Thread regarding Nike Inc. layoffs

“Nike Told Me to Dream Crazy, Until I Wanted a Baby.“ (laid off women athletes)

Turns out athletes get laid off too, for getting pregnant. Wonder if there will be any layoffs as a result of his bombshell?

Nike Told Me to Dream Crazy, Until I Wanted a Baby.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/12/opinion/nike-maternity-leave.html

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Post ID: @Z10xygg

14 replies (most recent on top)

I am with @abjv all the way - agree 1000% with every single point made.

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Post ID: @Z10xygg-gegv

Spot on

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Post ID: @Z10xygg-cgtm

person who wrote the counter argument (likely a man) should rethink their overly simplistic, black and white logic. hopefully no nike-sponsored athletes read the comparisons of their work and the money they bring in to house painters or white badges. athletes are asking for maternity leave - not leaving their contracts unfulfilled - and for a brand to say no while touting values and equality deserves to be called out.

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Post ID: @Z10xygg-cxlf

Do you think Tiger had his contract trimmed during his hiatus? Kap during his? Galen Rupp?

If Nike wanted to stop this story, it would make public male and female contracts (without $ figures) and ensure that they are consistent in how they deal with medical issues and life events.

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Post ID: @Z10xygg-abbi

Sorry. I’m going to make the unpopular counter argument.

If I’m not mistaken Nike athletes are not employees, correct? I think they are independent contractors or something of the sort. Let me explain my point by analogy:

Let’s say you hire a female painter (a contractor) to paint your house over several weeks. Now let’s further imagine that, halfway through the job, this painter tells you: “I just found out I’m pregnant! Since I don’t think it’s a good idea to breathe in more paint fumes at this point I’m going to need to stop doing this work right now.”

In this circumstance, as the owner of the house which response do you provide to your painter:

Response #1: “Congratulations. That’s great news, and I completely understand your decision. Of course since you didn’t complete the contract I’m not going to be able to pay you the full amount for the job. Hopefully you understand, and don’t feel as though you are owed the full amount anyway.”

Response #2: “Congratulations. That’s great news, and I completely understand your decision. And even though you didn’t complete the contract and only did half the work I’m going to pay you the full amount anyway. Because that’s the only right thing to do!”

I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that the vast majority of you would pick some form of Response #1 above. I’ll go one step further and suggest that you would find it somewhat preposterous if your painter approached you and said, “No, you owe me the FULL amount! Didn’t you hear me tell you I’m pregnant?? Painting is how I make my living! It’s unfair for you to stop paying me just because I got pregnant and can no longer perform the services we agreed I would perform!”

And yet this is the exact same situation you have with Nike athletes. Some of you will undoubtedly argue, “But your analogy doesn’t hold because with Nike athletes it’s DIFFERENT!”

Really? How is it different? Because from my perspective it’s the exact same thing: A person or company hires you as a contractor to perform a very specific service. You either fully perform that service or you don’t. If you do you get paid. If you don’t, you don’t.

That is the fundamental essence of every contracting agreement I’ve ever seen. And as a tech person who has worked most of my adult life under independent contractor agreements, I’ve seen quite a few. I have never seen any of my agreements protect my compensation in the event I am unable to perform the services for any reason. I’ve also hired plenty of contractors throughout my life for various things, and I’m certain I’ve never told a contractor I hired “If you stop doing this work for any reason, including pregnancy, I’ll keep paying you anyway.”

I guess here’s my final question: Are we holding Nike to an argument and a standard that even we, ourselves, wouldn’t accept as valid in any other context? If you wouldn’t pay that painter the full rate for a fully painted house, why are you demanding that Nike do exactly that?

The stock answer I hear is, “Nike is supposedly all about empowering women. That’s what’s different! And if you yank a woman’s compensation just because she becomes pregnant- as women sometimes do - that is not very empowering!”

I get that argument. But it misses the point by a country mile. Because with that argument, what everyone wants to forget is that the source of that compensation is still a very specific agreement to provide some very specific services. The contractor wanting that agreement to remain valid has nothing to do with any viewpoint on women in general.

Going back to our fictional painter, if you didn’t pay her the full contract price and she then accused you of “not empowering women”, would you find her argument valid? I dare say most of you would not. I think most of you would say she is conflating two very separate issues.

And I think that is what has happened here, too. Which is most unfortunate.

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Post ID: @Z10xygg-abjv

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/22/opinion/allyson-felix-pregnancy-nike.html

"But when I met with the company’s leadership in 2010, one woman told me about a Nike-sponsored initiative called the Girl Effect that promoted adolescent girls as the key to improving societies around the globe. By joining Nike, she said, I could help empower women. She told me Nike believed in women and girls, and I believed her."

Shame on us.

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Post ID: @Z10xygg-aweh

Let me get this straight, Nike is good at retaining unqualified euros and poor at treating women well. And the biggest sin at all at Nike is aging?

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Post ID: @Z10xygg-6dww

Now that's poor timing:

https://news.nike.com/news/nike-impact-report-ceo-letter

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Post ID: @Z10xygg-4ncs

Diversity, purpose, sustainability - all window dressing. All driven by Comms people. Take some of their T&E and pay pregnant athletes, factory workers, building staff, etc

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Post ID: @Z10xygg-2cvt

Not a good look for Nike. As a stockholder I urge you to do better. As a former employee and victim of retaliation and ageism count me as not terribly surprised. It seems there is a long way to go to fix the broken culture yet.

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Post ID: @Z10xygg-2byz

What Nike sells and what Nike is are 2 different things.

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Post ID: @Z10xygg-zgr

Of course there won’t be layoffs. As the article mentions, dudes are making the decisions in sports marketing.

Epic troll with the NYT video.

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Post ID: @Z10xygg-fjy

Nike’s marketing department has the ability to pay for premium creative that ultimately will resonate with many as “inspirational” or even “empowering” when most employees can see directly behind that curtain whether they are choosing to look or not. Calling out issues with pay equity, employment practices and both men and women who abused the system and destroyed our culture of respect and our confidence in Equality or Doing the Right Thing does not give much legitimacy to a W&K PR concept in my humble opinion. I’ll go out on a limb to say that most likely if you look at each of the employee networks you’re going to find communities riddled with issues that are not being addressed by leadership at Nike. The new leadership in Diversity and Inclusion is unfortunately not steering the ship in the right direction quickly enough but thank you for taking the b---s--- Equality product out of the market.

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Post ID: @Z10xygg-ozj

Wow. No Mother’s Day brunch for Comms today.

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Post ID: @Z10xygg-dxl

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