The path to diversity, equity, and inclusion in our business and in the running community is not an easy one, but we’re putting in the work.
As the world battled COVID-19 in the spring of 2020, injustice facing Black Americans in the US was thrust into our collective consciousness with the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and too many others. After a long history of violence and discrimination against Black Americans in the US, these killings sparked protests and difficult conversations about race around the country and pressed us to re-examine what we are doing to support diversity, equity, and inclusion.
At Brooks, we seek a world where we all run on equal ground. We know that speaking to our intentions is a good start, but actions speak louder than words.
Here are some of the steps we took over the last year in our workplace, the running industry, and the run community.
Where we work
We’re working toward better representation by proactively hiring diverse candidates, creating equitable opportunities, and promoting an inclusive workplace.
We’ve set a goal to achieve 30% Black, Indigenous. and people of colour (BIPOC) and 50% women representation among US Brooks employees at every level by 2025.
At Brooks, we're constantly evolving to be at the forefront of creating an equitable workplace for our employees. Our efforts led to a 100 out of 100 score from the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index (CEI) in 2020 and 2021. The CEI is a national benchmarking tool that focuses on corporate policies, practices, and benefits for LGBTQ+ employees. We’ve made it our goal to maintain this score each year.
Our efforts to make meaningful change don’t end at our workplace. We want our industry to be better, too. So in August 2020, Brooks became a founding partner of the Running Industry Diversity Coalition (RIDC) — a new, national coalition of running brands, running retailers, and runners representing BIPOC.
This coalition is dedicated to ending systemic racism in the running industry and running community. Its members are united by the belief that running, walking, and fitness support a healthy culture and should be accessible for everyone.
Where we make a difference
We’re working toward educating, empowering, inspiring, and creating awareness in the running community in many ways. We continue to invest in youth as the future of our sport through Brooks Booster Club with footwear, apparel, and funding to under-resourced and under-represented cross country and track teams. And for the second year, we partnered with Dick’s Sporting Goods on special footwear and apparel collections that benefit girls’ running programs in underserved communities nationwide.
In addition to our ongoing support of Front Runners LGBTQ+ running clubs, we sponsored Mikah Meyer’s “Run Across Mississippi” campaign for LGBTQ+ outdoor equality.
We are also thrilled about our new partnership with the L.A.-based Angel City Elite — an all-women group comprised of five elite distance runners whose goal is to amplify BIPOC voices in the sport.
And in June 2021, we will be the proud sponsor of the Black Girls Run! second annual eRACE Racism virtual challenge, which invites runners from different backgrounds to run together in the fight against discrimination, prejudice, and racism.
The path ahead
The shoes and gear we develop, the experiences we create, and the partnerships we build should help make the run inclusive. You can expect us to listen to our communities and engage with runners directly to address barriers to participation and champion the run for all.
By addressing inequality, we’re running a race that may not have a finish line in sight. We recognize that we’ve got a long way to go, but we’re committed to putting in the work to make the run open to everyone.