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Sportswear – Is It A Man’s World?

A look at the gender equality in brands like Nike and Adidas.


It’s no secret that women are a minority in sports, sporting campaigns, and brand sponsorships. And whilst this has been changing in the last few years, it has recently been revealed that women are at a massive disadvantage when it comes to sportswear brands too.

According to Challenger, Gray & Christmas, there have only been seven new women CEO’s in the entire sportswear industry this year. Seven. That’s it. Barely anything. A little better than last year, when there were only five. But not that much better. The year before there were 58 men given CEO roles in this industry and only eleven women.

Retail Dive found that at the top five sportswear brands (including Adidas and Nike), only 23% of top executives and 27% of board members are women. Adidas and Lululemon have five board members, the highest number, and Lululemon and Nike have the largest number of female executives, four and two.

Lululemon has been promoted as primarily a womenswear company, so it is perhaps slightly more reassuring to know women make up half of both the board and the executive team. Yet this is the only top-five company where things are equal.
Compared to this, Skechers not only has the lowest number of women on its board of directors (only one) but also has no female executives listed. That’s right, zero.

And what’s even more worrying is that research has shown that things haven’t gotten much better over the last decade, but, with greater emphasis on female participation and campaigns like #ThisGirlCan, maybe we can hope for a more equal future.


Next up, An Upgraded Guide To What Feminism in 2019 Is About