Adidas might be showing diversity in its ad campaigns and collaborations with Beyonce, Kanye West, and Pharrell, but according to a new report from The New York Times, this level of diversity doesn't reach its corporate offices.
Of the nearly 1,700 employees at Adidas' US headquarters in Portland, less than 4.5% identify as black, The Times wrote, adding that nearly 78% are white.
A spokesperson for Adidas did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment.
These concerns were previously voiced in a letter sent by one employee (on behalf of minorities) to Adidas' US president, Zion Armstrong, last year.
Without a diverse selection of people and voices, negative stereotypes have been able to creep into marketing campaigns, these employees said, referencing recent missteps such as when Adidas released all-white sneakers in a line that was meant to commemorate Black History Month.
Adidas removed the sneakers after this provoked a backlash.
Meanwhile, people of color and women still receive too little venture funding, and tech companies are inching along at a glacial pace toward diverse representation and inclusion.
But 2007 mainstream techies had a different understanding of diversity — so different that Dash was convinced hitting publish meant the end of his time in the tech industry, he tells TechCrunch.
Looking at both FAANG (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google) and A-PLUS (Airbnb, Pinterest, Lyft, Uber and Slack) companies today, tech employees are still predominantly white and Asian.
Discounting Apple and Amazon (both declined to comment for this story) — due to the fact that their numbers are inflated because of their respective retail and warehouse employee populations — the company closest to achieving full representation of black and Latinx employees is Lyft.
So if that’s the department to which a head of diversity and inclusion reports, it’s hard to effect change that is in service of employees.
Across the tech industry, the share of black and Latinx people in tech and leadership roles is often well below 5 percent, while women typically make up about a fifth to a quarter of those positions.
Women and people of color are still vastly underrepresented in leadership and technology roles — the high-paying, high-prestige jobs for which tech companies are known.
Facebook’s latest diversity report shows the company still has the same share of black and Latinx employees in technical roles — 1 percent and 3 percent, respectively — as it had in 2014.
What we do know is that in two years the company said it has “more than doubled the number of engineers from historically underrepresented backgrounds that we’ve hired.” In the same time the company’s overall employment doubled to about 38,000, while it’s maintained the same share of black and Latinx employees.