Nike HR Chief says company 'has failed' to hire and promote more women and minorities

Nike "has failed to gain traction" in hiring and promoting more women and minorities to senior-level positions, according to a memo Nike's HR Chief sent to employees on Wednesday.

The announcement came just a couple weeks after allegations of inappropriate workplace behavior led to changes in the executive ranks at Nike.

"While we've spoken about this many times, and tried different ways to achieve change, we have failed to gain traction – and our hiring and promotion decisions are not changing senior-level representation as quickly as we have wanted," Nike HR Chief Monique Matheson wrote in the memo reviewed by CNBC.

Nike's efforts to increase representation of women and minorities will start at the vice president level in order to spur a trickle-down effect, the memo said. Twenty-nine percent of Nike vice presidents are women, and in the US 16 percent are people of color. Nike only tracks race and ethnicity information in the US.

Nike also revealed its gender pay gap for UK employees – data that companies with 250 employees or more in the UK are legally required to disclose.

Nike found that on average, UK men earned 10 percent more in hourly pay than women who work in the wholesale division. Men earn on average 3 percent more than women who work in retail.

Nike attributes the average pay disparity to having fewer UK women in higher-paying senior-level positions. Furthermore, the bonus pay difference between UK men and women was 37% in wholesale and 15% in retail.

The memo was circulated just a couple weeks after Nike CEO Mark Parker sent a memo to employees regarding inappropriate workplace allegations and a subsequent shakeup in Nike's executive ranks.

The memo announced a restructuring of management to allow for a sharper focus on workplace culture.

It revealed Nike Brand President Trevor Edwards would be resigning and then retiring in August after 25 years with the company, though he was not explicitly linked to the inappropriate behavior. Edwards was long viewed as Parker's successor, though Parker told employees he would commit to a longer tenure at Nike, remaining chairman and CEO beyond 2020.

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