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Nike Promote Female Employees Amid Controversy

Date: May 03 2018

By: Boon Mark Souphanh

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Following controversy surrounding a poor company culture, including allegations of harrassment and discrimination, Nike have promoted two senior female employees to executive positions.

With several executive seats recently vacated, Amy Montagne will assume the role of acting vice president and general manager of global categories, while Kellie Leonard will take on the position of chief diversity and inclusion officer.

Claims of discriminatory and predatory behaviour surfaced after a women-only survey circulated Nike’s Beaverton office. The results revealed that formal complaints filed with HR were either ignored or improperly handled, leading to uncomfortable working situations.

Following the survey, the New York Times interviewed 50 current and former Nike employees, with various women claiming they’d been ‘ignored, harassed and stymied in their careers’. An unnamed source revealed to NYT that lack of women in power was having negative impacts on sales, as this excerpt explains:

‘Nike is also struggling to get traction in women’s categories, the fastest-growing segment of the market. Some of those interviewed by The Times said the weakness in women’s products in part reflected a lack of female leadership and an environment that favoured male voices. Nike’s own research shows that women occupy nearly half the company’s work force but just 38-percent of positions of director or higher, and 29-percent of the vice presidents, according to an April 4 internal memo obtained by The Times.’

As we continue to monitor the fallout from this controversy, one thing’s for sure: Nike have some significant issues to resolve, aside from their ongoing skirmishes with adidas.

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