recruitment and retention of protected classes of employees. (That proposal was shot down in a shareholder vote.)

Beyond corporate diversity, in the 2023 Impact Report, Nike also offered insights into the gender equity targets it has set for its strategic suppliers, as well as the completion rate of its Gender Equity Self-Diagnostic Tool.

Nike confirmed women make up more than 70 percent of the total workforce within Tier 1 finished goods suppliers. However, female representation lags in factory leadership and skilled roles, and men were advancing to factory leadership roles at three times the rate of women.

In addition, Nike detailed how it is advancing equality in the communities it serves through key programs, including its Athlete Think Tank that was established in 2021, as well as its Black Community Commitment that launched with a $140 million investment in 2020 — including investments totaling $15.2 million from Nike and Jordan Brand in fiscal 2023 — and its partnerships with historically Black colleges and universities (HBCU), which includes a target investment of $10 million over five years to both HBCUs and Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI) in the form of scholarships and academic partnerships.

For the second quarter of its fiscal 2024, Nike reported revenues of $13.39 billion for Q2, up 1 percent compared to the prior year. This was in line with Nike’s previously issued guidance for Q2, which projected revenue growth to be up slightly compared to the prior year. It was slightly short of estimates from analysts surveyed by Yahoo, which expected sales of $13.43 billion.

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