At adidas, we believe in the strength of women in leadership. This principle is rooted in our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion as a driving force for the success of our company. We champion individual uniqueness and firmly believe in creating a culture of belonging so that everyone can be at their best.

But still the conversations around women in leadership in all walks of life rumbles on. For many, the question around why it’s important remains unanswered. And while the Harvard Business Review has outlined the benefits of having more women leaders, there are still some demanding proof.

So, to try and do just that, we asked four of our most inspiring women leaders about their unique approaches to leadership and how they believe it’s making a difference to both their teams and their output.

1. Building trusting relationships

As Senior Vice President for Sourcing, Hoa Ly’s career undertook a significant shift when she moved into her most recent role. While she may not have had the technical expertise expected by many within her organization, to fulfill this role, it was clear from the start that she had something to give: Her individual take on leadership, driven by trust, empathy, and an openness to show vulnerability.

Woman wearing a medical mask holding a microphone speaking in front of a crowd, Hoa Ly, adidas, employee, Sourcing, Asia, leadership, leaders, women
Hoa Ly’s approach to management is built on trust and compassion.

2. Embracing confidence, compassion, and empathy

Emily Maxey, Vice President Global Newsrooms credits her leadership style to those who helped shape her career. As a result of these relationships, she learned to stand up and speak out, embrace the power of allyship to enable others to grow, and strike a firm balance between strength and kindness.

Woman with two girls smiling together in a group, Emily Maxey, adidas, employee, Newsroom, marketing, leadership, leaders, women
Emily values the impact of learning from others.

3. Enabling the next generation to grow

As a Vice President in Finance at adidas, Melissa Claassen’s career has brought her a wealth of experience, much of which has come from being both a mentor and a mentee. She talks about what she looks for in a mentor, the importance of sharing knowledge and how she believes these relationships can make a positive impact in your career.

4. Seeing possibilities

Taking inspiration from ‘Impossible Is Nothing’, Vicky Free, Head of Marketing at adidas, walks us through her career to date, with some outstanding highlights along the way. She reflects on the experiences she drew from her mentor and role model as a student, to leading a team of people – and what it took for her to do that successfully.

Woman wearing a pink suit sitting on stairs smiling, Vicky Free, marketing, adidas, employee, leadership, leaders, women

What have you learned about the impact of women in leadership? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.


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