Advancing Gender Equity in our Supply Chain

At Nike, we are committed to creating a more equitable workplace for women — throughout our company and across our supply chain — because gender inequality is a pervasive, global issue that prevents women from having an opportunity to reach their full potential at school, in their communities and in their careers. And we know that doing things like maintaining 1:1 pay equity for women globally, promoting more women to leadership positions and improving family benefits for working moms is good for our employees, our business[1] and the world. According to a study by BSR, if women participated in the economy equally to men, it would add as much as US$28 trillion to the annual global GDP[2].

This is particularly important in our manufacturing supply chain, where more than 70% of employees are women, yet female representation decreases with the move into leadership ranks. We work with suppliers who share our values of inclusivity and equality. Now we’re providing them support to help address some of the biggest challenges women around the world currently face in the workplace — in an effort to achieve a gender equitable manufacturing supply chain. Success will come when factories align with our code leadership standards and all employees working for them are valued and have access to opportunity. We also set a new ambitious gender equity target for 2025 to drive accountability for this work. We’re aiming for 100% of our strategic suppliers to increase access to career opportunities and upward mobility for women employed in their facilities. For more information on this target please see NIKE, Inc.’s FY20 Impact Report.

[1] Diversity wins: How inclusion matters. McKinsey & Company.
[2] Women’s Empowerment in Global Value Chains. Business for Social Responsibility.

How we are Working with Suppliers

Starting the Process

We’ve partnered with the International Center for Research on Women to develop a resource hub to measure gender equity in the footwear, apparel and textile manufacturing sector. It allows factories that are interested in advancing gender equitable policies to identify strengths and areas of improvement, and then provides examples of best practices to help them reach their goals.

How it works: Each year, our suppliers will use a self-diagnostic tool to assess various aspects of gender equity — such as factories’ policies and processes, support for working parents and recruitment and hiring practices — and gain a comprehensive understanding of their strengths and areas of opportunity for enhancing gender equity. We will then provide support to help them address low-scoring areas and develop a long-term action plan to advance gender equity within their organization. We encourage our factories to first focus on developing sustainable gender equitable practices and policies. We also look to support factories in improving the lines of communication between workers and management (by aligning with our Engagement and Wellbeing work and encouraging them to adopt new communication technologies and platforms) so they can get a more accurate report of how effective the implementation of these practices and policies actually is.

Offering Training and Development

We’re improving visibility to jobs, developing career pathways, increasing digital training and providing new modes of learning for all workers across our supply chain. Factory workers receive on-the-job training regularly to develop individual skills, and production line workers are often promoted to team leaders or supervisors. In the future, we’ll be expanding this area of focus — looking at ways that factories can address key talent gaps by developing effective career training, mobility and development programs.

Creating Support Systems

We’re encouraging our suppliers to address the fact that women generally take on an unequal burden of care, by offering better childcare services, health and wellbeing (including maternity) benefits and additional support for working parents. We’ve helped highlight best practices in regions like Vietnam, where we have a high volume of suppliers, many of whom have great practice in this space.

We’re All Stronger When We Work Together

Going forward, Nike will continue to work with our strategic suppliers to help integrate the principles of gender equity in their operations. Learn more about Nike’s ongoing efforts to create an equal playing field for all, here.