Nike is undeniably the market leader of sneaker sales in the world, having a revenue of “$24.2 billion in 2018“. Nike’s main demographic for shoe sales is made up of “18- to 34-year-olds” which represent “43 percent of Nike’s customers“. This means that Millennials and Genz consumers make up a large portion of Nike’s footwear sales. Studies recently have shown that “Millennial and GenZ consumers increasingly care about the ethics of brands they select”, meaning that this scandal could greatly affect Nike’s reputation and overall sales. Cain mentioned in her NYT video that she is afraid of Nike sweeping the problem under the rug by rebranding the Oregon Project and having Salazar’s old associates coach the program. We will be curious to see how Nike responds in the long term to this problem and how they plan on fixing it for future female athletes.
While not all of us will have the chance to train with the most elite athletes and coaches in the world, there still should be ways to prevent this type of abuse in your environment. One of the ways Cain explained she could have trained in a safer environment, is if there were more women in power during her time in the Oregon Project. This can be applicable in all environments, in the office, on the field and in schools, since having women in power benefits other women entirely. In our office specifically, our demographic is made up of 60% women. Creating opportunities for women discuss important issues is also important, such as having a female psychologist or therapist available to speak with. Another option would be creating an internal committee for women to share their thoughts and opinions on issues in the environment they are in. It is proven that “a diverse and inclusive workplace that includes more women in leadership roles is not only safer, but it also leads to greater productivity and profitability”. Creating a safe space for women to talk amongst themselves or one-on-one can offer opportunities for women to speak up and hopefully prevent issues similar to the ones Cain faced.
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